Art and Photography

Canadian law when it comes to photographing...

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 21st, 2008 12:52 pm
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 30, 2003
7242 posts
CSAgent wrote: Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in Canada.

Anyway, article C-46 of the Canadian Criminal Code from the Department of Justice Canada (

This ontario regulation disallows trespassing. You can not take photos on someone else's property unless the owner has permitted you to (if challenged, you must prove they permitted you in court). If you are permitted on the property, you must leave immediately if asked by the owner. You must also obey signs (no entrance, no trespassing, etc).

Without signage, the following should be assumed no-trespass:

any other land under cultivation
anywhere with trees planted that average less than 2 meters in height
anywhere that is built in a way that it implies intention of keeping people off the premises, or keeping animals on the premises (ie: fences) This is in relation to the cows...that the nutbar woman was claiming you were taking photos of.

With that in mind, you can enter any property that provides notice that certain activities are permitted, or implies permission to approach a door (for approaching the door only, of course).

If you are taking photographs in a mall, or some other privately-owned-but-open-to-the-public property, or have private security guards (movie theatres, art gallery stores, museums, electronics store, restaurants, etc.), they can essentially make up any policy or rules they want. There are no law with regards to this, you don't have to do what they say. However, they can simply ask you to leave... if you don't, you are trespassing on their property. They can also ban you from the property, in which case, if you come back, you're trespassing.

There isn't an official law for photographing privately owned animals on non-commercial private property...yet. Until then, keep in mind some people do not like their private property whether it be physical property of property of materials, or of animals to be photographed.
You're confusing trespassing laws, privacy laws, etc. When you're on private property, then no, you would not be allowed to take pix without the owner's permission. On a public road? Yes, you're allowed, with the exception of commercial use that was stipulated above.
My nick doesn't mean I'm happy any more than yours means you're a sex machine.
User avatar
Feb 26, 2006
475 posts
My understanding is that you're allowed to take pictures of anything visible from public property. People in public parks, and almost anything visible from the side of the road would be fair game (cows included).

The caveat to this is that if someone would have a reasonable expectation of privacy you can't take a picture of them. So your super-zoom lens to take an indoor picture of someone from far away would be dis-allowed, or spying on someone in their backyard from your 20th floor balcony would also be dis-allowed.

What a 'reasonable expectation' is is of course debatable, but common sense should allow you to figure out if the pictures you're taking are allowed or not.
Deal Guru
Feb 19, 2008
13500 posts
I was always under the impression that taking pictures of people or of people's property with out their consent was illegal

a friend of mine had the cops called on him because he was taking pictures of an old Mustang that they had parked in a driveway.... he was on a sidewalk in front of their house