Cycling and the Law

Power Assisted Bicycles

images of different types of e-bikes The Province of Ontario has amended the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, so that electric bicycles (e-bikes) may travel on public roads and highways. Bicycle lanes and park paths are governed by City of Toronto bylaws, not the Highway Traffic Act. City of Toronto bylaws state that a bicycle cannot be propelled by a motor when using multi-use trails or bicycle lanes. If an electric bicycle is being used on a multi-use path, or in a bicycle lane it must be propelled by pedaling alone.

Types of Electric Bicycles
Legislation passed by the province of Ontario classifies a wide range of vehicles as electric bicycles. Some look like conventional bicycles and some resemble motor scooters.

Please review the Ministry of Transportation's Electric Bicycles FAQ webpage or the Toronto Police's emerging vehicles information sheet

Electric Bikes in the City of Toronto


Municipalities may pass by-laws specific to electric bicycles that prohibit them from municipal roads, sidewalks, bike paths and trails, and bikes lanes under their jurisdiction. City of Toronto Municipal Code bylaws prohibit motor powered vehicles from being used on multi-use paths, and in bicycle lanes.  For example, only electric bicycles with a wheel diameter of 26" or larger are allowed on the ferries to the Toronto Islands.

On January 9, 2014, the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee discussed rules for how power assisted bicycles and e-scooters may be used in the City of Toronto.  Learn more about the decisions from this meeting.

Toronto's City Council then discussed how power assisted bicycles and e-scooters may be used in the City of Toronto on February 19th, 2014.  Learn more about the decisions from this meeting.

 

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