Toronto residents are being reminded that there will not be municipal fireworks displays taking place at Ashbridges Bay or in Stan Wadlow Park in East York on the night of Canada Day (Thursday, July 1) this year due to COVID-19 regulations.
As was the case in 2020, plans for the 2021 displays were cancelled by the City of Toronto earlier this year due to the ongoing pandemic. City permits for the Canada Day events were pulled much earlier this year to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
What residents also need to be aware of this Canada Day is that Toronto Council passed a motion earlier this month to make the possession of fireworks in city parks and on municipal beaches illegal.
This was done in an attempt to stop a repeat of what happened over the Victoria Day long weekend in May in which people were lighting off fireworks in parks and on the beaches till the early hours, over several days attracting large crowds and causing numerous safety concerns.
It has always been illegal to set off fireworks on public property in Toronto, but now even having them in your possession in parks or beaches is not allowed.
There is an expectation among city officials that there will be enforcement this new bylaw over the coming days as it does give police and bylaw officers legal authority to stop fireworks displays from even getting started in public spaces, since the fireworks will not be allowed to be brought into parks or on to beaches in the first place.
Fireworks displays are still allowed on private property, but only on the actual Canada Day date of July 1.
“Fireworks on private property may only be used without a permit on Victoria Day and Canada Day. To use fireworks on private property any other day of the year you must have a permit from Toronto Fire Services,” said the city on its website.
COVID-19 safety guidelines must still be followed at fireworks displays on private property.
For those planning fireworks displays on their own property, Toronto Fire Services has issued a number of safety tips:
- Purchase fireworks from a retailer displaying a city-issued fireworks vendor permit.
- Always read and follow the manufacturer’s label directions.
- Before fireworks and sparklers are used, they must be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer.
- Discharge the fireworks a safe distance from combustible materials such as buildings and trees.
- Before they are ignited, fireworks should be buried at least half their length into a bucket of sand if portable firing bases are not available. Plant the fireworks directly into the sand to make sure each piece is firmly supported and is aimed straight and away from the audience.
- Light the fireworks at arm’s length, stand back and keep your face turned away. If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to re-light it. Let it sit in the base for 10 to 15 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
- The adult igniting the fireworks must wear eye protection and avoid having any part of his or her body over the firework.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
- Never discharge fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- Never discharge fireworks indoors.
- If someone suffers a burn, run cool water over it for a few minutes and consider further treatment.
- In order to prevent an accident or injury, sparklers should be doused with water, or allowed to cool in a safe place away from children playing. The ends of sparklers continue to stay hot for some time and will easily burn a child’s skin, clothing or other nearby combustible material.
- Do not allow sparklers to be used indoors.
- Children make a great audience but they must never be permitted to light fireworks. Adults are responsible for handling the fireworks while spectators watch the display from a safe distance.
- One designated adult should ignite the fireworks.
- Ignited fireworks must never be hand-held.
- Light only one firework item at a time.
- Always have water on hand – a garden hose and bucket of water – to soak fireworks after they have fired.
- Used fireworks should be soaked thoroughly before disposing of them in your garbage bin. Fireworks should never go in recycling.
Please stay safe this Canada Day long weekend.
For more information on fireworks safety, please visit https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/public-safety-alerts/safety-tips-prevention/seasonal-and-holiday-safety/fireworks-safety/