The Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Signs

With more people spending time inside during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing more complaints about indoor smoke. This blog provides a quick reminder about the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and related signage requirements, and also about “No Smoking” Rules.

As most of our readers will know, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 prohibits smoking in all indoor areas of a condominium’s common elements.

For this purpose, smoking includes:

  1. Smoking or holding lighted tobacco.
  1. Smoking or holding lighted cannabis.
  1. Using an electronic cigarette (vaping).

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act also obligates condominium corporations to post signs (in accordance with the Regulations under the Act) advising all persons about such smoking prohibitions (assuming they apply to the particular condominium). The detailed requirements for the signs can be found in the Regulations under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, and on the Government of Ontario’s web page. There are various vendors who manufacturer/sell the signs. Many condominiums have also passed Rules which impose smoking restrictions beyond the restrictions contained in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. Such Rules can include restrictions on smoking in outdoor areas of the common elements and also within the units themselves (sometimes subject to grandfathering of existing smokers).

Unless such Rules contain requirements respecting signage, additional signs are generally not required in relation to any such restrictions going beyond the requirements of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. However, additional signs may or may not make sense in a given case. This is something that can be considered by the Board of a given condominium.