News Flash Opinion

Illegal Fireworks Sets Off Issues For Caledon Residents

Written by Skid Crease

All was quiet in the evening darkness as a neighbour and I walked our dogs, on leash, through Fountainbridge Park to Allen Drive. Suddenly the sky was filled with a series of startling bursts of colour accompanied by thunderous booms.

My companion’s dog was so terrified, he broke his leash and took off through the park. Mine nearly pulled my arm out of its socket as he bolted frantically to get away from the explosions that continued non-stop. He tugged me all the way down Highmore towards our street as the barrage amplified.

There on the corner of our intersection a man was lighting off his fireworks right on the public boulevard beside his house. These were not minor fireworks, these were major light shows – the kind that make crowds “OH”and “AH” on Victoria Day and Canada Day.

The problem was that it was neither of these two days. Those two days are when fireworks can legally be set off in Ontario and Caledon. On those two days people with pets, the elderly in home hospice, the recently arrived from war torn countries, families with very young children, and persons recovering from PTSD can close their doors and windows and keep a modicum of quiet inside their homes until the assault is over.

The adult offender in this case had picked July 4th to celebrate, forgetting perhaps that he lives in Canada. He was either ignorant of Ontario law and Caledon’s by-laws regarding fireworks, or stupidly selfish. I suspected the latter as he became aggressively defensive when we exchanged words about stopping the display. He quieted down shortly thereafter when he received a letter I sent him that I had copied to the Town, the Caledon OPP, and the Caledon Fire Department who actually enforce the by-law. He no longer set off displays after that day.

But the barrages continued over the next two weeks of July. There were large displays coming from the North Hill section of Bolton, and the occasional small local burst from a variety of young teens in Fountainbridge Park and the Allan Drive Middle School parking lot. When I informed one of the teens about the laws of the land, he replied, “But we didn’t get to light them all on Canada Day.” “Gee,” I replied, “I guess you’ll have to keep them dry until July 1st next year.”

And during the recent Diwali festival, came another fireworks incident while my wife was out walking our dog. She quickly brought the terrified animal home and went back to speak with the youths. It soon became apparent that they were not celebrating Diwali when one of them told her that he was lighting fireworks because it was his birthday. She informed them about Ontario law and the Town’s by-laws. Instead of apologizing for setting off an illegal fireworks display, the two young boys proceeded to tell her to do obscene things to herself, and then quickly scuttled off into the darkness.

To accommodate diversity, the Town of Caledon is looking at amending its Fireworks By-law to include cultural celebrations that traditionally include fireworks, like the Chinese Lunar New Year and Diwali. However that By-law, like many things delayed by pandemic priorities, has not come before Council for approval.

Unless the organization or person is a licensed pyrotechnic engineer with a permit, like say at Canada’s Wonderland, there are only two days a year that the general public can legally set off fireworks. Those two days are Victoria Day and Canada Day. Period. Further, you must be at least eighteen (18) years of age to purchase fireworks.

If you notice any illegal fireworks displays that are disturbing the peace in your neighbourhood, get the location and inform Caledon Fire at Similarly, if you notice vendors selling to underage youth, notify both the Caledon OPP at 905-584-2241 and Caledon Fire. And if you are a parent setting off illegal displays, or providing fireworks illegally to youth, learn the laws or face the consequences.

Ignorance is not knowing what the offending behaviour is; stupidity is knowing but continuing the offending behaviour anyway. It’s time for some of our neighbours to smarten up.

The way I see it

Editor’s Note: The author has received an email from Caledon Fire stating “Regarding your fireworks by-law inquiry, a report regarding a new fireworks by-law is going to Council on November 30, 2021.”



About the author

Skid Crease

Skid is an internationally respected, award winning educator, author, keynote speaker & storyteller. An environmental & outdoor education specialist. Accredited member Canadian Association of Journalists. “Always leave your campsite cleaner than you found it.”

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  • Thank you for this article, it covers almost every issue I have with the illegal fireworks we experienced on Diwali in Caledon last week, plus my concern on fire hazards in the rural areas. Since it was illegal, there were no regulations on duration and fire power. It was disheartening to watch my 2 rescued dogs terrified and inconsolable, they had been through hell in life before their rescue from a breeding farm, while I held them close but did not know how long the explosion and sparks would stop. Please ban residential fireworks in Caledon.

    • Hi MC. Skid asked us to convey the following: “Concerned citizens can have the opportunity to make a delegation to Town Council regarding the new Fireworks By-law when it comes before Council. Lauren Dell Mattia, the Administrative Assistant at Caledon Fire and Emergency Services passed on the following timeline: “Once the report gets approved by at the senior management level, it will be placed on Councils agenda and posted on the town website prior to the Council meeting. This information is typically available five (5) – seven (7) days prior to the next council meeting. Please check the website for updates beginning the week of November 22, 2021.”

  • I sure hope the bylaw to allow fireworks to happen on the holiday of Diwali and the Chinese New Year are passed quickly. We may all share and enjoy the festivities of the fireworks- for those with pets whom are skittish and fearful of same will know the dates when they will happen and be able to provide their pet with a safe quiet place in their home

  • Noise pollution at its best. I’ll never understand why fireworks are necessary. There are nice LED displays now that don’t cause harm to anybody’s ears or wellbeing.