Kitchener Backyard Campfire Ban - Firepits
The City of Kitchener, ON, still allows burning wood in backyard campfires (firepits, chimineas and outdoor fireplaces) in small residential backyards. Under the new proposed by-law being voted on in March 2013 (effective April 1, 2013, if approved) fires could burn in Kitchener backyards from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The setback to property lines or flammable objects would continue to be only 5 m.

Waterloo\'s solid-fuel, open-air ban came into effect on January 1, 2012. It is not legal to burn wood in firepits, chimineas or outdoor fireplaces in backyards in that city.

Cambridge has banned backyard campfires from residential properties since 1986. Cambridge has a burn permit system, however, a 150 m. setback to buildings is required for proper dispersal of smoke before it leaves the property.

Kitchener residents deserve public health, public safety and environmental protections that only a ban will provide.

It is unacceptable to expose unwilling neighbours to secondhand wood smoke pollution. We should also be able to enjoy our yards and houses between the hours of 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. without having to smell smoke.

The time is NOW to stop the air pollution caused by these backyard wood fires burning in the name of fun.

We, the undersigned, call on the Mayor and Council of Kitchener, ON to ban solid-fuel, open-air burning from residential backyards.

Please provide your name, address, council member\'s name (if desired) and your comments.
This update was added to the petition statement on September 29th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Thanks to everyone who has signed so far. Our petition is just getting started and will be open for the next few months.

I will be speaking as a delegate at the Kitchener council meeting pertaining to the firepit by-law in either February or March, 2013.

Subdivision name or postal codes are fine instead of addresses.

This update was added to the petition statement on October 1st, 2012 at 2:25 pm

If your family members share one internet account, it is fine to sign up each family member separately using the one account.

Also, if some of your neighbours or friends do not have computers at home and they would like to sign the petition, please sign them up using your email account.


This update was added to the petition statement on October 2nd, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Please verify the email address that you sign the petition with to make sure that it is correct. You will receive a confirmation email for each signature submitted to that email account.

You may sign all family members up using one email account. If your friends or neighbours lack a computer and they wish to add their names to the petition, please sign them up on your email account.

Email addresses will not be included in any type of list.

The printed off copy of this petition will include only names, postal codes, and comments.

Please make sure your comments are polite, and apply to the recommendation to ban or severely limit backyard campfires in Kitchener.

Duplicates or impolite comments will be deleted.

If you live in a location other than Kitchener, please indicate your postal code and CITY. We realize that some Waterloo homes are affected by cross-boundary smoke.


This update was added to the petition statement on October 29th, 2012 at 10:16 pm

We need some answers from Waterloo Region Public Health Department.

Why did Waterloo Region Public Health add a wood smoke position statement to their websie in July 2012 without advising Kitchener residents of this new information since firepits were on the agenda for the August 27 Kitchener council meeting?

Waterloo Region Public Health Department added Quick Stats, updated August 28, 2012, to their website the day after the August 27 Kitchener council meeting.

Kitchener\'s asthma rate for residents over the age of 12, 2007-2010, is 10.2% compared to Cambridge\'s rate of 7.8% and Waterloo\'s rate of 6.7%. Waterloo\'s
rate is considered too variable to be reliable.

These Stats Can asthma statistics was copied and pasted from PDF file on October 19, 2012 at 3.15 p.m.

Prevalence According to the World Health Organization, "asthma is now a serious public health problem with over 235 million sufferers worldwide2
According to Statistics Canada, 8.5% of the population (aged 12 and over) have been diagnosed as having asthma (2010).3

Asthma is most common during childhood and affects at least 13% of Canadian children4

Asthma continues to be a major cause of hospitalization of children in Canada.5

Attack Prevention
Many acute attacks in children with asthma are preventable. One Canadian household survey found that half of children with asthma reported that household pets triggered or worsened their disease yet 41% had a dog and 36% had a cat inside their home. Similarly, children with Asthma were exposed to second hand smoke, yet smoke was identified as worsening their asthma.6 "

We need some answers from our experts.

Why was Waterloo\'s setback 10 m. prior to wood firpits being banned from Waterloo backyards, effective January 1 of this year? Kitchener\'s current setback is only 5 m.

Please mention this petition to your friends and family.

This update was added to the petition statement on November 14th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thank you to everyone who has signed so far.

We need to know why:

* No public meetings were held for the public to voice their concerns and views about the backyard campfire issue.

* There were 3 council meetings held this year where delegates spoke about the backyard firepit debate. None of these meetings were televised on the local channel.

* Kitchener Fire Department not have a ticketing system in place to penalize offenders even though the Firepit By-law has been in place since 2006/2007. The Fire Chief mentioned at the August 27, 2012 that the application process for a ticketing system has been started.

This update was added to the petition statement on January 1st, 2013 at 8:59 am

Two recent ads in The Classifieds of The Record advertised fire wood for sale at $68 and $75 per cord of wood. Wood as a fuel is very polluting with only burning dung and crop stubble burning being worse. Even coal is more clean-burning.

When open air burning occurs in Kitchener backyards, here is the analysis of how local air quality around homes is being affected:
Woodburning Facts ality/noburn.html

For every cord of wood burned you are putting the following amount of pollutants into the air we all breathe:
402 pounds of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). VOCs aid in the formation of ground level ozone.
443 pounds of Carbon Monoxide (CO).
4.6 pounds of Nitrous Oxides (NOx). NOx aid in the formation of ground level ozone.
0.7 pounds of Sulfur Oxides (SOx). SOx are components of acid rain.
Pollution from one home heated by wood for one year equals
400 homes heated by oil or natural gas
one car driving for 130,000 miles (208,000 km)

Backyard campfires are adding to local air pollution, and they need to be banned in 2013.

This update was added to the petition statement on January 18th, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I will be presenting additional arguments for getting these wood-burning firepits/chimineas out of Kitchener backyards at a Standing Committee meeting before March prior to the council meeting when the vote on the new draft by-law will occur.

I discussed the wording of The Region\'s wood smoke statement with Public Health, and it was updated as at Dec. 2012. A link to the Health Canada website has been added.

I am in the process of investigating how Public Health updates are being issued to the taxpayers of this city.

I have also commented on the bullying and intimidation of neighbours that occurs as a result of these backyard campfires.

Thanks to everyone for signing!

This update was added to the petition statement on January 19th, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Thank you for signing.

If you would also like to contact City or Regional representatives, here is contact information:

The Office of the Mayor and Council, please call 519-741-2300 or email all of city council at

Fire Headquarters: 270 Strasburg Rd. General Inquiries Phone: 519-741-2496

Region of Waterloo Public Health General Inquiries Phone: 519-883-2000

Most Recent Signatures
2460Reylene Greenwood
2459Armand Krehler
These smoky fires don't belong in backyards in Kitchener.
2458Nancy White
2457Joanna Cole
These campfires never belonged in backyards in this city and should be banned.
2456Vic Steblin
Wood smoke is like shooting in city limits, should be illegal.
2455Jim Hirst
all woodburning should be banned like Montreal's new bylaw
2454Linda Morelli
Go camping.
2453Bob Allan
Stanley Park
2452Ryan Morris
2451Shirley Brandie
To be forced to breathe toxic wood smoke from a neighbour's campfire is beyond belief. This outdated and dangerous addiction has to be ended.
2450Susan Haase
Kitchener Forest Hill - I should not have to close my windows to keep our wood smoke.
2449Bryan R.
2448Maddie Simpson
2447Chris Allan
2446Susan Bellamy
N2B 3S8 Go camping where there are no houses.
2445Maria Garcia
N2G 3W7 Smoky air makes me feel sick.
2443Bob Pellier
2442Rob W.
Victoria Park
2441Steve Morella
2440Anne Conway
2439Amany Roy
I don't like smoky air in my house.
2438Ron Armstrong
Go camping like people used to do.
2437raquel lima
2436Erika Klein

» view all signatures

Petition Details
Created By: Ingrid Sienerth
Created On: September 22nd, 2012
Target: 2600 citizens who care about health, public safety and our environment
Category: Health

Total signatures: 2460
Signature goal: 2600

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