Are Forks Illegal In Canada? All You Need To Know

Forks are used every single day at literally every single restaurant across the country and are used numerous times per day in houses.  

So you may find it weird to ask “Are forks illegal in Canada?”, but it’s necessary information needed if you’re planning to visit Canada.

It’s difficult to believe, but the Canadian government has considered forks, specifically a carabiner fork which is hazardous enough to be considered a weapon and you could thus be fined $200 for carrying one in public.

So does this mean that every single restaurant could face a hefty fee merely for giving cutlery to their customers?

Keep on reading this article to find out.

Are Forks Illegal In Canada?: A Brief History  

Historically, in 1879, Canada adopted a rule requiring people to eat with specific utensils or with their hands.

Anyone who breaks this law will be fined $200, and although this law remains in effect with minor modifications, it is not strictly enforced.

A new rule came into force in Canada on January 1, 1996, that outlaws eating with bare hands in public places.  

Eating with a fork in public locations other than at home, or simply carrying one, became outlawed the same year.

The law has been loosened over time, and it is only recently that it has been taken seriously once more.

Below are some other forms of this law you need to be aware of:

  • Forks (particularly carabiner-shaped forks) are considered weapons in Canada and are thus prohibited.
  • In Canada, carrying or moving a fork is deemed unethical.
  • Forks are prohibited in public in Canada because the government believes that some people may decide to use them as weapons to threaten or stab others.
  • If you are discovered with a fork in a public area in Canada, you may face charges of illegal possession of a weapon.
  • Transaction forks (both online and offline) are likewise banned in Canada.
  • Selling pitchforks in Canada would be deemed an arms trade violation.
  • The fork can also be used for theft, burglary, or robbery, as it can replace deadly weapons.
  • If you are caught using a fork to conduct a crime, you could face harsh consequences.
  • In several Canadian jails and prisons, forks are considered contraband.
  • If you get caught with a fork in jail, you’re more likely to be punished with further charges.

This demonstrates that the government’s decision to prohibit the use of forks in public areas has been partially accepted.

Are Forks Illegal In Canada?

The myth that forks are illegal in Canada because of the Great Canadian Fork Fight of 1912 was debunked by the country’s aim to phase out all single-use plastic products by 2022.

But most knives are unlawful to be carried around, especially when they are for causing harm.

However, Canada has several strange laws, some of which may result in punishment, so you’ll need to be aware of these laws when visiting the country. 

Yes, it is illegal for Canadians to use, possess, or carry a fork in public.

As bizarre as this rule may appear, keep in mind that it was designed to defend the public interest.

Forks can easily be used as weapons, and there have been multiple incidents of forks being used to cause serious bodily injury in Canada.

Forks, on the other hand, are prohibited in public spaces because they pose a significant hazard to people’s safety.

Remember to leave your forks at home if you want to visit Canada, because if you are caught carrying a fork in a public location other than your house or a private place in Canada, you may be arrested or fined.

In 2015, the government decided to make the use of forks fully banned in public spaces to ensure public safety and minimize pollution.

Many Canadians consider a fork to be an essential utensil when eating, so the judgment taken at the time was highly contentious and sparked much debate.

But despite all the debate and discussion, the Canadian government stands by its decision.

The argument was rejected by the decision-makers, who emphasized that a fork is not always required because there are various other methods to eat without a fork.

The Myth Of Canada Fork Fight Of 1812

Last year, a myth went out that Canada prohibited forks because they’re considered weapons. 

The rumor arose after a viral video on TikTok claimed that using forks is banned in Canada, and they’re not available for sale in stores or on Amazon. 

This ban was connected to the Great Canadian Fork Fight of 1812, however, this is far from the truth, and no such conflicts happened. 

The video simply takes the Environment and Climate Change Minister’s 2020 announcement about banning all single-use plastic, including forks, out of context. 

This restriction on single-use plastic is part of the country’s goal of achieving zero plastic waste by 2030. 

Since plastic forks are single-use goods, they are part of the items on the list. 

Others include plastic bags, six-pack racks, stir sticks, plastic utensils, plastic straws, and food containers.

Like many other countries, plastic waste is a big problem in Canada, and most of this material, 91%, goes unrecycled. 

This isn’t unexpected considering much of the garbage is single-use plastic, especially in packaging materials. 

The federal government has stated that the ban on single-use plastic will go into effect in 2022.  

Which Kitchen Utensils Are Illegal In Canada?

The knife law is the closest thing to making a cooking tool illegal in Canada because carrying most blades is prohibited. 

The rule specifically applies to blades that can open automatically, such as any knife with a blade that opens automatically when centrifugal force is applied, gravity, or hand pressure on a button, spring, or other devices on the knife that causes it to pop open. 

A knife of this type will be deemed a weapon and confiscated, and there is also the possibility of a prison sentence for carrying such a weapon.  

Weird Laws In Canada

Forks may be legal in Canada but there are other weird laws such as:

1.You Can’t Move Alcohol Across Provinces

The Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, a law that stretches as far back as the prohibition period, forbids residents from transferring alcohol from one province in Canada to another. 

You can only move alcohol across provinces with the consent of the provincial liquor control board. 

And although this ban no longer applies to wines, all other alcoholic beverages are still prohibited.

2.  Limit On Number Of Coins

The Currency Act of 1985 in Canada restricts the number of coins that can be used in a transaction. 

If it’s a nickel, sellers can refuse to accept nickels up to $5, while for loonies, the limit is $25.

3.  Taxi Drivers Dress Code In Halifax

When you are self-employed, you can forego business casual workplace attire in favor of something more professional. 

But don’t start driving taxis in Halifax or you’ll be right back where you started, dressing professionally. 

The Regional Municipality of Halifax Bylaws for Taxis and Limousines, number 42 (a), says that drivers must wear shoes with socks and be neat at all times. 

So, if you’re a tourist, don’t be surprised if your driver is better dressed than you.

4.  Whistle Ban in Petrolia, Ontario

If you enjoy whistling, you should think twice about relocating to Petrolia in Canada because this city may put a halt to your enthusiasm. 

On the city website, you’ll find Article 3, 772.3.6, which forbids whistling, yelling, shouting, singing, and hooting between 11 pm and 7 am.  

5.  Don’t Attach Sirens to Bicycles in Sudbury, Ontario

Sirens on bicycles don’t make much sense when you think of it, but there are still a few people who prefer it. 

That’s why the city of Sudbury established a rule restricting the use of sirens on bicycles which has been in existence since 1973, with an imposed $5000 fine. 

If you need to warn others that you’re approaching, you’ll have to rely on your bell or horns.  

6.  Swimming Areas In Toronto Lake

If you want to be cool during your summer vacation in Canada, you may be tempted to head to leap directly into the water. 

But that won’t work here because the Toronto Port Authority requires that individuals only swim in the harbor’s permitted areas.  

7.  Dragging A Dead Horse

This may appear to be an idiom, but dragging a dead horse is prohibited in Canada and what’s more peculiar is that it’s only forbidden on Sundays.

8.  Carrying A Snake Around Your Neck

You could love owning snake pets, but not everyone shares that interest, that’s why the city of Fredericton, New Brunswick, r makes it unlawful to wear any reptile, including snakes, around your neck. 

However, if you have a container or cage for the animal, you’re set.

9.  Picking Trillium 

It is forbidden to pick this bloom, which is Ontario’s official flower. This only applies if the flower is discovered in a public park or conservation area. Pick as much Trillium as you want if it grows on your property.

10.  Illegal To Bring Some Animals Into The National Parks

When visiting a national park, you may want to bring everyone in the family, including your pets, but the national park guidelines limit the pets that can access the parks. 

Bringing goats, pigs, sheep, live poultry, or llamas into the park is prohibited and if you are detected, you may face a fine.

Conclusion 

There are no laws in Canada prohibiting the usage of forks privately, so forks are legal and widely used here. 

However, some knives are considered unlawful and some types of forks are prohibited, carrying them may result in a fine. 

Aside from that, Canada still has a few strange laws in effect that you may need to know before visiting.

FAQ

What cutlery is banned in Canada?

Canada now bans single-use plastic forks, knives, spoons, sporks, or chopsticks that contain polystyrene or polyethylene, or changes their physical properties after being run through a dishwasher 100 times.

Can a fork be a weapon?

A military fork is a pole weapon that was used in Europe between the 15th and 19th centuries.  

What country doesn’t allow forks?

The French ban on plastic picnic forks and wine goblets has big implications.

What can get you banned from Canada?

DUI (including DWI, DWAI, reckless driving, etc.)
Theft.
Drug trafficking.
Drug possession.
Weapons violations.
Assault.
Probation violations.
Domestic violence.

Is it rude to ask for a fork?

It’s perfectly appropriate and lots of restaurants now provide both or at least ask if anyone needs a fork.  

Why did the Catholic Church ban forks?

Some writers for the Roman Catholic Church say God in his wisdom had provided us with natural forks, in our fingers, and it would be an insult to substitute them for these metallic devices.

Why do Americans use a fork only?

In the 19th century, Americans thought that French customs were the height of civility, so they took up fork-switching.


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