Smoke-free regulations

Hookah (water pipe) smoking banned in all work places and public places starting December 1, 2016

Ottawa City Council has enacted municipal regulations that ban the use of water pipes (also known as hookahs) in the same enclosed workplaces, enclosed public places and outdoor restaurant and bar patios where smoking of tobacco is prohibited. 

The City of Ottawa's smoke-free regulations are part of a strategy that is designed to protect children and non-smokers from second-hand smoke, while reducing smoking rates. 

The following spaces are smoke-free in Ottawa, this includes tobacco and hookah pipe smoking:

  • Indoor public places and workplaces
  • All areas of municipal properties including parks, playgrounds, beaches, and outdoor areas around City facilities This includes festivals on City of Ottawa property.
  • ByWard and Parkdale Market stands
  • Indoor and outdoor restaurant, bar, and food premises including patios
  • All sports fields and spectator areas, including a 20 metre radius

Phase-in Period of the New Regulations

These changes will be rolled out over three phases:

  1. An education phase will run throughout the fall and winter to ensure a smooth transition for owners and employees of affected restaurants and bars. The new rules will be promoted through the media, advertising, social media and other information campaigns. 
  2. The warning phase will start December 1, 2016, and continue for 4 months. Ottawa Public Health staff and By-law & Regulatory Services staff will visit water pipe establishments to ensure they are aware of the new rules. In addition, efforts will be made to contact businesses, festivals and other organizations that could be affected.
  3. The charging phase will commence April 3, 2017. When this phase begins, by-law enforcement staff would issue tickets, as appropriate, that carry penalties.

Let’s clear the air

The new smoke-free regulations apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Report a smoking violation to or by calling 3-1-1.

Ottawa Public Health can provide training for staff and volunteers and provide educational resources about the new regulations. To enquire further about this service, please contact the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744, or e-mail

For help to quit smoking

MyQuit offers a variety of quit smoking programs and services. For more information, visit or call 1-877-376-1701.