10 of the weirdest housing and property laws in Canada

Jul 28 2022, 1:36 pm

Owning a home in Canada comes with myriad rules and regulations, but there are several strange and little-known laws that govern what you can, and can’t, do on your property.

From the length of your grass to the colour of your garage door, RE/MAX has rounded up some of the weirdest homeowner laws in Canada.

Some will make you neighbourly, some will make you laugh, and some will make you question how such a law was passed.

Check out 10 of the strangest housing and property laws in Canada, below.

In Canada’s capital city, it’s illegal to paint your house or garage door purple. A purple door in Ottawa, or its suburb of Kanata, is punishable by a fine, according to Donnell Law Group.

Purple is perfectly legal in Beaconsfield, Quebec, but according to RE/MAX, painting your house more than two colours will get you sued in the Montreal suburb.

More peculiar paint laws take us to Alberta, where, under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Code, it’s illegal to paint a wooden ladder. The rationale is that a fresh coat of paint could disguise an old, and therefore unsafe, ladder as new and sturdy.

Another Alberta-wide law prohibits keeping rats as pets; in fact, thanks to the strict Rat Control Program, the province has been free of the rodents since the 1950s. In Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, you’re only allowed four pet rats per household.

Across the province in Victoria’s Oak Bay neighbourhood, you can get up to a $1,000 fine if your parrot — or any bird — is too loud. You can keep as many snakes and lizards as your heart desires in Fredericton, New Brunswick, just don’t flaunt them in public.

Over in London, Ontario, if your lawn gets higher than eight inches a city worker will come and mow it for you. Lazy landscapers beware — the city will send a bill.

You can’t choose any sunny Saturday to hold a garage sale in Toronto. Under a city bylaw, a home can only hold two garage sales per year, and each one can only last two consecutive days. All signs advertising the sale must be removed once it’s over.

You also can’t sell other people’s belongings, or an item purchased specifically for the purpose of reselling at a garage sale.

And in Souris, Prince Edward Island, you can build all the small snowmen you want without consequence, but if you live on a corner lot, your Man of Ice and Snow must be under 30 inches tall.

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