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Legal lenght or style, carry knife in Canada

May 25, 1999
I'm new here and to the forum, but does anyone know the legal limits for a carry knife in Ontario? Prefer fixed blade.
no length limit. but concealement is illegal. If you are going hunting in ontario in the woods, no big deal. But expect to get hassled if you are wearing it on your belt in the city hehe.
Jadis has pretty much summed it up. But just to add a few points: if your knife is a folder make sure that it can't be flicked open "too" easily. If you're ever asked to demonstrate opening the knife, do it slowly and with two hands. The knife itself may be legal, but the fact that it snaps open can possibly get it taken away. Also, be sure to have a good explanation as to why you have the knife (preferably one that does not suggest menacing intentions). Althought I often forget myself, remember to "unload" prior to entering a drinking establishment.

Something else to keep in mind Codegra is that "push daggers" were recently banned here in Canada. Besides, I'm always cautious around the OPP.

P.S. Where are you in Ontario? I live in London, just moved here 2 years ago from Halifax, N.S.

I lived in Toronto for several years. Be prepared for some over the top reactions to almost any knife. The attitude toward weapons of any sort is a little different. I was born and raised in Texas. I've carried a pocket knife for as long as I can remember, with never a second thought. However, one day in Toronto a large, tough
corrugated carton showed up at the office.
I took my Buck 110 out and made short work of
the box. When I looked up my 3 office mates
were literally cringing against the wall. After that I switched to a medium sized Swiss Army knife for everyday carry. The Customs Canada Police (the highest police
authority in Canada) are the most likely to give you grief. Your mileage may vary.

Thank you for this opportunity to shamelessly plug my book: Canadian Law: Self Defence and the Martial Artist wherein I have studied the Criminal Code of Canada and all the appeal court cases - the cases which have changed the law by means of a judges opinion and decision - that are pertinant to the topic. I covered the justified use of force, weapons offences, assaults and lots of others.

The CCC is federal and applies to all provinces but each province, municipality, city, or town can make a law about knives for their own jurisdiction.

The actual code only prohibits any knife that opens automatically by gravity or centrifigal force or by any button and spring arrangement...the ones JasonW refers to. Just about any folder can be opened this way with practice and it is owning the knife that is illegal, not the method of opening it.

The code also gives the Gov. in Council the right to prohibit weapons and they prohibited: (sharp items only) shuriken, finger rings, belt buckle knives, push daggers, and knife combs.

Section 2 of the CCC has recently changed the definition of 'weapon' from anything used or intended to be used to cause death or injury, etc... to the more open anything used, designed to be used or intended for use in causing death or injury etc..., (italics added.)

This means that some objects may be classed as weapons by what it looks like while other similar objects may not. Blood grooves, daggers (two edges), military styles, tantos, and knives advertised as weapons or with ferocious names like 'Terminator' may be enough to do it. But in fact, the way it is written: Any knife is now potentially a weapon anywhere in Canada and all weapons laws apply.

The point is that the people that will be deciding if the serrations on you spyderco clipit make it a weapon and its one hand opening makes it prohibited, will be police, lawyers, prosecutors, and judge and jury, not a weapons expert!

Also, it is illegal to take a weapon to a public meeting or to conceal it but it can be used to to stop a fight by its display and Canadians have the right to carry a non-prohibited weapon to deter an attack, if it isn't concealed.

The topic gets even trickier when you get to the judges decisions about weapons but that is another long story...

The Fighting Old Man

[This message has been edited by Sochin (edited 06 June 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Sochin (edited 06 June 1999).]
Here's some additional info from a previous thread, which includes Cliff Stamp's links to Canada's knife laws.


Sochin, please give us more information about where and how to purchase your book.
Last I heard, which was about 7 months ago, you only had it available through private sale. I'm sure there are many Canadian knife knuts out there who would like clarification on the various knife laws. Am I correct in my memory that the book also includes examples that have been tried in the courts?

When I used a case to show how the law evolved or to show how there can be two conflicting streams in the law at the same time, or even just to give an example of the law and its use, I wrote up a summary of the case, complete with legal references so you can go to the local law library (University or court house) and look it up.

The only thing I couldn't do was to research all the local laws (esp. about knives) nor the local cases that never made it to the appeals court level...they are not written up in the law reviews so you must go to each individual court to research them!

I sell it privately because the scope is too narrow for the general public and no publisher wanted it. I've given up on COD - the post office has lost too much of my money - and cheques take so long to clear - I'm advised to wait 2 weeks - - -

that money orders are just the best way to go...the order arrives and the order goes back out! I'm asking $18.95 +$5 for shipping and heavy duty envelopes for a total of $23.95

Send to:
Ted Truscott,
Yama Neko Dojo,
3672 Happy Valley Rd.
Victoria, BC,
V9C 3X1
The Fighting Old Man

[This message has been edited by Sochin (edited 06 June 1999).]