Harsher smoking ban hits Ottawa Monday

Starting today, bylaw enforcement officers are warning Ottawans not to smoke on patios and all outdoor municipal properties.

Smoking prohibited on patios, city property but bylaw officers to only issue warnings

City's head of by-law services Linda Anderson explains how expanded rules will be enforced. 3:37

Bylaw enforcement officers are warning Ottawans starting Monday not to smoke on patios and all outdoor municipal properties such as parks and beaches.

The new rules apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is the beginning of the warning phase.

As of July 2, bylaw officers will have the authority to issue provincial offence notices that carry fines up to $300.

Greg Smith laughed about the changes.

"I'll take my car and go out in a field about 10 km out of town and have a smoke," he said, "because that's where we're heading."

Jim Livingstone has been smoking for 30 years.

"I'm going to abide by it, but it doesn't necessarily mean I'll like it," he said.

At the Sir John A pub on Elgin Street, supervisor Meghan Brennan said she is not concerned about business, but is worried about safety.  

"On a busy Friday night, having 20 to 25 smokers on the sidewalk, disrupting traffic coming up and down the street, would be more of a problem than having a designated smoking section where people can sit," she said.

City council voted in favour of the changes in February.