Bicycles are vehicles and cyclists are responsible for following the rules of the road. It’s for safety and riders can be charged under the Highway Traffic Act for violations under the act. Here are some resources to help keep you safe while riding your bicycle.
Where you can ride
- You can bike on most roads, look for signs excluding cyclists
- You can use bike lanes and cycling routes
- You can bike on multi-use trails and paths
- You cannot ride on highways such as the Gardiner Expressway or Don Valley Parkway and Highway 401
- You cannot ride on sidewalks (other than children under 10 who can ride on a sidewalk until they develop the skills to ride on the road)
- You cannot ride when using a pedestrian crosswalk, you must walk your bike to the other side
Bike Safety Equipment
- Helmet. Always ensure the helmet fits properly and is worn according to manufacture specifications. See video below for the 2-V-1 rule.
- Cyclists under the age of 18 must wear an approved helmet. For anyone under the age of 16, a parent or guardian is responsible for ensuring they wear a helmet.
- Lights and reflectors. These increase the cyclist’s visibility. A front-facing light and back-facing red light is required at night.
- A bell or horn is required on any bicycle at all times.
- Obey the traffic laws, including stopping for stop signs and yield to pedestrians. This helps keep your behaviour predictable to other road users
- Obey traffic signals where they are installed. Some areas, like the Harbourfront, have specific bicycle signals to assist.
- Never hold onto another cyclist or vehicle
- Avoid carrying items that may alter your balance
- Maintain control of your bike and be aware of your surroundings
- Use hand signals and make eye contact with other road users to communicate your intentions
- Toronto has some unique topgraphy for cyclists, use extra caution over obstacles like streetcar tracks (see video below)