Restaurants & Bars Including Patios
It is illegal to smoke or vape inside a bar or restaurant, as they are considered to be enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places.
It is illegal to smoke or vape on all restaurant and bar patios, and public areas within a nine metre radius of any point on the perimeter of the patio, subject to the exemption described below.
A restaurant or bar patio is defined as an area:
- the public can access or that employees frequent
- where food or drink is served or sold or offered for consumption, or that is operated alongside an area where food or drink is served or sold or offered
- that is not a private dwelling
Uncovered patios created by a branch of the Royal Canadian Legion or another veterans’ organization before November 18, 2013, are exempt from this law provided that they do not permit the smoking of cannabis, or the vaping of cannabis or a controlled substance.
“Uncovered” means that the patio is not covered in whole or in part by any physical barriers, whether temporary or permanent, that protects from rain, the movement of air, or both.
“Veterans’ organization” means an organization that is registered as a charity under the Income Tax Act (Canada), whose primary purpose is to provide programs or services to veterans of armed forces or to such veterans and their families, and that may include members who are veterans of armed forces.
However, the smoking and vaping law for tobacco, cannabis, and e-cigarettes applies to all patios created by a legion or veterans’ organization after November 18, 2013, and any covered or partially covered legion and veteran patio created prior to that date.
Restaurant and bar owners or employers are required to ensure that the smoking and vaping laws are respected.
Every owner and employer of a restaurant or bar must:
- give notice to staff and patrons that smoking or vaping is not allowed in the smoke-free and vape-free areas
- post “No Smoking” and “No Vaping” signs, or a dual “No Smoking and No Vaping” sign at entrances, exits and washrooms of the smoke-free and vape-free areas, in appropriate locations and in sufficient numbers, to ensure that staff and customers are aware that smoking and vaping is not allowed
- ensure that no ashtrays or similar items remain in the smoke-free and vape-free areas.
- ensure that workers and customers do not smoke or vape in smoke-free and vape-free areas
- ensure that someone who refuses to comply with Ontario’s smoking and vaping laws does not remain in the smoke-free and vape-free area
An individual who violates the prohibition on smoking or vaping inside a restaurant or bar, on a restaurant and bar patio, or in a public area within nine metres of the patio may be charged with an offence, and if convicted, could face a maximum fine of $1,000 (for a first offence) or $5,000 (for any further offence).
An employer or owner of a restaurant or bar who fails to fulfill their responsibility under the law may be charged with an offence and if convicted, could face a maximum fine.
- For individuals:
- $2,000 for a first offence
- $5,000 for a second offence
- $10,000 for a third offence
- $50,000 for four or more offences
- For corporations:
- $5,000 for a first offence
- $10,000 for a second offence
- $25,000 for a third offence
- $75,000 for four or more offences