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

When fireworks are allowed

In Waterloo, you can set off fireworks from dusk until 11 p.m. on these recognized holidays:

  • throughout Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year
  • Victoria Day (including one day before and one day after)
  • Canada Day (including one day before and one day after)
  • throughout Diwali or Deepavali

Rules around fireworks

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

The fireworks you set off must be what we define as family fireworks. These are low-hazard fireworks for recreation. They include but are not limited to:

  • roman candles
  • fountains
  • pinwheels
  • 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 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 pets, infant children, work a different schedule, or may be triggered by the noise fireworks make.

If you are planning a firework display, notify your neighbours so they can plan ahead. It may be an uncomfortable event for them or their pets.

Reporting a noise complaint

When reporting a noise complaint for fireworks, it is important that you have a specific address.

It can be challenging for our bylaw officers to lay any charges 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 and how the wind will affect the fireworks.

Waterloo is surrounded by woodlots that are important to our ecosystem. We must protect this space for animals and plant species. Fireworks have negative impacts on both people and wildlife.

Birds can abandon their nest and chicks, lose their hearing, and in severe cases, face death. Fireworks contain chemicals that are harmful to our water system and to animals nearby.

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. Animals will be less affected by the disruptions while it is dark.
  • away from trees, nesting areas, bird houses or areas where wildlife live

After your fireworks display, make sure to clean up any leftover residue.

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 want to have fireworks, you must apply for a noise exemption and get approval from our municipal enforcement team. You can find more information on how to apply on our noise exemption page.

If you want 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 that is allowed to set off those fireworks.