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.
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 cycle tracks. 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. A core decision from this meeting was that the City asked the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Transport Canada to review their "power assisted bicycles" definition, to better recognize pedelec type bicycles from e-scooter type vehicles. 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. City Council decided that between February 19, 2014- 2016 the use of e-scooters in reserved bicycle lanes would be evaluated. Learn more about the decisions from this meeting.