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sarah h 06-13-2011 06:42 PM

WFO legal Woes - Ottawa, Ontario
Hi Gang,

So, what is it - three, four years after my build?

We fired up the oven last Friday for the first time this season and got a visit from the fire department. :eek: Now, this is the same fire department whose assistant chief told us no problem, enjoy, when we looked into regulations prior to building. In this ever-more-restrictive day & age however, we are now being told using our oven is not allowed.

When I asked which of our city bylaws prohibited it, I was told that is in fact the provincial Ontario Building Code that pertains to open air burning. when I pointed out that this would mean that all of the wineries in the province that have recently installed wood-fired pizza ovens would be required to shut them down, they back-pedaled into municipality interpretation and enforcement.

I think they're full of it. Clearly, they want to shut us down, but I don't feel we come under the open-air burning regulations that are currently in place and am not about to fold so easily. Still, it's going to be a battle to hang onto the right to light my oven. Now they're saying I should have got a building permit first, which I was told I did not need back when ...

I'll keep you posted and, in the meantime, welcome your suggestions.


mfiore 06-13-2011 07:47 PM

Re: WFO legal Woes - Ottawa, Ontario

I'm really sorry for your problems. Similarly, our city officials did not feel it warranted a building permit when I started the oven. Likewise, the fire officials were fascinated, and actually asked for a dough recipe.

Now, they are cracking down on open fires in the county. So far, any fire that is used for the purpose of cooking seems to be OK. I'm worried, though, that this will soon change. I'm really careful about my start up fires, using only clean dry wood, so as not to generate too much smoke.

I'd check the wording of your laws. I can't believe that fire used for the purpose of cooking food would be banned. Perhaps some supporting details about how well insulated the oven is, with a contained fire. (I have seen more dangerous flames with my neighbors using a kettle charcoal grill and lighter fluid). Point out that when the fire is hot, there is really little, if any, smoke emission. Perhaps even invite them over to see the process and inspect an oven in work. Pizza and beer never hurts too much.

Please keep us posted with your progress. I hope someone with more legal experience can chime in.

Tman1 06-13-2011 07:55 PM

Re: WFO legal Woes - Ottawa, Ontario
Figures.... I think you're on the right track with 'which bylaw?". Keep pulling that out until they show you exactly which rule they think you're breaking.
Now, is an enclosed oven, an 'open fire'? It's completely contained so the two are in contradiction of one another. I highly doubt they have specifically referenced WFO's, so you may want to get out the dictionary to determine the meaning of the word, then use that against them.
I would also say that if you can't have a fire, nowhere in the province of Ontario could there be a camp fire... that's more open than your oven!
In all, someone (neighbor) has complained and now they have the upper hand,unfortunately. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Common sense has been lost... good luck!

Kiwi_in_canada 07-05-2011 08:29 PM

Re: WFO legal Woes - Ottawa, Ontario

im in bracebridge, ON and in the process of building my own oven. i looked into the bylaws for open air burn in my area and it has a section stating a bbq is any manufactured or masonary product and not goverened by the bylaw... well that was my interpretation of it anyway.
maybe this helps, maybe not

Boozer 08-28-2011 01:17 AM

Re: WFO legal Woes - Ottawa, Ontario
Hi Sarah

We have also had problems with our bylaws. I would argue your case but if all else fails try the charcoal fire up. We did this with great results and although you will be compromising, you will hopefully not be in any violation. Be warned though, you need a full 15lb bag with the odd wood slithers to get it to the temperatres neede to make pizza. Good luck

Penny and Carl

david s 08-28-2011 01:32 AM

Re: WFO legal Woes - Ottawa, Ontario
You could explain that it is not "open air burning" as the fire is enclosed. I have been thinking that perhaps a mesh door on the front to prevent any sparks or coals falling out the front might also help to argue that the fire is fully enclosed.

Faith In Virginia 08-28-2011 07:44 AM

Re: WFO legal Woes - Ottawa, Ontario
These are the regulations as far as I can see. Looks like section 8.3 pertains to

Forest Fires Prevention Act - O. Reg. 207/96

Neil2 08-28-2011 04:08 PM

Re: WFO legal Woes - Ottawa, Ontario
Move west.

Tman1 08-28-2011 07:31 PM

Re: WFO legal Woes - Ottawa, Ontario
There's a guy doing it at farmer's markets in Ottawa. How's he getting away with it? still stupid!

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