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Published April 8, 2024

Fireworks banned in Orillia except for special events

Small-scale events and fireworks to ring in New Year in City of Barrie

City councillors in Orillia have enacted a fireworks bylaw that bans fireworks within the municipality effective immediately.

The bylaw was approved at Monday's council meeting and restricts the discharge of fireworks to special events approved by council.

"The decision to ban fireworks in the city, with the exception of council-approved special events, comes after careful consideration of various factors, including public safety concerns, environmental impacts, and feedback from residents," said Mayor Don McIssac.

McIssac said they heard from many community members about the challenges that are experienced with residential fireworks including excessive noise, smoke and debris, impacts to those with traumatic stress disorders or who are sensitive to noise, and the impacts to wildlife and pets.

"We hope the new bylaw will address concerns from our residents," he added.

 Under the new bylaw, members of the public are prohibited from discharging fireworks citywide on any day and organizations wishing to hold a fireworks display must seek council approval and go through a special event permitting process to do so. Fireworks will only be permitted to be discharged at Couchiching Beach Park through a special event permit.

Currently, the only special event with approval to discharge fireworks is the Canada Day Committee that hosts the Canada Day festivities and fireworks on July 1 each year.

The unlawful discharge of fireworks, under the new bylaw, could result in an inspection fee of $200 to be paid by the property owner and up to a $50,000 fine for the persons held responsible. If the fireworks result in a fire, additional services would have to be paid by the property owner as a result of the response by firefighters.

Members of the public can report the discharging of fireworks to the Ontario Provincial Police through their non-emergency line at 1-888-310-1122.

Organizations that would like to apply for a permit to discharge fireworks should contact Recreation Services at bookings@orillia.ca or 705-325-3506.

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