Toronto bylaws

5 weird Toronto bylaws that could burn you

Toronto's strangest bylaws are a reminder why our city has been stuck with the label "No Fun Toronto." Though we have a few well-warranted bylaws that keep our fair city intact, there's a number that come across as more than a little nit-picky and outdated. So remember to consult the city's codes and regulations before you decide to indulge in entertainment of any sort.

Pinball machines in bars
If you dream of having a large-scale pinball tourney in a bar anytime soon, you're SOL. There's a zoning by-law that only allows up to two mechanical gaming machines in a restaurant or place of amusement. Don't think they enforce it? Look to the sad demise of Parkdale's fallen soldier, Pinball Cafe, which ultimately flopped thanks to the rule.

Swearing in a park
If your day-to-day vocabulary is riddled with expletives, you may want to steer clear of publicly owned green spaces. There's a chance you'll find yourself in some hot water (and with a large fine of over $200), if you decide to go on a curse-riddled tangent in one of our city's public parks. My advice: save your swearing for productive activities like axe throwing.

Flying a kite
To you kite flying may seem like some harmless fun, but you're wrong. According to the city of Toronto, the countless dangers it poses warrant a bylaw. Make sure the kite string is free of any hazardous materials and don't even think of having a flying competition without a permit.

Backyard Chickens
Want to start your own urban farming venture? Not so fast. Chickens, hens, turkeys, and pretty much every other farm animal are prohibited (and will stick you with a $240 fine). So, unfortunately, you'll still have to hit the local supermarket if you want to make an omelette.

Ball hockey on streets
If you're thinking of kicking up a game of ball hockey on a local side street, you may want to reconsider. According to city bylaws, you aren't allowed to play sports or games of any kind on our city's roadways. Think of all the dashed Stanley Cup-winning-goal fantasies that would be crushed if we actually followed this one.

What did I miss? Add your least favourite local bylaw you know in the comments.

Photo by Roger Cullman


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