Canada's Nudity Law Upheld; Ontario Man Found Guilty in Nude Drive-Thru Incident: Ontario Court Upholds Canada's Nudity Law

Article excerpt

BRACEBRIDGE, Ont. - An Ontario court has upheld Canada's public nudity law, ruling Thursday that a man who went through a Tim Hortons drive-thru without clothes on expressed only his own wish to be publicly naked and didn't demonstrate anything important about nudism.

Justice Jon-Jo A. Douglas found the law prohibiting nudity in a public place doesn't infringe on freedom of expression or the right to practise naturism. But he criticized aspects of the legislation that restrict nakedness on private property as having little to do with the preservation of order and decency.

While nudism could be considered a protected form of expression under certain circumstances, "requiring people to wear some modicum of clothing when in public is a reasonable limit," he told the court in delivering his judgment.

At the same time, "it is difficult to conceive how public order and decency is preserved" by preventing people from going unclothed on private property even when they are visible to others, he said.

The court ruling comes after a constitutional challenge by Brian Coldin, who was charged in incidents involving public nudity in the Bracebridge area north of Toronto.

Coldin was found guilty of partial nudity that offended public order for incidents at a park and two fast-food drive-thrus.

He was found not guilty in another incident that started on his own property, a clothing-optional resort he operates in the Bracebridge area.

Coldin was sentenced to two years probation and $3,000 in fines.

At Coldin's trial, A&W and Tim Hortons workers testified he was nude when he came to the drive-thru windows, and one worker said he pretended to reach for a wallet as if wearing pants.

Outside court Thursday, Coldin said he said he wasn't nude during that incident, but was wearing a towel.

He also defended his propensity for appearing naked in public as a form of protest, comparing it to the World Naked Bike Ride, an international demonstration with offshoots in Toronto and other Canadian cities. …