9 Canadian Laws You Didn't Know You Were Breaking - Narcity

9 Canadian Laws You Didn't Know You Were Breaking

We're all a little bit criminal.

We all know at least one person who proudly claims to have never broken the law before. But realistically speaking, it's highly doubtful that anyone is a complete angel. Surely the majority of us have jaywalked before at least once, or loitered somewhere where we weren't supposed to. And even if you haven't, in Canada, there are a couple of obscure laws still in place today that you may have broken without knowing; just because they are so easy to overlook.

So before you go around telling people you're pure to the bone, check out these weird laws that are still in effect in Ontario to make sure you haven't broken any of them.  Some of them are specific to certain locations in Ontario, while others apply to all of Ontario as well as nationwide:


1. It is against the law to swear or curse in a public park. (Toronto, ON)

608-3 While in a park, no person shall indulge in riotous, boisterous, violent, threatening, or illegal conduct or use profane or abusive language.

"Hi, 911? I'd like to report an F-bomb in Trinity-Bellwoods."


2. It is against the law to climb trees. (Oshawa, ON)

8.3 No person shall interfere with a tree or part of a tree located on municipal property, including but not limited to attaching, affixing or placing upon in any manner any object or thing to a tree or part of a tree, and climbing the tree.

No treehouses for you, Oshawa.


3. It is against the law to bike one-handed, particularly with an item in the other hand. (Ottawa, ON)

96.3 No person driving a bicycle upon a highway shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the rider from keeping both hands on the handlebars or interferes with the normal operation of the bicycle.

LCBO runs on a bike? Think again.


4. It is against the law to play a musical instrument in all residences. (Windsor, ON)

Table 3-1, 2. The sound from or created by any... musical instrument when played... with such volume as to disturb the peace, quiet, comfort or repose of any individual in any office, dwelling house, apartment, hotel, hospital, or any other type of residence.

Ya hear that University of Windsor students? No pulling a John Cusack in Say Anything.


5. It is against the law to distort coinage. (Canada)

 No person shall, except in accordance with a licence granted by the Minister, melt down, break up or use otherwise than as currency any coin that is current and legal tender in Canada.

So does that mean coin souvenir maker machines are guilty?


6. It is against the law to pretend to practice witchcraft, sorcery and the dark arts. (Canada)

 Every one who fraudulently a) pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration, b) undertakes... to tell fortunes, or c) pretends from his skill in or knowledge of an occult or crafty science ... is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Remember when you pretended to cast a Patronus charm as Hermione on Halloween last year? You criminal!!!


7. It is against the law to challenge someone to/accept a duel. (Canada)

C-46, 71 Every one who a) challenges or attempts by any means to provoke another person to fight a duel, b) attempts to provoke to challenge another person to fight a duel, or c) accepts a challenge to fight a duel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

I've been telling you Yu-Gi-Oh kids!


8. It is against the law to create, possess, or sell comics depicting or portraying criminal acts. (Canada)

A judge may issue a warrant authorizing seizure of copies of a recording, a publication, a representation or any written material, if the judge is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the publication, copies of which are kept for sale or distribution in premises within the jurisdiction of the court, is obscene or a crime comic, as defined in section 163.

Remember that Hangman comic you were doodling? Ya, scrap that.


9. It is against the law to pay with too much change. (Canada)

8.2 A payment in coins referred to in subsection (1) is a legal tender for no more than the following amounts for the following denominations of coins: (b) twenty-five dollars if the denomination is one dollar; (d) five dollars if the denomination is five cents; etc.

Cashiers didn't complain for nothing.


BONUS: 10) No skinny dipping in Bancroft, ON, 11) No whistling in Petronia, ON, 12) Immoral theatrical performances are prohibited Canada-wide.

Alright, so who's guilty of any of these? Leave a comment below!

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