Toronto and Ontario laws are in place to:

  • protect people from being exposed to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke
  • help smokers reduce or consider quitting altogether
  • reduce the visibility of smoking making it less socially acceptable to children and youth.

Toronto Public Health’s Healthy Environments Enforcement Officers conduct routine inspections and investigate complaints to ensure compliance with the Smoke Free Ontario Act (SFOA) and the City of Toronto Bylaw (Municipal Code Chapter 709, Smoking).

E-Cigarettes

Under the E-Cigarette Act. the following restrictions come into force with respect to electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine:

  • Prohibit the sale and supply to minors under the age of 19
  • Retailers (includes anyone who sells e-cigarettes) must:
  • Post signs regarding age-based sales restrictions
  • Prohibit sales to minors

Healthy Environments Enforcement Officers enforce the E-Cigarette Act, through routine inspections and the investigation of complaints.

To report any tobacco related violation or to ask a question about second hand smoke and the law, call 416-338-7600. Our Enforcement page provides a list of the businesses that have been convicted for SFOA offences.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) prohibits smoking in enclosed public places in Ontario.

In multi-unit housing buildings (condos, co-ops and apartment buildings), this would apply to common areas such as:

  • elevators
  • stairwells
  • hallways
  • parking garages
  • laundry facilities
  • lobbies
  • exercise areas
  • entertainment rooms.

Visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care’s page for more information about the law regarding SFOA and multi-unit housing. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600.

Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Buildings

There is currently no law in Ontario that prohibits smoking in private residences in multi-unit buildings, however making your home and even your building smoke-free is the best way to protect yourself and your family from exposure to second-hand smoke. It is possible for individual landlords, condo or co-op boards to create their own no-smoking policies that apply to private residences.

For more information on existing smoke-free buildings and/or to find out more about creating a smoke-free policy:

The City of Toronto Smoking Bylaw (MCC 709) prohibits smoking within 9 metres of entrances and exits of any building that is used by the public, including:

  • Municipal buildings (such as City Hall, civic centres, recreation and community centres, libraries, arenas and administrative offices)
  • Shopping malls, stores
  • Offices and institutional buildings
  • Restaurants, bars and cafes
  • Multi-residential buildings (e.g., condos, apartments and other similar residential buildings) that can be accessed by the public. For example, if there is an entrance at street level that is open for the public to enter the building such as a lobby or foyer with an indoor buzzer panel

Building proprietor responsibilities:

  • Post no-smoking signs, at building entrances and exits
  • Move ashtrays away from prohibited areas
  • Ensure no one is smoking within nine metres of building entrances or exits

Healthy Environments Enforcement Officers enforce the bylaw on a complaints basis. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600.

Bylaw signage is available to download. To order a print copy, call 416-338-7600.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act bans smoking in cars with children under 16.

Any person (driver or passenger) who fails to comply with the law is guilty of an offence and can be subject to a set fine of $250.

The City of Toronto Public Squares Bylaw (MCC 636/237) prohibits smoking on City of Toronto public squares including:

  • Yonge Dundas Square
  • David Pecaut Square
  • Mel Lastman Square
  • Albert Campbell Square
  • Nathan Phillips Square

Proprietor Responsibilities include:

  • Post at least two no smoking signs in the square
  • Remove ashtrays in the square
  • Ensure no one is smoking anywhere in the square

Complaints can be made to Security Staff and/or Building Management. Complaints may also be forwarded to Healthy Environments Enforcement Officers. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking within 9 metres of entrances/exits to health care facilities including Community Health Centres and Family Health Teams.
Healthy Environments Enforcement Officers enforce the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and will investigate complaints. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking anywhere on the outdoor grounds of hospitals (both private and public hospitals) and psychiatric facilities as of January 1, 2015.

Hospitals must:

  • post no-smoking signs
  • remove ashtrays on the hospital grounds

An outdoor Controlled Smoking Area (CSA) and/or Controlled E-Cigarette Use Area (CEA) is permitted on outdoor hospital grounds, provided the CSA and CEA meets the following requirements:

  • no portion of the CSA/CEA is located within a 9 metre radius surrounding any entrance or exit of the hospital, facility or office building
  • is identified as a smoking/e-cigarette use area by one or more signs posted on or around the smoking area
  • the CEA must be in a different location from the designated CSA

A hospital can choose to provide a smoking and/or e-cigarette use shelter on the grounds if it:

  • has no more than two walls and a roof
  • is located outside a 9 metre radius of any entrance or exit

Healthy Environments Enforcement Officers enforce the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and will investigate complaints. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600.

As of January 1, 2015, the revised Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) does not allow smoking at publicly-owned outdoor sporting areas, spectator areas, sporting areas and public areas within 20 metres of any point of the edge of the sporting or spectator areas.

This applies to spaces:

  • owned by the province, a municipality, colleges and universities
  • used primarily for sports, such as soccer, football, basketball, beach volleyball or skateboarding (with the exception of golf)
  • open to the public whether or not a fee is charged to enter

How much is 20 metres?

Image showing that 20 meters is approximately 15 bicycle lengths

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking on and within a 20 metres radius of:

  • playgrounds
  • sporting areas and adjacent spectator areas

A playground is defined as an area:

  • primarily used for the purposes of children’s recreation
  • fitted with children’s play equipment
  • open to the public (whether or not a fee is charged for entry)
  • not part of a residential location (e.g., condo/apartment building, and campground)

A sporting area is defined to include an area:

  • that is provincially or municipally owned and includes a sporting area on a post-secondary campus
  • primarily used for the purposes of sports as set out in the sporting areas listed below
  • open to the public (whether or not a fee is charged for entry)
  • used for soccer; football; basketball; tennis; baseball, softball or cricket; skating; beach volleyball; running; swimming or skateboarding. Note: Golf is specifically excluded

The City of Toronto Parks Bylaw prohibits smoking:

  • Within the boundaries and within a 9 metre radius of
    • covered picnic shelters or gazebos
    • outdoor theatre spaces
  • Anywhere at or on
    • city of Toronto park zoo and farm areas (e.g., High Park Zoo, Riverdale Farm)
    • city of Toronto swimming beaches
    • waiting areas or service lines in parks (Toronto Island Ferry Dock)

Healthy Environments Enforcement Officers and Municipal Licensing and Standards Parks Officers will investigate complaints of non-compliance. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600 or 311.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) prohibits smoking on restaurant and bar patios (covered or uncovered).

All employers, owners and operators of such facilities must:

  • post “No Smoking” signs at all entrances, exits, washrooms and anywhere signs can be easily placed and seen
  • make sure that no one smokes or holds lighted tobacco in an enclosed workplace, public place, or area where smoking is banned
  • make sure that a person who does not comply leaves the premises
  • remove ashtrays (or any object that serves as one)

Uncovered patios established by the Royal Canadian Legion are exempt.

Healthy Environments Enforcement Officers enforce the SFOA and will investigate complaints. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking in residential care facilities. They are considered both an enclosed public place and an enclosed workplace.

However, some residential care facilities may choose to construct and operate a controlled smoking area for residents to smoke. These include:

  • long-term care or retirement homes or publicly funded supportive housing residences
  • certain psychiatric facilities
  • certain veterans’ facilities

A residential care facility must have its controlled smoking area approved by and registered with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Healthy Environments Enforcement Officers enforce the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and will investigate complaints. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) bans the sales and supply of tobacco products to minors under the age of 19. The SFOA also bans the display of tobacco products prior to purchase and prohibits youth-targeted tobacco products.

Toronto Public Health conducts routine inspections and investigates complaints to ensure compliance with the SFOA. The Tobacco Enforcement page provides a list of the businesses that have been convicted for SFOA offences. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) prohibits tobacco use anywhere on school property and on school grounds.

School staff have responsibilities under the SFOA to ensure compliance with the legislation. Toronto Public Health conducts routine inspections and investigates complaints to ensure compliance with the SFOA. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600.

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) prohibits smoking in all indoor workplaces (including workplace vehicles) and enclosed public places.The SFOA also prohibits smoking on bar and restaurant patios (covered or uncovered). Uncovered patios established by the Royal Canadian Legion are exempt.

All employers, owners and operators of such facilities must:

  • post “No Smoking” signs at all entrances, exits, washrooms and anywhere signs can be easily placed and seen
  • make sure that no one smokes or holds lighted tobacco in an enclosed workplace, public place, or area where smoking is banned
  • make sure that a person who does not comply leaves the premises
  • remove ashtrays (or any object that serves as one)

Toronto Public Health conducts routine inspections and investigates complaints to ensure compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. To report a violation, call 416-338-7600.

The Good Neighbour Guide outlines mandatory requirements and “good will” measures that can be taken to help the bar and restaurant industry comply with regulations and operate in harmony with its neighbours, particularly residential neighbours.