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Fireworks (By-law No. 2003-237)

Disclaimer

By-laws contained in this section have been prepared for reference purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information; however it is not to be used in place of actual by-laws.

Actual by-laws can be obtained at the following locations:

City Archives
James Bartleman Centre
100 Tallwood Dr. (Corner of Woodroffe)
Ottawa, Ontario
tel.: 613-580-2857
fax : 613-580-2614
e-mail: archives@ottawa.ca

Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe, Ottawa Room
613-580-2940

Highlights - Fireworks (By-law No. 2003-237)

The Fireworks By-law (By-law No. 2003-237) regulates the sale and use of fireworks within the City.

  • Firecrackers may not be sold or discharged. A firecracker is a pyrotechnic device that explodes when ignited and does not make any subsequent display or visible effect after the explosion.
  • The sale of fireworks is permitted only on Victoria Day and Canada Day and the seven business days preceding those days.
  • Individuals can only discharge their fireworks on Victori Day and Canada Day and the day before and after those days.
  • Persons holding a fireworks display must obtain a permit from the Fire Chief.

Approximate cost
$55

Approximate timeline
The application and all of the documentation must be submitted to the Fire Chief 30 days before the event. 

Permit requirements

Who to contact
Fireprevention@ottawa.ca or call Info line for Fire Prevention at 613-580-2424 extension 15371

How to apply

  1. Payment can be made at a Client Service Centre, and documentation sent to fireprevention@ottawa.ca and cc jimmy.fata@ottawa.ca
  2. Or documentation and payment (cheque payable to City of Ottawa) can be sent to: 
    By-law and Regulatory Services
    735 Industriel Avenue, 2nd floor
    Ottawa, ON
    K1G5J1

Report an issue

Phone:

  • 3-1-1
  • (613) 580-2400
  • 1 (866) 261-9799
  • (613) 580-2401 (TTY)

In Person: 

Visit one of the Client Service Centres

Fireworks (By-law No. 2003-237)

The Fireworks By-law (By-law No. 2003-237) regulates the sale and use of fireworks within the City.

The Council of the City of Ottawa enacts as follows:

Section 1 - Definitions

In this by-law,

Act” means the Explosives Act, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter E17, and the regulations enacted thereunder as amended from time to time or any act and regulations enacted in substitution therefor;

City” or “City of Ottawa” means the municipal corporation of the City of Ottawa or the geographic area of the City of Ottawa as the context requires;

consumer firework” means an outdoor, low hazard, recreational firework that is classed as a subdivision 1 of Division 2 of Class 7 Fireworks under the Act and includes fireworks showers, fountains, golden rain, lawn lights, pinwheels, Roman candles, volcanoes, and sparklers but does not include Christmas crackers and caps for toy guns containing not in excess of twenty-five one hundredths of a grain of explosive used per cap;

discharge” means to fire, ignite, explode or set off or cause to be fired, ignited, exploded or set off, and the words “discharged” and “discharging” have a similar meaning;

display firework” means an outdoor, high hazard, recreational firework that is classed as a subdivision 2 of Division 2 of Class 7 Fireworks under the Act, and includes rockets, serpents, shells, bombshells, tourbillions, maroons, large wheels, bouquets, bombardos, waterfalls, fountains, batteries, illumination, set pieces and pigeons but does not include firecrackers;

Fire Chief” means the Chief of Fire Services of the City or authorized subordinates;

firecracker” means a pyrotechnic device that explodes when ignited and does not make any subsequent display or visible effect after the explosion, and includes those devices commonly known as Chinese firecrackers; “fireworks” means display fireworks, pyrotechnic special effects fireworks and consumer fireworks;

Fireworks Supervisor” means a person who is an approved purchaser of display fireworks and who is qualified under the Act to supervise the discharge of display fireworks;

FPPA” means the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c. 4, as amended, and the regulations enacted thereunder as amended from time to time or any act and regulations enacted in substitution therefor;

Old Municipality” means the old municipalities of the City of Cumberland, the City of Gloucester, the Township of Goulbourn, the City of Kanata, the City of Nepean, the City of Ottawa, the Township of Rideau, and the City of Vanier, and “Old Municipalities” has a similar meaning;

prohibited firework” includes but is not limited to cigarette loads or pings, exploding matches, sparkling matches, ammunition for miniature tie clip, cufflink or key chain pistols, auto alarms or jokers, cherry bombs, M-80 and silver salutes and flash crackers, throw down torpedoes and crackling balls, exploding golf balls, stink bombs and smoke bombs, tear gas pens and launchers, party peppers and table bombs, table rockets and battle sky rockets, fake firecrackers and other trick devices or practical jokes as included on the most recent list of prohibited fireworks as published from time to time under the Act;

pyrotechnician” means a person who is certified under the Act as a Theatrical User, an Assistant, a Pyrotechnician or a Special Effects Pyrotechnician and is qualified to purchase and supervise the display of pyrotechnic special effect fireworks under the Act;

pyrotechnic special effect firework” means a high hazard firework that is classed as a subdivision 5 of Division 2 of Class 7 Firework under the Act and that is used to produce a special pyrotechnic effect for indoor or outdoor performances and includes black powder bombs, bullet effect, flash powder, air bursts, smoke compositions, gerbs, lances and wheels; and

sell” includes offer for sale, cause or permit to be sold and to possess for the purpose of sale, and the words “selling” and “sold” have a similar meaning.

Section 2 - Interpretation

  1. In this by-law:
    1. ) words importing the singular number only include more persons, parties or things of the same kind than one and the converse, and
    2. a word interpreted in the singular number has a corresponding meaning when used in the plural.
  2. It is declared that if any section, subsection or part or parts thereof be declared by any Court of Law to be bad, illegal or ultra vires, such section, subsection or part or parts shall be deemed to be severable and all parts hereof are declared to be separate and independent and enacted as such.

Section 3 - Sale of fireworks and firecrackers

  1. No person shall sell any firecrackers.
  2. No person shall sell any prohibited fireworks.
  3. No person shall sell consumer fireworks except on the following days:
    1. Victoria Day and Canada Day; and
    2. each of the seven business days immediately preceding Victoria Day and Canada Day.
  4. Every person in charge of a store shall ensure that fireworks displayed in store windows shall be mock samples only and not contain explosive composition.

Section 4 - Discharge of firecrackers and prohibited fireworks

  1. No person shall discharge any firecrackers.
  2. No person shall discharge any prohibited fireworks.

Section 5 - Consumer fireworks

  1. No person shall discharge consumer fireworks except on the following days:
    1. Victoria Day;
    2. the day immediately preceding Victoria Day;
    3. the day immediately following Victoria Day;
    4. Canada Day;
    5. the day immediately preceding Canada Day; or
    6. the day immediately following Canada Day.
  2. A person eighteen (18) years of age or older may hold a display of consumer fireworks on any land belonging to him or her or on any other privately owned land where the owner thereof has given permission for such display or discharge of fireworks.
  3. No person shall discharge any consumer fireworks in such a manner as might create danger or constitute a nuisance to any person or property, or to do or cause or allow any unsafe act or omission at the time and place for the discharging of any fireworks.
  4. No person shall discharge any consumer fireworks in or into any building, doorway, or automobile.
  5. No person shall discharge any consumer fireworks in or on or into any highway, street, lane, square or other public place.
  6. No person under the age of eighteen (18) years shall discharge any consumer fireworks except under the direct supervision and control of a person eighteen (18) years of age or over.
  7. No person being the parent or guardian of any person under the age of eighteen (18) years shall allow the person to discharge any consumer fireworks except when such parent or guardian or some other responsible person of eighteen (18) years of age or over is in direct supervision and control.

Sections 6 to 9 - Display fireworks

Section 6

  1. No person or group of persons shall hold a display of display fireworks in the City of Ottawa without first having obtained a permit to do so issued by the Fire Chief.
  2. No person or group of persons shall discharge any display fireworks in the City of Ottawa, without first having obtained a permit issued by the Fire Chief authorizing the display of fireworks.

Section 7

Every application for a permit shall be made to the Fire Chief a minimum of 30 days prior to the event when the proposed discharge of display fireworks is to occur.

Section 8

  1. Every application for a permit shall include:
    1. a description of the event including,
      1. the date and time of the proposed discharge of display fireworks;
      2. the type and kind of display fireworks that may be discharged;
      3. the discharge techniques to be used;
      4. the manner and means of restraining unauthorized persons from attending too near the discharge site;
      5. the manner in which unused display fireworks are to be disposed of; and
      6. the number of persons authorized to handle and discharge the display fireworks;
    2. a site plan providing a description of the discharge site to be used for the discharging of the display fireworks;
    3. a description of the fire emergency procedures;
    4. the name and address of the applicant and the sponsoring organization, if applicable;
    5. proof of certification of the applicant as a Fireworks Supervisor;
    6. proof of the consent of the owner of the property to the discharge of display fireworks in writing;
    7. a processing fee of $51.00;
    8. proof of insurance and indemnification in accordance with Sections 10 and 11; and
    9. such other information as required by the Fire Chief.

Section 9

  1. An applicant for a permit is, subject to the provisions of this by-law, entitled to be issued the permit, except where:
    1. the application is incomplete;
    2. the applicant is not a Fireworks Supervisor;
    3. the display is not being held under the auspices of an established club, association or group of persons;
    4. the purpose of the display is not of civic, national or international significance, or not of special significance for particular interest groups; or
    5. there are reasonable grounds for belief that the holding of the display of fireworks will result in a breach of this by-law or the Act.

Section 10 - Insurance

The applicant shall provide and maintain Commercial General Liability insurance subject to limits of not less than five million dollars ($5,000,000.00) inclusive per occurrence for bodily injury, death and damage to property including loss of use thereof. Such insurance shall be in the name of the applicant and shall name the City of Ottawa as an additional insured thereunder. Such insurance shall include permission to conduct displays of pyrotechnic special effects fireworks or display fireworks. Such insurance policy shall contain an endorsement to provide the City of Ottawa with (30) days prior written notice of cancellation or of a material change that would diminish coverage, and a Certificate of Insurance evidencing such insurance coverage shall be provided to the City of Ottawa prior to the issuance of a permit.

Section 11 - Indemnification

The applicant shall indemnify and save harmless the City of Ottawa from any and all claims, demands, causes of action, loss, costs or damages that the City of Ottawa may suffer, incur or be liable for resulting from the performance of the applicant as set out in the by-law, whether with or without negligence on the part of the applicant, or the applicant’s employees, directors, contractors and agents.

Sections 12 to 15 - Conditions applying to permit

Section 12

The Fire Chief may issue permits for displays of fireworks on the conditions set forth in Section 13, and each such permit shall state the name of the sponsoring club, association or group, the purpose of the display, the place and date at which the same may be held, and the name of the person under whose supervision the display shall be held.

Section 13

  1. The following conditions shall apply to the holding of a display of display fireworks under a permit issued under this by-law:
    1. the permit is valid only for the display at the place and on the date or dates set forth in the permit;
    2. the permit holder shall supervise the display of display fireworks;
    3. the permit holder shall discharge the display fireworks;
    4. every permit holder shall provide and maintain fully operational fire extinguishing equipment ready for immediate use; and
    5. the permit holder shall comply at all times with the provisions of the Act, FPPA and the Display Fireworks Manual published by Natural Resources Canada or any successor publication.

Section 14

No permit holder shall discharge display fireworks except in accordance with the conditions of the permit.

Section 15

The permit holder holding the display of display fireworks shall ensure that all unused fireworks and all debris are removed.

Sections 16 to 19 - Pyrotechnic special effects fireworks

Section 16

  1. No person or group of persons shall hold a display of pyrotechnic special effect fireworks in the City of Ottawa without first having obtained a permit to do so issued by the Fire Chief.
  2. No person or group of persons shall discharge any pyrotechnic special effect fireworks in the City of Ottawa, without first having obtained a permit issued by the Fire Chief authorizing the display of pyrotechnic special effect fireworks.

Section 17

Every application for a permit pursuant to Section 16 shall be made to the Fire Chief a minimum of 30 days prior to the event where the proposed discharge of pyrotechnic special effect fireworks is to occur.

Section 18

  1. Every application for a permit shall include:
    1. a description of the event including,
      1. a site plan of the facility and room capacity, the stage and the pyrotechnic special effect fireworks storage area;
      2. a list of all the pyrotechnic special effect fireworks to be employed;
      3. location of all pyrotechnic special effect fireworks;
      4. height, range of effect, fallout and duration of the display of pyrotechnic special effect fireworks;
      5. sequence of firing;
      6. location of the audience and all exits; and
      7. date and time of the proposed event using pyrotechnic special effect fireworks;
    2. description of fire emergency procedures;
    3. name and address of the applicant and the sponsoring business or organization, if applicable;
    4. proof of certification of the applicant as a pyrotechnician;
    5. proof of insurance and indemnification in accordance with Sections 10 and 11;
    6. proof of consent of the owner of the property to the discharge of pyrotechnic special effect fireworks in writing if the applicant is not the owner of the property;
    7. a processing fee of $30.00; and
    8. such other information as required by the Fire Chief.

Section 19

  1. An applicant for a permit is, subject to the provisions of this by-law, entitled to be issued the permit, except where:
    1. the application is incomplete;
    2. the applicant is not a pyrotechnician under the Act; or
    3. there are reasonable grounds for belief that the holding of the display of fireworks will result in a breach of this by-law, the FPPA or the Act.

Sections 20 to 23 - Conditions applying to permit

Section 20

The Fire Chief may issue permits for displays of pyrotechnic special effect fireworks on the conditions set forth in Section 21, and each such permit shall state the name of the sponsoring business, club, association or group, the purpose of the display, the place and date at which the display may be held, and the name of the pyrotechnician under whose supervision the same shall be held.

Section 21

  1. The following conditions shall apply to the holding of a display of pyrotechnic special effect fireworks under a permit issued under this by-law:
    1. the permit is valid only for the display at the place and on the date or dates set forth in the permit;
    2. the permit holder shall supervise the display of pyrotechnic special effect fireworks;
    3. the permit holder shall discharge the pyrotechnic special effects fireworks;
    4. the permit holder shall provide and maintain fully operational fire extinguishing equipment ready for immediate use; and
    5. the permit holder shall comply at all times with the requirements of the Act, FPPA and the Pyrotechnics Special Effects Manual published by Natural Resources Canada or any successor publication.

Section 22

No permit holder shall discharge pyrotechnic special effect fireworks except in accordance with the conditions of the permit.

Section 23

The permit holder holding the display of pyrotechnic special effect fireworks shall ensure that all unused fireworks and all debris are removed.

Section 24 - General regulations

Every holder of a display fireworks or pyrotechnic special effect fireworks permit shall produce his or her permit upon being so directed by the Fire Chief.

Section 25 - Offences and penalties

  1. Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of this by-law is guilty of an offence.
  2. Every person who is convicted of an offence under this by-law is liable to a fine as provided for in the Provincial Offenses Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter p.33.

Section 26 - Repeal

  1. The following by-laws of the Old Municipalities are repealed:
    1. By-law Number 71-88 of The Corporation of the City of Cumberland entitled “Being a bylaw to regulate the sale of fireworks within the Township of Cumberland and prohibiting the setting off of fireworks or any class thereof”;
    2. By-law No. 38 of 1972 of The Corporation of the City of Gloucester entitled “A By-law of The Corporation of the Township of Gloucester regulating the sale and setting off of fireworks”, as amended;
    3. By-law No. 74-29 of The Corporation of the Township of Goulbourn entitled “Being a bylaw to regulate and control Firecrackers and Fireworks”;
    4. By-law 62-88 of The Corporation of the City of Kanata entitled “Being a By-law of the Corporation of the City of Kanata respecting fireworks and firecrackers”;
    5. By-law No. 29-71 of The Corporation of the City of Nepean entitled “Being a by-law of the Corporation of the Township of Nepean respecting the sale and use of fireworks and firecrackers”;
    6. By-law Number 166-89 of The Corporation of the City of Ottawa entitled “A by-law of The Corporation of the City of Ottawa respecting fireworks and firecrackers”, as amended;
    7. Part VI entitled “Fireworks” of By-law No. 100-81 of The Corporation of the Township of Rideau entitled “Being a By-law to establish the Rideau Township Fire Department, to authorize various fire protection agreements, and to establish regulations and guidelines for the prevention of fires and the spread of fires in the Township of Rideau”; and
    8. By-law No. 1873 of The Corporation of the City of Vanier entitled “A by-law of The Corporation of the City of Vanier respecting the sale and setting off of fireworks”, as amended.

Section 27 - Short title

This by-law may be referred to as the “Fireworks By-law”.

ENACTED AND PASSED this 28th day of May, 2003.