Find out when you can set off fireworks in Waterloo, rules around setting of fireworks, how to report loud noises from fireworks and the environmental impacts from fireworks.

On this page

  1. When fireworks are allowed
  2. Rules around fireworks
  3. Respectful firework displays
  4. Reporting a noise complaint
  5. Environmental impacts
  6. Firework outside celebration days

When fireworks are allowed

You can set off fireworks in Waterloo one day before and one day after until 11:00 p.m. the below recognized holidays:

Lunar New Year – February 10, 2024
Victoria Day – May 22, 2023
Canada Day – July 1, 2023
Diwali or Deepavali – November 12, 2023

Rules around fireworks

Fireworks add an element of excitement to a celebration. Make sure excitement doesn’t lead to injury.

It's important that fireworks you let off are what we define as family fireworks. These are low hazard fireworks for recreation. They include but are not limited to:

  • roman candles
  • fountains
  • pin wheels
  • volcanoes
  • other similar fireworks

They do not include:

  • Christmas crackers
  • paper caps containing not more than twenty-five one-hundredths of a grain of explosives

Fireworks must be set off on private property where you are the owner or have written permission from the owner. The person setting off the fireworks must be 18 years of age or older.

Learn more about fireworks in Waterloo by reading our Fireworks Bylaw.

Respectful firework displays

When lighting fireworks it is important to think of those around you. They may have pet’s, infant children, work a different schedule, or may be triggered by the noise fireworks make. Fireworks can be loud and it's important to be mindful of where you're letting them off.

If you are planning a firework display, it is best to notify your neighbours so they can plan ahead if this will become an uncomfortable environment for themselves or their pets.

Reporting a noise complaint

It is important when reporting a noise complaint for fireworks that you have a specific address.

It can be challenging for our bylaw officers to lay any chargers related to fireworks because the people setting off fireworks are often gone once the officer arrives. This is especially true with fireworks set off in a public place. We do not want this to prevent anyone from reporting.

Report a noise complaint by calling 519-747-8785.

Environmental impacts

It is important to be aware of your surroundings when setting off fireworks. This includes how dry the surrounding land is, how the wind will affect the fireworks and the landscape surrounding you.

Waterloo is surrounded by woodlots that are important to our ecosystem. It is vital that we protect this space for the native animals and plant species. In the same way that fireworks have an adverse effects to some people, they effect our wildlife the same way.

Birds can abandon their nest and chicks, loose their hearing and in severe cases, cause death. Fireworks contain chemicals that are harmful to our water system and to the animals close by ingesting the chemicals.

How to reduce your environmental impact

Consider the environmental impact you have when setting off fireworks. You can help by setting off fireworks:

  • away from water systems
  • after dusk as this is the main feeding time for many animals. During the dark animals will be less affected by the disruptions
  • away from trees, nesting areas, bird houses or areas where wildlife live

Ensure that the residue from the fireworks are cleaned up once your display is finished.

Below is a map that identifies the woodlots. Be aware of these areas when you are setting off fireworks.

Map of Waterloo that includes medium and large streets with zones identified that are environmental sensitive policy areas, Regional significant woodlands and environmentally sensitive landscapes

Fireworks outside celebration days

If you're interested in hosting an event and would like to have fireworks you must apply for a noise exemption and get additional approval from our municipal enforcement team. You can find more information on how to apply on our noise exemption page.

If you are looking to put on a fireworks show beyond family fireworks then an individual with a certificate from the Ministry of Natural Resources is the only person able to set off those fireworks.