Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Entry archive:

Do Canadians have the right to be naked? Add to ...

Ordering a double-double in your birthday suit would likely get you arrested under Canadian law – but that could change, if an Ontario man gets his way.

Brian Coldin, a self-described nudist, is fighting criminal charges after being naked at a Tim Hortons and A&W in Bracebridge, Ont. He will appear in court on Tuesday to argue that public nudity should no longer be a criminal offence, according to The Canadian Press.

Under section 174 of the Criminal Code, nudity in a public place - or exposed to the public while on private property - is illegal.

But Mr. Coldin’s lawyers are calling these laws unconstitutional.

“These laws violate freedom of expression and they are overbroad such as to punish all kinds of conduct that is completely harmless and shouldn’t be criminal,” Nader Hasan, one of Mr. Coldin’s lawyers, told The Canadian Press.

Employees at the Tim Hortons and A&W testified, saying Mr. Coldin’s genitals made them feel “uncomfortable,” according to The Canadian Press. The incidents are alleged to have happened between 2008 and 2009.

And three years ago, a man was arrested with his three-year-old son after cycling naked in downtown Vancouver.

In other parts of the world, the Netherlands and Spain are more relaxed about public nudity. But recently, Barcelona has cracked down on those going au natural. In April of this year, local officials passed a law banning nudity and “near nudity” (sounds curious, right?) in the city centre.

Do we all have a right to bare it all? Where do you draw the line on public nudity?

Follow us on Twitter: @globeandmail

 

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories