Sunday, October 19

Odd Canadian Laws

Many of Canada's old laws are no longer enforced. However, many of them are still valid. Some are odd, some are silly, some are serious. Some were made decades ago and have never been taken off the books and some need to be enforced today, just as they were when they were first made.

In the town where I live in southern Ontario, it is against the law to spit on the sidewalk. However, the law has not been enforced for many years.

Until 1921, drivers were required to drive on the left hand side of the road in Victoria, British Columbia. On December 31, 1921, precisely at the stroke of midnight, all drivers and cyclists began driving on the right side of the road.

If you hinder or interrupt the Canadian Forces while they're training or marching, you will be fined $100. Interfering or impending with the recruitment of Canadian Forces carries a fine of $300.

If you happen upon an injured migratory bird in a Canadian national park, you are required to kill it immediately. If not, you can be fined $300. (Wouldn't it be better to call a Fish & Game office and find out if the bird could be saved? )

Horses are not allowed to stand on Edmonton streets for longer than 20 minutes. This law was passed in 1920, assuring people doing business didn't loiter or stay to chat with merchants.

Street musicians must not give children balloon animals in Victoria, British Columbia.

Everyone loves to ride in a one-horse-open sleigh. On Ontario highways the horse must have two bells attached to its' harness, or two bells must be fastened to the sleigh. The fine for not obeying this law - $5.

Wolfville, Nova Scotia has a curfew for those under the age of 15. All youngsters must be off the street by 9 pm from October to March and 10 pm in summer, unless they are with a parent or guardian. The bylaw, though still valid, has not been enforced since 1980. It should be.

In Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, all cyclists are required to carry a kerosene lantern, which can be seen plainly.

Unless you want to face a fine of up to $25,000., you must never release a raccoon out of its territory in the province of Ontario.

You cannot release ten or more helium-filled balloons in any City of Toronto park within a 24 hour period.

In Fort Qu' Appelle, Saskatchewan all teenagers walking down the main street must have their shoes tied.

Ontario law states it is illegal to paint any bus bright yellow unless it is being used to transport handicapped adults or school children.

No school bus or other public vehicle can change gears while crossing a railroad track. The law requires all buses stop before crossing railway tracks.

Halifax, Nova Scotia has a bylaw that states that grass on the boulevard (between the curb and sidewalk) must not be longer than 6 inches (15 centimetres) tall. If a dispute arises, the grass will be measured by city officials. I guess they have nothing better to do.

Canadian law states that no person shall offer a rewarded for lost or stolen property if promising "no questions will be asked." Questions will most definitely be asked.

Canada's criminal code states that anyone, "offending a public place with a bad smell" is liable to two years in jail. LOL I've met up with a lot of people that should be in jail.

You cannot knowingly sell any defective merchandise to Her Majesty the Queen or her agents. If you do, you may find yourself imprisoned for up to 14 years.

In February 1999, a judge in Collingwood, Ontario sent a summons to a retired schoolteacher. The offence - letting the Canadian Flag snap too loudly in the wind. (Most ridiculous. I thought we lived in Canada. )

Toronto and Halifax both have laws forbidding anyone to "spy" on people in city parks. This is an old law. Today it would be stalking.

One old law in British Columbia makes it illegal to kill a sasquatch (big foot). Another in Toronto makes it illegal for pigs to run in the streets. This became law in 1834 and has never been changed.

If you live in St. John's, Newfoundland don't keep cows in your house. It's also against the law to drive cattle through the streets of St. John's after 8am.

A very serious law has been established in the Yukon to protect pets and drivers. A pet found at large within 30 metres (100 feet) of the centre of the highway brings a fine to the owner of $100. If this happens three times in one year, the fine goes up to $500.

Nova Scotia's Baby Chick Protection Act makes it illegal to sell, give or display an artificially colored chick. Doing so will bring a fine of $100 or 30 days in jail.

Margarine was banned from Canada in 1886. However, in Quebec it is illegal for margarine to be the same color as butter. For years, it was illegal in that province to have margarine in your refrigerator. It costs $100,000 per month for Quebec to produce non-butter colored margarine.

Under Section 456 of Canada's Criminal Code, it is illegal to deface "current coin." This includes the burning or defacing of paper currency. Who can afford to do that? This also includes putting pennies, nickels and dimes on train tracks to flatten them.

Halifax County has a bylaw that makes it illegal to knock, ring a doorbell or shout after 10 pm.

Every time beavers build a dam in a waterway in Canada's national parks, they are breaking the law. Blocking a waterway in a national park brings a fine of $100. (Wonder how the government plans to collect. Any ideas? )

Never carry a slingshot when entering a national park within Canada's borders. Even if you don't use it, you can be fined up to $200.

Don't put a slow moving sign on a vehicle that isn't slow moving if you plan to drive on Ontario's highways. A vehicle displaying a slow moving sign that is moving at normal speeds will be stopped and the driver fined.

It is against the law to drive a sled dog team on a sidewalk in any settlement within the borders of the Northwest Territories.

If you leave an animal in distress in Canada's Yukon, you will face six months in jail or a fine of $500.

A few interesting facts as I didn't have time today to get my Green Thumb photos taken. Have a great Sunday and remember to spend time with your family. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. Those are interesting. The US has some pretty obscure laws too.
    I hope you don't run into any Sasquatch up there, and if you do - don't kill them. I don't want you blogging from jail!

  2. we here in Ohio have some real doozies that are still on the books. one concers parking horses on city property. Well wher that do they store the horses of cleveland's mounted horse patrol. Oh I for got the mayer disbanded that unit. as well as a bounch of other things the cops did for the city.

  3. Very interesting reading Mary. So many of these pertain to animals or birds!
    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

  4. As another commenter ahead of me mentioned, we have some strange and ridiculous laws on the books here in the States as well.

    Hope you have a blessed Sunday, Mary. :o)

    Love and hugs,


  5. No kidding about the "stupid laws". The dumbest I've heard yet.... White children go to _____ school and Black children go to _____. Ridiculous!!!! I was told this wasn't in effect anymore and it left me wondering so why haven't they changed it?

  6. That was a very interesting post, It looks like every where you go people are making up rules and laws. Where I live right now. I am on the edge of town. I can see cows behind the house across the street. I can see a goat through my bed room window. Around the corner are horses, that can walk down my street and stop in my yard. But I can not legally have chickens. or any farm animals. In another area I lived in you could get a $500.00 fine if your cut your grass towards the street and grass hits the pavement. It is amazing what they will think of next.
    Have a wonderful week.

  7. Thanks for stopping by - it seems I am very far behind, and that you've written LOTS since I left on vacation. I love the little scarecrows from Anni - I have the same ones and enjoy them all fall.

    If you need a good chuckle, check out Kristen's latest family fiasco. Her sarcastic sense of humor has returned!

  8. Mary
    I will make a copy when I come for a visit as I would hate to let pigs run loose. LOL and I will park my dog sled in the dog lot and not ride on the sidewalk. Hehe
    Tell the boys they did a really good job helping you decorate. Take care. Peace

  9. My, I never realized how many old laws were still on the books.

    If they enforced the tied shoelace one in Fort Qu'Appelle most of the teenagers would be fined today.

    Thanks for the interesting tidbits.

    God bless.

  10. I love reading stuff like this. It's so funny to me to hear some of the laws that are still on the books. Some of them are so ridiculous, it's hard to imagine what the thinking was behind them in the first place. But some of them are worth having if for no other reason than they just make you laugh. lol


  11. Mary, you are so sweet! Thank you for your encouraging words, and for your prayers.

    The Odd Canadian Laws are interesting, good that they take care of animals and birds. Some are funny!


  12. I just get kick out of these law there always good for a laugh or two.
    Here one for the state of Idaho.
    There should be hitching post by every post office.
    Well I don't believe I every seen one, maybe I should see if there is one by the post office.

    Coffee is on.

  13. Mary,

    I read a while back that in the US, spitting on the sidewalk - or public places - became illegal in many towns because of the flu pandemic. I'm sure that Georgia has some stupid laws, I just haven't looked them up yet.

    I don't understand about the margarine and the butter though - that law sounds as if it was made due to competitive marketing of each product. Or maybe because Canadians thought margarine to be unhealthy? Or maybe that's not it at all.....

  14. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, you wonder what that is, the reasoning, behind the no animal balloons?

    That was very interesting to say the least. It's amazing how the governments write these laws, isn't it?

    I got my computer running again. Happy dancing here.

  15. Mary-such an interesting post! Makes you wonder what logic was behind the laws. I just can't get over the butter one. I'll be telling folks about that one!

  16. Thank you Mary that was great, I would so love to know where the law banning margarine is to be found in the books, very interesting, did I mention I only eat butter.

  17. Touche. Solid arguments. Keep up the great spirit.

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