News Release - May 5, 2021: Toronto City Council votes unanimously to support safety and accessibility by opting out of e-scooter pilot

The City of Toronto's Municipal Code treats two categories of e-bikes differently:

  1. pedal-assisted e-bikes (pedelecs) that require pedalling for propulsion (i.e., the power is cut to the motor when the rider stops pedalling) can be used on all cycling infrastructure and on roads
  2. power-assisted e-bikes that are capable of being propelled solely by its electric motor (similar to scooters and mopeds) can only be used on painted bike lanes and on roads.

"E-scooters" that are standing electric kick-scooters are not allowed to be operated, left, stored or parked on any public street in Toronto including bike lanes, cycle tracks, trails, paths, sidewalks or parks under Municipal Code Chapters 950, 886 and 608.  

Pedal-assisted e-bikes (pedelecs)

E-bikes are treated like bicycles in Toronto only if they are pedal-assisted or "pedelecs" and require pedalling for propulsion (i.e., the power is cut to the motor when the rider stops pedalling). Such pedal-assisted e-bikes can be used on roads and all types of cycling infrastructure: painted bike lanes, cycle tracks (separated bike lanes), and multi-use trails or paths in parks.

Pedal-assisted cargo cycles are legal for use in Toronto on roads, painted bike lanes and cycle tracks. 

Power-assisted e-bikes

Power-assisted e-bikes are e-bikes that are capable of operating solely by motor power and are only allowed on roads and on painted bike lanes. 

Power-assisted e-bikes may be bicycle-style, scooter-style or moped-style – and regardless of style of appearance, they do not require any muscular power or pedalling for propulsion.

Power-assisted e-bikes are not allowed on cycle tracks (separated bike lanes) or multi-use trails or paths. Such power-assisted devices pose safety risks when mixing with slower, human-powered modes like bicycles, skateboarders, or kick-scooters (without throttle). It is also difficult and risky for such e-bikes to exit cycle tracks which have raised curbs or vertical elements when passing slower cyclists, whereas painted bike lanes do not present such issues.

In order to operate an e-bike:

  • operators must be 16 years of age or older
  • wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet at all times
  • keep the e-bike in good working order

Parks
Motorized vehicles including power-assisted e-bikes may not be used on park multi-use paths. If a motorized vehicle is used on a park path, the rider/driver may be fined by bylaw enforcement officers. The Waterfront Multi-use path, Don Valley & Humber Multi-use paths, are all considered parklands. The new railpath & Hydro corridor trails are considered linear parks..

Toronto Ferries
Only bicycles or pedal-assisted bicycles (pedelecs only) with a wheel diameter of 26" or larger are allowed on the ferries to the Toronto Islands.

Parking - Post & Ring Stands
Under Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 950, section 201B, only bicycles including e-bikes that are defined under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act as "capable at all times of being propelled on level ground solely by using muscular power to operate the pedals" can park on the sidewalk, and use a post and ring stand as though they were a conventional bicycle.

E-bikes that are not "capable at all times of being propelled on level ground solely by using muscular power to operate the pedals" such as scooter-style or moped-style e-bikes may park on-street as motorcycles do.

Sidewalks
No person age 14 and older shall ride a bicycle on a sidewalk.

Additional information on cycling and the law can be found on the City of Toronto website.

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