Canada is one of the world friendliest countries; Canadians themselves have a well earned reputation for being friendly and polite, and the country is one of the most welcoming and safest places for travelers.
Being a laid back nation, there are many freedoms in Canada which can’t be enjoyed just south of the border; the drinking age is 19, unlike 21 in the USA, and there’s publicly funded health care.
But there are a few weird laws.
We’re not sure of the reasoning behind each of these, but some of them are so bizarre that we would definitely love to hear the story! Note that some of these are province / town specific.
7 Things to Avoid Doing in Canada: Weird Canadian Laws!
Don’t Whistle in Petrolia Ontario
If you’re among the 67% of people who can’t whistle, you have nothing to worry about in Petrolia, Ontario, But whether you’re whistling the tune to your favorite song, or trying to get someone’s attention, whistling is against the law!
Article 3, 772.3.6 on the town’s website says that “Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing is prohibited at all times.”
The law is in place to limit excessive noise between 11 pm and 7 am, though it doesn’t specify this in writing.
That said, we highly doubt you’d get a ticket!
Keep Your Coins
Ever built up a stash of 100 small coins, and decided to pay for your meal in 10 c pieces? Well, you can’t do it in Canada!
Canada’s Currency Act makes it illegal to use too many coins in one transaction. For instance, you can only use a maximum of 25 dollar coins, and can’t pay more than $5 in 5 cent pieces.
It’s highly unlikely that this one will get you into actual trouble, but as friendly as Canadians are, some may pull out this law if they don’t like accepting coin payments.
Leave Your Pig at Home
While emotional support animals from kangaroos to peacocks are now finding their way onto flights, you might want to leave your pet pig at home when visiting Canada’s National Parks, as entering with one is illegal.
According to Canada’s Domestic Animals Regulations, certain animals are banned from being brought into, or kept in, the country’s national parks. And with 48 national parks and national park reserves across the country, this is one of the main reasons to visit!
This law doesn’t just apply to pigs though, it also includes cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and even llamas.
Keep Your Snowman Small
Canada is well known for it’s winter season, with frigid temps and snowfall as much as six months of the year in the interior. And it’s a wonderland for everything from dog sledding, snow sports, and of course, snowmen.
But if you’re spending time in Souris, PEI, you’ll have to keep your snowman under 30 inches; it’s illegal to build it any taller!
Don’t Climb The Trees in Oshawa
Yes, we’ve all been known to climb a tree or two when traveling, whether you’re staying in a treehouse, or because there’s just a better view!
But if you’re in Oshawa, Ontario, this makes you an outlaw.
The bylaw states that: ‘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.’
Leave the F-Bombs at Home
Canadians are known for being polite, and when you’re spending time in the public parks in Toronto, you’ll be expected to emulate them!
It’s against the law to swear or curse in a public park in Toronto; the law states that ‘while in a park, no person shall indulge in riotous, boisterous, violent, threatening, or illegal conduct or use profane or abusive language’.
So leave the F-bombs at home!
Don’t Ride One-Handed
If you’re renting a bike in Ottawa, it’s madated that you must keep both hands on the handles.
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.
Have you broken any of these laws?
I’m Canadian and have never heard of these laws. Too funny! 🤣🤣🤣 As someone who has visited many a park in Toronto, I can swear (!) that particular law gets broken all the time. Yes, we are polite but still tend to use profanity liberally.
Haha we’re quite similar here in Australia :D
These quirky laws were an eyeopener to me. There used to be a show on TV years ago about weird Canadian Laws called “This is the Law” where skits were acted out silent movie style and the hapless lawbreaker would be arrested. The show featured a panel of Canadian comedians and I think contestants would have to choose which Canadian Comic was correct about the law that was being broken.
Perhaps it might be available on YouTube.
Thanks for a fun post!
Will definitely look it up, sounds fun!