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December 3, 2004
By-law prohibits smoking in enclosed outdoor patios
  
Toronto restaurant and bar owners have been warned that it is illegal to allow
smoking in enclosed outdoor patios. The warning was contained in a letter sent
by Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, to all the City's
bars and restaurants this week.

"Although a very high percentage of Toronto's bars and restaurants are
complying with the No Smoking By-law, we have a small number who try to get
around it," said Councillor John Filion, Chair of the Board of Health. "To
protect the health of the public and to be fair to all the businesses who are
following the rules, we need to take firm action against those who aren't."

The By-law does not allow smoking in bars or restaurants, except in approved
designated smoking rooms. While inspections show that almost 98 per cent of
bars and restaurants are following the rules, there have been cases since the
start of the cold weather where smoking is occurring in enclosed outdoor
patios. This is prohibited under the by-law.

"We sent out the letter this week to make sure that the rules are clear,"
Filion said. "Anyone who continues to allow smoking in enclosed outdoor patios
will face serious consequences."

In addition to being charged under the by-law, Filion said those who allow
smoking in enclosed outdoor patios could lose their permission to operate a
patio on city property. Those who refuse to comply with the by-law may also
have their license revoked by the City's Licensing Tribunal.

Since June 1st, enforcement staff inspected 16,126 restaurants and bars and
found only 353 violations, for a compliance rate of 97.8 per cent during the
first six months of the final phase of the by-law.

By-law enforcement staff will focus on ensuring enclosed outdoor patios meet
the By-law requirements over the next several weeks. The letter to
owners/operators and a backgrounder of frequently asked questions about the
By-law are available at www.toronto.ca/health.


Media contacts:
Councillor John Filion, 416-395-6411
Frank Giorno, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974



 

 

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