Many laws have been put into place throughout Canada’s history, ensuring that citizens behave in a moral manner that’s beneficial to the entire country.

However, some of these laws were implemented for particular reasons and never removed, no longer making sense in the modern era.

Others were weirdly specific from the moment of implementation.

Whether you’re travelling to Canada and what to know what not to do, or if you’re just interested in some quirky trivia about the world’s second-largest country, here are some whacky but fascinating laws in Canada!

No painting your garage door purple in Kanata

In the Ottowa suburb of Kanata (which used to be part of Ontario before it merged with the capital), the council wanted to maintain a certain aesthetic on the streets.

And apparently, they had a vendetta against the colour purple – as they prohibited any residents from painting their garage door in this hue.

Any other colour was fine!

It was illegal to whistle in an Ontario town

In the Ontario town of Petrolia, which is around 280km from Toronto, it was illegal to whistle or sing.

This was put into effect in 1990, when a law stating “Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing is prohibited at all times,” was written.

Apparently, before then, the town was too noisy and it was an attempt at calming it down!

The rule was enforced initially, but it was actually repealed in 2009. Nowadays, you can whistle to your heart’s content!

Scaring the monarch is a big no-no

The British King remains the head of state in Canada (and in 14 other territories around the world); the intrinsic ties between Canada and Britain mean that they have some similar laws.

One of these is that it’s illegal to scare the King, which is seen as an act of treason (which is still very much a criminal offence in Commonwealth countries and others around the world!).

In fact, this rule was made official in Britain’s Treason Act of 1842 in response to when a man drew a gun on Queen Victoria and applies to all Commonwealth nations.

It’s unlikely that many people, in Canada, Britain or anywhere else in the world, will speak to the monarch in their lifetime – but just so you know, if you do, don’t give them a scare!

You can’t buy crime comics

Crime comics were made illegal in Canada in the 1940s.

This basically refers to any comic that depicts criminal activity in any form – and yes, that means that most of Superman, Batman and Wonderwoman’s adventures are technically illegal!

Much like the regulation of video games all over the world, this was put into place due to children reading them and authorities thinking they were more likely to make them commit crimes.

Many have argued that this law is outdated, as while crime comics used to be quite gory, nowadays they’re based more on fantasy.

The card game “three card monte” is illegal

The gambling regulations in Canada are – in a word – complicated.

They’re different throughout the country, with government-run online gambling platforms in some provinces, and an iGaming market in Ontario.

But one gambling-related rule the whole country seems to have in common is the legality of three-card monte.

You’ll have seen variations of three-card monte in TV shows and films. The player is encouraged to leave a sum of money and then are shown three cards, one of which is the “money card”. The cards are then laid, face down, on a table and moved around, and the player guesses which one the “money card” is.

With sleight of hand and other manipulation tricks, it’s basically always made impossible for the player to pick the “money card”.

Many look at this like a gambling game, but in fact, it’s a scam – and the entire of Canada has banned it. Playing it on the street can result in up to two years of jail time!

Duelling is prohibited

You can’t challenge anyone to a duel in Canada!

Back in the day, duelling was a common way to resolve disputes. Whoever won would win the dispute; but obviously, it could end badly for the losing party.

It was very rare for someone to turn down a duel that they had been challenged to, for fear of losing honour.

Duelling was criminalised in 1844 for men in the army and the Queen’s servicemen, but it was implemented into civilian law shortly after.

Nowadays, it still remains illegal; although even if it wasn’t, surely times have changed enough that most people would nowadays say no to a duel if challenged!


Like many countries around the world, Canada’s home to some quirky laws that never got changed, and others that are very niched on particular aspects of life and culture. Some of these are forgotten about by the authorities, whereas others still impact Canadian society, but do remember them if you visit the country or for your next pub quiz!




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