Picnics in the Park: What’s Allowed and What’s Not?

Legal News
Share
Print

Am I allowed to smoke cannabis in a park? Can I grill veggie burgers on my new barbeque? How about a few beers with my friends? And is my puppy welcome? Here are a few rules you must follow.

Important: rules in national, provincial or regional parks may differ from the ones explained here. Each municipality may set its own rules as well. You should contact the municipality or park in question to see what rules apply.

Smoking tobacco

No provincial law prohibits you from smoking tobacco in a park. However, you can’t smoke in a children’s play area or on a sports field. Indeed, you must be at least nine meters away from such areas when you smoke, even if you’re smoking an electronic cigarette.

But you should check for any signs. Some municipalities may prohibit smoking in parks.

Smoking cannabis

Smoking or vaping cannabis is prohibited in all public spaces in Quebec.

This means you can’t smoke in parks, on sidewalks, on bicycle paths or in any place that’s accessible to the public.

However, municipalities can adopt rules allowing people to smoke cannabis in certain parks.

Using a barbecue

In Montreal, barbecues are permitted in many municipal parks, as long as you stay in designated picnic areas. If your barbecue uses charcoal, you must choose a picnic area equipped with a place to dispose of ashes.

Quebec City’s website indicates that gas barbecues are permitted in certain parks. However, in Laval and Longueuil, barbecues are prohibited.

Drinking alcohol

In Montreal, drinking alcohol is only permitted while having a meal in a picnic area. However, the law does not define what a “meal” is.

In Quebec City, it is permitted to drink alcohol in certain parks if it accompanies a meal. However, it’s not allowed after 8 pm.

In Longueuil, drinking alcohol in parks is prohibited, according to the municipal website. It’s also prohibited in Sherbrooke.

Rules may differ for certain events, such as festivals, which may obtain permits allowing for alcohol consumption.

Bringing your dog

In Montreal and Quebec City, dogs are generally allowed in parks, as long as they are kept on leashes. But you should check for any signs. There may be some areas where dogs are not allowed.

Important! You must always respect public health measures in effect due to COVID-19. Failure to do so could result in a fine. Check the Quebec government’s website for the rules that apply in your region.