Disclaimer and Revision History

Canadian Photography Laws » Disclaimer and Revision History


  • This is not legal advice.
  • I am not a lawyer.
  • This is simply my interpretation of the laws surrounding photography.
  • Information and Links are provided as-is, with no warranty, neither stated, nor implied.
  • The laws that are applicable to you may vary by city, province and country.
  • Not every law will apply to you, depending on your location and the type of photography you do, and there may be others that I have not discovered yet.

Notable Quotes

The following individuals have kindly contributed quotes that provide further insight into the laws surrounding photography:

“I am unaware of any laws that prohibit the taking of pictures of anything that is viewable in a public venue. The only restriction that I would see if a person was to take photographs of the interior of a private dwelling or business while on the public right of way. There is nothing to prohibit the taking of photos of buildings, public transit vehicles or even accidents. Although some people may find it distasteful in having their picture taken in public, I am unaware of anything that would prohibit it. The exception would be of course if someone is physically accosted or obstructed so that a picture can be taken.There may be restrictions on persons taking pictures where the public is welcome but the property is private, such as a mall or a sporting complex. Although the public is welcome, there may be restrictions on the taking of pictures…. it is best to check with the administrative staff that owns or controls the property.

With that said, there is nothing to prohibit a person from taking civil action against a person for taking a picture especially if the picture is subsequently published in a less than favourable light. Whether or not the person succeeds is dependent on the courts.

Bottom line……… if it is viewable to the public, I see nothing wrong with taking a picture of it.”
– Superintendent Dave Pickford, Windsor Police Service

Work in Progress

This page is a work in progress. If you find something that I have missed, or misinterpreted, you can contact me at: tyler@ambientlight.ca.

Did this information help you out? Would you like to help? If so, then you can help by forwarding links to laws that are missing. Many, many thanks to all who have contributed.

Revision History

4.3 Jan 14, 2013 Updated Copyright Act with changes in Bill C-11 and Citizen’s Arrest with Criminal code changes in Bill C-26.
4.2 June 30, 2012 Minor updates to some confusing wordings.
4.1 February 13, 2011 Printable PDF added, contributed by Randy Bodendorf.
4.0 January 26, 2011 Major rewrite, re-categorized, overview section.
3.8 November 23, 2009 Added BC Laws, thanks to Keith R.
3.7 November 23, 2009 Added Securing Evidence, thanks to Paul Nielsen.
3.6 April 28, 2009 TTC URL fixed. Thanks to Patrick Casey.
3.5 January 18, 2009 Updated links again, much reorganization, minor layout changes, changes to Security of Information Act, other minor changes.
3.4 July 10, 2008 Table of Contents, Layout changes.
3.3 April 17, 2008 Saskatchewan’s Privacy Act added, thanks to Bran Everseeking.
3.2 April 12, 2008 Update to layout, minor edits and rewordings.
3.1 November 21, 2007 Quote from Supt. Dave Pickford. Thanks to JC Sullivan, and Councillor Dave Brister for making this possible, and Supt. Dave Pickford for the quote.
3.0 July 25, 2007 New layout by scope, numerous updates and new sections. Thanks to Stacey Katz for a Quebec perspective.
2.3 March 11, 2007 Tom Asquith pointed out that one of the examples could be seen as Extortion.
2.2 February 4, 2007 Criminal Voyeurism and wording clarifications of false accusations as suggested by Norman Soley, clarification on Ownership section – links broken by laws.justice.gc.ca redesign again.
2.1 November 12, 2006 Reorganization and relocation of Civil Law section, minor rewrite of some sections, repaired links broken by laws.justice.gc.ca redesign.
2.0 August, 2006 Rewrite
1.0 N/A Initial Revision