Silver Bridge Vapes opened earlier in May at 588 Hurontario St., however building is not zoned for retail commercial use according to the Town of Collingwood
Concerned residents have raised the alarm about a vape shop that has opened across the street from Collingwood Collegiate Institute — concerns that have prompted a town investigation into the business.
Silver Bridge Vapes, at 588 Hurontario St., opened earlier in May. According to town officials, the municipality has fielded many calls since it opened from residents concerned that the shop is located across the street from the Collingwood high school, and down the road from Our Lady of the Bay Catholic High School on Collins Street.
Town officials told CollingwoodToday.ca this week the store may not be in compliance with the town’s zoning bylaw.
“Generally, a vape store is considered a retail commercial establishment per the zoning bylaw, which is not permitted at 588 Hurontario St.,” noted the town’s manager of communications, Christa Carter, in an email to CollingwoodToday.ca.
“An initial review of our records does not show any previous discussions with the property or business owner before the vape store was established. The town’s planning services and bylaw enforcement staff are currently investigating the matter further.”
According to Ontario law, vape stores are not governed by legislation or licensing through the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) that specifies where the businesses can and cannot locate. Specialty vape stores must be registered with the local board of health, however the registration process doesn’t hinge on zoning.
“There is also no approval at the town level for a change in tenancy, unless a planning application or building permit are required to facilitate a change in use, neither which were applied for in this case,” noted Carter.
Provincial law bans the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under 19 and federal laws ban advertising that promotes vaping as a part of a popular lifestyle, as well as youth-friendly e-liquid flavours like candy.
A study led by Professor David Hammond of the University of Waterloo found that between 2017 and 2018 Canada saw a 74% increase in vaping among youth aged 16-19, jumping to 14.6% from 8.4%. The study also found cigarette smoking among 16-19 year-olds in the same period increased to 15.5% from 10.7%.
According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation, one in five Canadian students in Grades 7 to 12 vapes and 34 per cent have tried it.
According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the health risks of vaping are not yet known because vaping devices have not been on the market long enough to be studied for both short- and long-term health effects. However, youth are especially at risk if they start to use e-cigarettes because nicotine can affect the developing brain.
Silver Bridge Vapes did not return a request for comment by publication time.