Cycling and the Law

Sidewalk Cycling and the Law

Toronto City Council has adopted a staff report recommendation that Toronto's sidewalk cycling bylaw shall stipulate "no person age 14 and older may ride a bicycle on a sidewalk". The fine for an adult who rides a bicycle on a sidewalk shall be $60. The intent of this bylaw is to allow young children to cycle on the sidewalk while they learn to ride.  This is a Toronto Municipal Code bylaw and so rules will vary in different communities across Ontario.

Toronto Municipal Code Bylaw 950-300 stipulates that no person shall ride a bicycle, skateboard, in-line skate or roller-skates, coaster, scooter, toy vehicle, toboggan, sleight or similar device on a sidewalk recklessly or negligently or at a speed or in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to the circumstances. The fine for this offence is $90.

Bicycles are vehicles according to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, and so cyclists may be charged with the HTA offence of Careless Driving.  The fine for Carless Driving is $400 to $2,000 and potentially up to six months of jail time.  Careless driving, defined as driving “without due care and attention,” refers to a lapse of judgment.  It is the highest charge under the Highway Traffic Act.

Under certain circumstances, Criminal charges may apply to any road user who pre-meditates initiating life-threatening harm to another person, in circumstances where a road user is willfully using their vehicle as a weapon.

Learn more about the City of Toronto's Safety Education Campaigns