Ontario is one of the last provinces in Canada to legalize electric bicycles for road use, even though they have been federally regulated in Canada as early as 2001. Electric assist bicycles can have a maximum speed of 32 km/h with 500 watts of power. The ebike can have a maximum weight of 120 kilograms and must require a maximum braking distance of nine meters.
Also, riders must be at least 16 years of age, wear a helmet and obey traffic laws. Municipalities are also are legally allowed to restrict where e-bikes may be used and can ban certain types.
What is an e-bike
E-bikes in Ontario must have:
- A pedal-driven bicycle of conventional exposed fork-and-frame bicycle design and appearance that does not resemble a motor scooter or motorcycle and that.
- Steering handlebars
- Is capable at all times of being propelled on level ground solely by using muscular power to operate the pedals
- An continuous rated output power electric motor not exceeding 500 Watts
- A maximum speed of 32 km/h
- a maximum weight of 55 kgs
- a permanent label from the manufacturer in both English and French stating that your e-bike conforms to the federal definition of a power-assisted bicycle
- Is fitted at all times with pedals that are always operable to propel the bicycle
- Minimum wheel diameter is 350 mm
- Wheels that have a width of not less than 35 mm
It is illegal to modify your e-bike’s motor to make it more powerful or to increase the speed of your e-bike.
What e-bike riders need
You don’t need a driver’s licence, vehicle permit or licence plate to ride an e-bike, but you do need to:
- be 16 or older
- wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet
- keep your e-bike in good working order
You also need to follow the same rules of the road as regular cyclists.
Cycling Skills: Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling (PDF – 3.39 MB)
Where to ride an e-bike
You can ride your e-bike on most roads and highways where conventional bikes are permitted, with some exceptions.
You can’t ride your e-bike:
- on certain provincial controlled access highways, such as the 400 series, the Queen Elizabeth Way, the Queensway in Ottawa or the Kitchener-Waterloo Expressway
- on municipal roads, including sidewalks, where bicycles are banned under municipal by-laws
- on municipal roads, sidewalks, bike paths, bike trails or bike lanes where e-bikes are prohibited