Canada’s weirdest laws: it’s illegal to swear in a Toronto park

If you are found swearing in a Toronto park you could face a fine of over $200.
If you are found swearing in a Toronto park you could face a fine of over $200. (Photo: REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Dagnabbit!

If you find yourself in a Toronto park and the urge comes upon you to utter a profanity or two, you may want to stifle your mouth or you could be faced with an irritated bylaw officer.

See: Canada’s weirdest laws: climbing a tree in Toronto is illegal

That’s right, it’s against the law to use profanity in a public park in Toronto as per the Toronto Municipal Code: “While in a park, no person shall: (1) Indulge in riotous, boisterous, violent, threatening, or illegal conduct or use profane or abusive language.”

The kicker is that if you are found swearing in a park you could face a fine of over $200.

While it doesn’t look like anyone has actually been arrested for daring to say a swear in a public park in Toronto, people in other cities haven’t fared so well when in public places.

A Halifax, N.S., man was arrested for swearing in public. The arrest happened while he was attending a protest against Bill C-51 where he was alleged to have shouted obscenities into a megaphone. It seems the criminal law also doesn’t look favourably on swearing in public.

What about cursing in a foreign language? The law doesn’t elaborate on whether the restriction only affects profanity in the English language. However, if the bylaw officer, or a police officer, understands that language or knows what the foreign swear means you could still find yourself in trouble.

So if you are out in public and really feel the need to swear, consider these popular alternatives: Snickerdoodle, Jumpin’ Jiminy, and Kitty whiskers!

Find a Lawyer