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Thread: Laws pertaining to metal detecting use (criminal code of canada)

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  1. #1

    Nov 2007
    5

    Laws pertaining to metal detecting use (criminal code of canada)

    Ive been recently told by an ontario archeologist that there is NO law pertaining to the use of metal detectors in the province of Ontario ,or any other Canadian province that he knows of. Ive been looking into the criminal code of Canada for any ,but cant find any laws prohibiting theyre use .Its puzzelling why the Niagara parks commision trys to prohibit this sport amongst responsible detectorists ,yet there is nothing mentioned on there website (prohibited in parks catagorie) about the use of detectors .Does anyone know of a person that has been in trouble detecting responsibly in ontario ?? Or do we just hear the rumores ?

  2. #2

    Jun 2012
    7
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I was asked to stop digging in parks and Kingston,Kingston being historical they said that is the city bylaw and could be charged under O.H.A.But i was also told that i could detect in the water.

  3. #3

    Dec 2012
    2
    Hey folks,


    Your archeologist friend is partially correct. There is no law against metal detecting in Ontario. There is a law against putting a shovel in the ground to dig up what makes it beep.

    The Ontario heritage act (sect. 48) forbids conducting archeological field work without a permit or the removal of any artifact or physical evidence of past human activity. It also prohibits diving (human or remote submersible) within 500 meters of a known site or conducting any kind of survey of said site. This distance may be increased for designated sites. For example the Hamilton and scourge ships in Lake Ontario.

    The only times it doesn't apply are in normal agricultural or property maintenance work. Also it does not apply on sites where a complete archeological dig has been conducted and a report submitted and held on file at the ministry declares the site to no longer be of any historical value.

    The Niagara parks commission lands and adjoining parks canada lands are designated sites. They are on the watch, on land and in the Niagara river. They will normally just explain this to you and send you on your way. They do have the power to seize anything you have dug up and can press charges up to 1 year in prison and or $50,000. I have also see the US Coast Guard use depth charges to force salvage divers in the Niagara River to surface. - I'm afraid I do not know the US laws or what authority they acted under to do this. ( but it was interesting to watch!)

    I encourage you to read the Ontario laws for yourself here: http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/sta...o18_e.htm#BK83

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    MINELAB XS-2 Pro ....... XTERRA 305 ....... EXPLORER SE PRO

    Dec 2003
    S.W. Schuylkill County
    46,392
    5521 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    forbids conducting archeological field work without a permit
    What if your not doing it for archeological purposes & just doing it for exercise ?, Profit ?
    Fun ? Curiosity ?

    Seriously don't you have to be a trained archeologist to be considerd doing archeological field work ?


    I know Probably apples & oranges, But just a bit of sarcasm
    Last edited by jeff of pa; Dec 17, 2012 at 04:45 PM.

  5. #5
    ca
    Oct 2011
    Quebec
    3,477
    2232 times
    Metal Detecting
    Mike K.

    Just keep away from historically designated sites and you should be good to go....detect public parks, school yards and sports fields and you should be ok.

    Regards + HH

    Bill

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    MINELAB XS-2 Pro ....... XTERRA 305 ....... EXPLORER SE PRO

    Dec 2003
    S.W. Schuylkill County
    46,392
    5521 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by bill from lachine View Post
    Mike K.

    Just keep away from historically designated sites and you should be good to go....detect public parks, school yards and sports fields and you should be ok.

    Regards + HH

    Bill
    Just say your recreating

  7. #7
    ca
    Jun 2013
    Bounty hunter Discovery 1100
    18
    2 times
    Metal Detecting
    its funny, i can dig at an abandoned school property or a church yard but i cannot dig at the beach...go figure!

  8. #8
    us
    May 2013
    Ecuador
    981
    562 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    The question is not what laws permit MD; but what laws prohibit, limit, or regulate MD.
    And the point made above is good, MD is often not the issue, digging up what it finds is how they persecute (word fully intended) you.

  9. #9
    Just learn the flow and go with it because if you look for trouble you will find it.
    gold diggr likes this.

  10. #10

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    6,118
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    Banner Finds (3)
    There is no shortage of places (like you're saying for your Canadian area, for instance) that have NO laws that say anything about metal detectors. Ie.: No prohibitions or rules. HOWEVER, that's not to say that someone can't morph something ELSE to apply. Usually the dreaded "alterations" and "defacement" type verbage (d/t the necessary temporary evil of extraction). To which I would say that all such verbage about alterations and such apply to the END result. That is: if you leave no trace of your presence, then presto, you have not alterED or vandalizED anything, now have you? Sure, someone can take issue with that interpretation and semantics. Of course. But for pete's sake, were you planning on wearing a big red "x" on your back, going at high noon, waltzing over beach blankets, begging for attention?

    Or another thing someone might morph to apply, is the cultural heritage type verbage ("archaeological stuff") that capt-cook alludes to. But again, for pete's sake, were you planning on parading your historically sensitive stuff you find for all to see and know about? I mean, you're only finding NEW stuff, and just looking for that boyscout ring your dad lost when he was a kid there, right?

    Bottom line is, if we all ask long enough and hard enough, of enough deskbound bureaucrats and bored rangers, you can ALWAYS finds yourself a "no", even for the most innocuous of modern sandboxes. There can ALWAYS be something morphed to tell you "no", when someone connects dots in a number of various ways. But the REALITY is, detecting goes on all the time, and 99% of the time, as long as you're not being a nuisance, and snooping around obvious monuments in front of archies, no one cares. Oh sure, there might be a certain "hot spot" (a particular ranger or particular park you're told "scram" from). Just avoid those one spots, or one person. But no, I do not interpret that as "broad rules" or to mean that "the entire city, or state or country" etc... is off-limits.

    One time, many years ago, a guy I know was hunting a school yard in a city near me. An after-school janitor spotted him, and came out to boot him. The skittish md'r was getting ready to leave, but asked the janitor: "well how about the school down the street, can I go there?" The janitor .... getting irritated.... says "no, not there either". So the md'r says ... "hmm, ok, then how about the park downtown, can I detect there?". At this point, the janitor was getting even more irritated and just blurts out "you can't do that anywhere in this city, it's not allowed on any city land". So the dejected md'r left with his tail between his legs. He spread the word to other hobbyists in our area that "detecting in such & such city is illegal". And some of those other md'rs took him at his word (afterall, how do you argue with a duly-appointed city official?). Many years after this happened, in about 1979 or '80, some buddies of mine started working a park in that town, and were finding gold old silver. I joined them, and we were all doing pretty good, night after night, whenever we cared to go. But in the back of my mind, I couldn't help but remember, from years earlier, that this town was supposedly "off-limits". But no one ever griped, nothing was ever said (as long as we used obvious tact and discretion in our timing, stayed neat, didn't "stick out", etc...). Now that was 30+ yrs. ago, and to-this-day, you can detect any park or school in that town, and not have a problem. So from this story, you can see, that SIMPLY because one person (even a cityhall person you're asking, or a city person or ranger booting you, etc...) who says "you can't do that here", DOESN'T MEAN MUCH TO ME. So unless I personally see an actual rule that says "no metal detectors", I will detect.

    Now SURE, of course use common sense, and give lip service and comply with whomever "has an issue". I mean, sure, if you return 30 minutes later, and the same person sees you, then ... duh ... that's not wise. But on the other hand, someone simply saying "you can't do that", to me, does not constitute law. To me it means: just avoid that one person, or park for awhile.
    gold diggr likes this.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  11. #11
    ca
    Jun 2013
    Bounty hunter Discovery 1100
    18
    2 times
    Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View Post
    There is no shortage of places (like you're saying for your Canadian area, for instance) that have NO laws that say anything about metal detectors. Ie.: No prohibitions or rules. HOWEVER, that's not to say that someone can't morph something ELSE to apply. Usually the dreaded "alterations" and "defacement" type verbage (d/t the necessary temporary evil of extraction). To which I would say that all such verbage about alterations and such apply to the END result. That is: if you leave no trace of your presence, then presto, you have not alterED or vandalizED anything, now have you? Sure, someone can take issue with that interpretation and semantics. Of course. But for pete's sake, were you planning on wearing a big red "x" on your back, going at high noon, waltzing over beach blankets, begging for attention?

    Or another thing someone might morph to apply, is the cultural heritage type verbage ("archaeological stuff") that capt-cook alludes to. But again, for pete's sake, were you planning on parading your historically sensitive stuff you find for all to see and know about? I mean, you're only finding NEW stuff, and just looking for that boyscout ring your dad lost when he was a kid there, right?

    Bottom line is, if we all ask long enough and hard enough, of enough deskbound bureaucrats and bored rangers, you can ALWAYS finds yourself a "no", even for the most innocuous of modern sandboxes. There can ALWAYS be something morphed to tell you "no", when someone connects dots in a number of various ways. But the REALITY is, detecting goes on all the time, and 99% of the time, as long as you're not being a nuisance, and snooping around obvious monuments in front of archies, no one cares. Oh sure, there might be a certain "hot spot" (a particular ranger or particular park you're told "scram" from). Just avoid those one spots, or one person. But no, I do not interpret that as "broad rules" or to mean that "the entire city, or state or country" etc... is off-limits.

    One time, many years ago, a guy I know was hunting a school yard in a city near me. An after-school janitor spotted him, and came out to boot him. The skittish md'r was getting ready to leave, but asked the janitor: "well how about the school down the street, can I go there?" The janitor .... getting irritated.... says "no, not there either". So the md'r says ... "hmm, ok, then how about the park downtown, can I detect there?". At this point, the janitor was getting even more irritated and just blurts out "you can't do that anywhere in this city, it's not allowed on any city land". So the dejected md'r left with his tail between his legs. He spread the word to other hobbyists in our area that "detecting in such & such city is illegal". And some of those other md'rs took him at his word (afterall, how do you argue with a duly-appointed city official?). Many years after this happened, in about 1979 or '80, some buddies of mine started working a park in that town, and were finding gold old silver. I joined them, and we were all doing pretty good, night after night, whenever we cared to go. But in the back of my mind, I couldn't help but remember, from years earlier, that this town was supposedly "off-limits". But no one ever griped, nothing was ever said (as long as we used obvious tact and discretion in our timing, stayed neat, didn't "stick out", etc...). Now that was 30+ yrs. ago, and to-this-day, you can detect any park or school in that town, and not have a problem. So from this story, you can see, that SIMPLY because one person (even a cityhall person you're asking, or a city person or ranger booting you, etc...) who says "you can't do that here", DOESN'T MEAN MUCH TO ME. So unless I personally see an actual rule that says "no metal detectors", I will detect.

    Now SURE, of course use common sense, and give lip service and comply with whomever "has an issue". I mean, sure, if you return 30 minutes later, and the same person sees you, then ... duh ... that's not wise. But on the other hand, someone simply saying "you can't do that", to me, does not constitute law. To me it means: just avoid that one person, or park for awhile.
    Man, i like how you word things
    That was very well put!
    I couldnt agree more. I am school number 2 and i am enjoying myself. I go out in the evening after it cools down a bit and detect.
    Nobody ever bothers me. I think if i don't go around with a flashing neon sign on my head, i'll be ok.
    Thanks for posting

  12. #12

    Jul 2013
    3
    1 times
    If I were to MD off of a not so popular trail in a forrest there wouldn't be any problem right?

  13. #13

    Sep 2013
    2
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    so are you saying that you can not MD at the beach. I am heading to CA in a week and a half to Leamington,ON,N8H3E5 and I see a beach. I was going to take a my Md with but is it not a good idea

  14. #14
    Charter Member
    us
    *************** WHAT YOU DO WITH THE FINDS YOU DIG UP IS YOUR BUSINESS AND NO ONE ELSES, IGNORE ANYONE ON A SOAPBOX TRYING TO PREACH OTHERWISE! **************

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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty.fawcett View Post
    so are you saying that you can not MD at the beach. I am heading to CA in a week and a half to Leamington,ON,N8H3E5 and I see a beach. I was going to take a my Md with but is it not a good idea
    Take your detector and go hunt the beaches.....

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2




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  15. #15

    Sep 2013
    2
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I just hope it comes in by then. Starting to wonder if its gonna be here on time.

 

 

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