What are the laws regarding smoking cannabis in my apartment or condo?
In general, the cannabis smoking laws will be consistent with the tobacco smoking laws.
The Smoke Free Ontario Act says that you may not smoke in elevators, stairwells, hallways, parking garages, laundry facilities, lobbies, exercise areas and party or entertainment rooms. This applies to both condos and apartment buildings.
However, there are currently no laws that prohibit a person from smoking in private residences. Apartment owners and condo corporations are free however to set restrictions in rental agreements, leases and bylaws, including making individual apartment units, wings, or entire buildings smoke free.
Condos must amend their by-laws if they want to create non-smoking buildings, which will be entirely permissible if they do. Similar to condo buildings that restrict pets.
Apartment buildings can include provisions in their leases to restrict smoking, however, it is not entirely clear whether this will be upheld by the Landlord and Tenant Board. The issue will be the nuisance or disturbance caused to the other residential units as a result of the smoking. If neighbours are complaining, then the landlord can serve a notice on the basis of interference with reasonable enjoyment of the rental unit and seek eviction. The crux though, is that they would have to prove a nuisance or disturbance; they cannot evict because they alone do not like that you are smoking.
So, can you smoke cannabis in your apartment or condo unit?
With respect to condos, unless the condominium board has amended their by-laws to restrict smoking in individual units, you are permitted to smoke both tobacco and cannabis. With respect to apartment buildings, unless neighbours are complaining of disturbance from your smoking, you are permitted to smoke both tobacco and cannabis in your unit of your apartment building.
In terms of growing, both apartments and condos can restrict the growth of pot in private dwellings outright. You do not have a ‘right’ to grow, even though it is legal. Condos can do this through enacting or amending their by-laws; apartment buildings can restrict this in their lease agreements.
It is important to note that there is no right to smoke enshrined in Canadian law. Although smoking is a legal activity, people do not have the right to smoke in any manner they choose and it must be consistent with Ontario law, which is explained above.
-Shira Kalfa, BA, JD, Partner and Founder
© Kalfa Law 2018
The above provides information of a general nature only. This does not constitute legal advice. All transactions or circumstances vary, and specified legal advice is required to meet your particular needs. If you have a legal question you should consult with a lawyer.