May 21, 2004

Toronto, York, Durham and Peel celebrate June 1st launch of smoke-free bylaws in the GTA


TORONTO The City of Toronto and the Regions of York, Durham and Peel celebrated the June 1st launch of smoke-free by-laws within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) at a special event held at Union Station this morning.


"Smoke-free public places are good for health, good for communities and good for business," said Councillor John Filion, Chair of the Toronto Board of Health. "People prefer to breathe clean air and now they have the opportunity to go out and enjoy smoke-free restaurants and bars throughout the GTA." 


In a mock bar setting, Councillor Filion; York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch; Durham Regional Chair Roger Anderson; and Peel Regional Chair Emil Kolb were joined by comedienne Jessica Holmes, supporter of smoke-free environments for the nightclub and entertainment industry, in toasting a smoke-free GTA.

"Collaboration is what drives success in any kind of project," said Peel Regional Chair Emil Kolb. "The co-ordinated Smoke-Free By-laws of Toronto, York, Durham and Peel bring a new standard in health protection to the residents of the GTA." 

"It is a fact that smoke-free by-laws make our communities a healthier place to live and work," added York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch. "Research has proven that smoke-free public places not only reduce exposure to second-hand smoke, but also discourage young people from starting to smoke, as well as support smokers who want to quit."


In Toronto, York and Peel, the bylaws have been implemented using a phased-in approach, with the final phase taking effect in June. On June 1, 2004, bars, casinos, billiard and bingo halls, race tracks, night clubs and adult entertainment lounges in the GTA will be smoke-free.  In Durham, June 1st marks the date for all public places and workplaces to be smoke free.


"Through the public consultation process, we heard that there was strong support for a Regional by-law regulating smoking in public places and workplaces," said Durham Regional Chair Roger Anderson. "Durham Region Council heard this message and responded with a by-law that addresses the concerns and wishes of our community."


See attached Fact Sheet for more information.


- 30 -




Susan Sperling, Toronto Public Health (416) 338-7974

Wendy Lewis, York Region (905) 830-4444 or (416) 297-9696, Ext. 1238

Glendene Collins, Durham Region (905) 723-8521, Ext. 2290

Janet Eagleson, Peel Region 905-791-7800, Ext. 2124

Back to top