How the Act Affects You

Sporting Areas

Revised January 1, 2015
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Dividing Line

The Basics

  • The Smoke-Free Ontario Act prohibits smoking tobacco in any enclosed workplace, any enclosed public places and certain outdoor places in Ontario.

Sporting Areas

Starting January 1, 2015, smoking is no longer allowed at publicly-owned outdoor sporting areas, spectator areas, sporting areas and public areas within 20 metres of any point of the edge of the sporting or spectator areas.

This applies to spaces:

  • owned by the province, a municipality, colleges and universities,
  • used primarily for sports, such as soccer, football, basketball, beach volleyball or skateboarding (with the exception of golf),
  • open to the public whether or not a fee is charged to enter.

Owner Responsibilities

The act requires owners and operators of these sporting areas to ensure that smoking laws are respected.  They are required to:

  • Give notice to the public that smoking is not allowed in smoke-free areas.
  • Post "no smoking" signs at entrances and exits to the smoke-free areas, in appropriate locations and in sufficient numbers to ensure that the public is aware that smoking is not allowed. 
  • Ensure that people do not smoke in the smoke-free areas.
  • Ensure that someone who refuses to comply with Ontario's smoking laws does not remain in the smoke-free area.


Local public health units will carry out inspections and respond to complaints regarding smoking on and around sporting areas.


Anyone caught smoking on or around these sporting area may be charged with an offence, and if convicted could face a maximum fine of $1,000 (for a first offence) or $5,000 (for any further offence). 

The owner or operator of a sporting area who fails to fulfill their responsibilities under the law may be charged with an offence, and if convicted, could face a maximum fine:

  • For individuals:  $1,000 (for a first offence) or $5,000 (for any further offence),
  • For owners:  $100,000 (for a first offence) or $300,000 (for any further offence).

This fact sheet is intended as a quick reference only and should not be considered to be legal advice. For more information, please contact your local public health unit.

You can also obtain information by calling toll-free:

  • INFOline 1-866-532-3161
  • TTY 1-800-387-5559

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

For specific information on smoking laws in and around sporting areas, contact your local Public Health Unit.

For more information on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website: