The board of Ottawa's only municipal campground has voted to extend the City of Ottawa's anti-smoking bylaw to its site, except for overnight campsite rentals.

Ottawa's chief medical officer of health sent a letter to the board asking them to adopt the city's updated anti-smoking bylaw at the west Ottawa campground, which runs along Corkstown Road between the communities of Bells Corners and Kanata


Don Murphy says it will be difficult to enforce the outdoor smoking ban at his campground. (Ryan Gibson/CBC)

The city expanded its bylaw to parks, beaches and patios April 3 with a warning period that lasts until July 2. But the city could not ban smoking on the campground, according to the municipal act, because its own board runs it.

"We've really had a no-smoking policy for some time, said campground manager Don Murphy, who is also on the board. "We don't allow smoking in the washrooms, Laundromats, office, store."

However, that policy did not extend outside or to the individual campsites. Now, the policy covers common spaces and the open air pavilion.

Campground ban tough to enforce

An outdoor ban will be difficult, campers say, due to the large acreage and need for more patrol. There are also numerous bonfires that can confuse those looking for smoke.


Ottawa's chief medical officer Dr. Isra Levy sent a letter to the Ottawa Municipal Campground Authority asking for them to amend the municipal act in order to enact an outdoor smoking ban. (CBC)

"If you got a pit over there and it's smoking, what's the difference between that and smoking. It's wrecking your health," said camper Gale Schneider.

Murphy did say there are few smokers who come to his campground. He added the issue would be about whether the campground is a park or a residence.

"Whether it's an RV or a tent, it's still their residence," he said. "What they do in there I don't think I can say anything about."