A by-law of the City of Ottawa to regulate the use and care of roads.
Amending by-law numbers: 2023-375, 2024-41.
The Council of the City of Ottawa enacts as follows:
Section 1 - Definitions
In this by-law:
"boulevard" means all parts of a highway save and except the roadway, shoulder or sidewalk;
"City" means the municipal corporation of the City of Ottawa or the geographic area as the context requires;
“General Manager” means the General Manager of the City’s Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department, or authorized representative” (By-law No. 2020-170);
"highway" means a common and public highway and includes any bridge, trestle, viaduct or other structure forming part of the highway, and except as otherwise provided, includes a portion of a highway; and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof;
"Pop-up retail display and vending" means the temporary display or vending of goods for sale by a retail establishment within the abutting right of way.
"roadway" means that part of the highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic, but does not include the shoulder, and where a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term "roadway" refers to any one roadway separately and not to all of the roadways collectively;
"sidewalk" means that part of a highway set aside by the City for the use of pedestrians;
"snow plow driveway marker" means a temporary, non-illuminated indicator or guide inserted with a vertical orientation into the ground on private property or a City right of way that serves to mark the edge of a driveway for a licensed snow plow contractor, and which is permitted under and complies with the City of Ottawa’s licensing by-laws (By-law No. 2018-13); and
"Soft Landscaping" means organic materials and vegetative in-ground plantings such as shrubs, ornamental flowers and grasses, and·may include mulch as ground cover located in and around plantings but excludes non vegetative materials such as brick, pavers, rock, stone, concrete, tile and wood.
"vehicle" includes a motor vehicle, trailer, traction engine, farm tractor, road-building machine, bicycle and any vehicle drawn, propelled or driven by any kind of power, including muscular power, but does not include a motorized snow vehicle or a street car;
Section 2 - Interpretation
- Headings are for reference purposes and shall not affect in any way the meaning or interpretation of the provisions of this by-law.
- It is declared that if any section, subsection or part or parts thereof be declared by any Court of Law to be bad, illegal or ultra vires, such section, subsection or part or parts shall be deemed to be severable and all parts hereof are declared to be separate and independent and enacted as such.
- In this by-law, a word interpreted in the singular number has a corresponding meaning when used in the plural.
Section 3 - General Prohibitions
- No person shall, unless otherwise authorized by the provisions of this or any other by-law of the City,
- permit oils, chemicals or substances to be deposited or spilled on a highway including such substances deposited as a result of car maintenance activities, car rust prevention measures and the spillage of rust protecting substances and the general spillage of substances from vehicles;
- throw, push, plow, dump or otherwise deposit snow or ice on a highway;
- deposit, drop, scatter, store, spill or throw any filth, earth, ashes, manure, leaves, or garbage except as permitted in any City by-law and except as allowed in The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton By-law No. 44 of 1996, or any amendment or re-enactment thereof, paper, hand bill, advertisement, or any vegetable matter, stone, lime, sand, tin, wood, the carcass of any dead animal, fish or fowl, in or upon a highway;
- encumber or damage a highway by animals, vehicles or other means;
- permit or allow any paper, hand bill, advertisement or any container, whether made of plastic, cardboard or paper, to be blown from private property onto a highway;
- obstruct a drain, gutter or water course along or upon a highway;
- place a plank or other material in or over any gutter or ditch for the purposes of making a crossing except for a period of not more than 24 hours;
- walk upon, ride, drive, or load an animal, or move, drive, run or propel a vehicle upon, over or across a newly constructed sidewalk or pavement before it has been opened for use by the public;
- set or carry fire on a highway;
- throw, pile, store, or cause any material to be thrown or piled upon a highway, except for the purpose of having it immediately delivered upon adjacent premises, nor shall any person saw or split any cordwood or firewood upon a highway or being the owner of cordwood, firewood or topsoil shall deposit on any highway, or permit it to remain thereon for a longer time than is necessary for its immediate removal to the premises adjacent thereto;
- place or expose, or cause any merchandise or articles of any kind, to be placed or exposed upon a highway or outside of a building so that the same shall project over any part of the highway; provided that this paragraph shall not prevent the use of part of a sidewalk for not more than 12 hours at any one time for the taking in, or delivery of merchandise or other articles, if sufficient space is left encumbered for the use of pedestrians, and the merchandise or articles are removed there from without unnecessary delay, or prevent the City from granting written permission to any person to construct platforms across drains, gutters, or water courses on any highways for facilitating the reception or delivery of merchandise or other articles, provided however, the City may withdraw any permission so granted whenever it is shown that a nuisance has thereby been established;
- sell on the highway, without approval of the City, any real or personal property;
- move, or cause to be moved a vehicle equipped with cleats, flanges, or tracks on its wheels, or rollers, or any of them, on or along the traveled portion of the highway, except by means of a float, trailer, or other similar device, providing that a vehicle is so equipped including a vehicle for the digging and backfilling of trenches, may be moved directly across the traveled portion of the highway, if a preventative mat has first been laid on the surface of the portion of the highway to be crossed, provided however that this paragraph shall not apply when a vehicle is operating with the written permission of the General Manager;
- urinate or defecate on any highway;
- remove a barricade or notice or enter upon or use a highway temporarily closed under the provisions of this or any City by-law;
- remove or move a barricade, sign or light placed around any excavation in a highway;
- erect or maintain any gate or door so that the same shall open or swing outward over any part of a sidewalk or highway;
- move or cause any building or structure to be moved into, along, or across a highway without having been approved under a City by-law.
- No owner or occupier of land shall allow any part of a tree, shrub, sapling, hedge or any other plant to extend over or upon any highway, so as to interfere with, impede or endanger persons using the highway.
- No owner or operator of a parking station, parking lot, used car lot, automobile service station or mechanical car wash shall permit water used for washing or cleaning a motor vehicle to escape upon, overflow or run across or upon a highway.
- No person shall break, dig up, destroy or damage the sod or grass of a boulevard, or a fence, or railing erected and maintained for the protection of the boulevard.
- No person shall walk on the boulevard except when there is no municipal sidewalk.
- No person, other than the City, shall erect a fence, construct a wall, or plant a hedge, in, over, or upon a highway.
Section 4 - Exemptions
- The provisions of subsection 3(1), clause (b), shall not apply to an employee or an agent of the City who is engaged in moving snow or ice..
- The provisions of subsection 3(1), clause (i), shall not apply to fires made by plumbers, tinsmiths, welders or other tradesmen engaged in the repair or construction of a building or structure or utility situated upon or under a highway or sidewalk provided that such operations are in the charge of a competent person, and the fires are controlled to prevent discharge of any sparks or embers which may endanger any person or property.
- The provisions of subsection 3(1), clause (j), shall not apply to any person putting sand or salt on the icy portions of a highway to reduce the danger of pedestrians falling or to enable a vehicle to use a roadway. (By-law No. 2017-6)
- Section 3 does not prohibit the placement of a snow plow driveway marker that is placed in accordance with the City of Ottawa’s licensing by-laws. (By-law No. 2018-13)
- Section 3 does not prohibit the owner of residential land abutting the highway, or any person with the permission of the owner of residential land abutting the highway, from altering the boulevard and shoulder of a highway to install or construct Soft Landscaping or a Free Library Box in accordance with the provisions of this by-law.
- Section 3 does not prohibit the owner of land zoned commercial, pursuant to the City's Zoning By-law No. 2008-250 and located within the Urban Area or Serviced Village, from establishing pop-up retail and vending display within the abutting Highway outside of the roadway in accordance with the provisions of this by-law.
Section 5 - General Requirements
- The owner of land zoned residential shall cut the grass and weeds on the boulevard abutting the owner's land, whenever the growth of grass or weeds is out of character with the surrounding environment.
- The owner of land shall clear away and remove garbage or other debris from the boulevard abutting the owner's land.
- No step shall be taken to enforce the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) until the owner of the land has been given a written notice requiring compliance with the by-law with the time specified in the notice but no sooner than seventy-two (72) hours after the giving of the notice.
- If an owner of land fails to comply with the provisions of subsections (1) or (2) within the time specified in the notice given under subsection (3), the City may do the work or arrange for the work to be done unless otherwise authorized by the General Manager.
- The City may recover all expenses, including administrative fees, from the owner by action or it may collect them in like manner as municipal tax.
- Where applicable, the owner of land shall comply with pre-amalgamation trees by-laws, namely By-law Number 55-93 of The Corporation of the City of Ottawa, Part 7.2 of The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton's Regulatory Code, and subsection 4(1-6) of By-law No. 93-64 of the Corporation of the Township of Nepean, being its Care of Streets By-law, and any amendment or re-enactment of those by-laws.
Section 5A - SA Requirements - Soft Landscaping, Free Library Box & Pop-Up Retail Display and Vending
- No person, when installing or constructing Soft Landscaping or a Free Library Box within a boulevard, or causing the installation or construction of Soft Landscaping or a Free Library Box within a boulevard, shall fail to comply with the following requirements:
- No mechanical means are used to install the Soft Landscaping or Free Library Box;
- The Soft Landscaping does not include any species:
- identified in Schedule "A";
- identified in the Invasive Species Act, 2015, S.O. 2015
- identified in the Weed Control Act, R.S.O., 1990, c. W.5; and,
- intended in whole or in part for consumption.
- The grade of the boulevard and shoulder is not altered so as to redirect the flow of overland water;
- Soft landscaping or a Free Library Box is not located within a drainage ditch, including within the front and back slope of a drainage ditch;
- The Soft Landscaping does not exceed:
- One metre in height as measured from the abutting grade; and,
- 0.75 metres in height as measured from the abutting grade where located within the triangle formed by the intersection of lines at a roadway intersection projecting along the exterior face of the curb a distance of 15 metres, and the line drawn from these two points and connecting these lines to form the base of a triangle;
- At no time shall the Soft Landscaping or Free Library Box overhang, encumber or impede a Sidewalk or Roadway;
- No part of the Soft Landscaping or Free Library Box is located within:
- one metre of a municipal tree within the meaning of the City's Tree Protection By-law No. 2020-340, as amended;
- one metre of above ground or grade level infrastructure owned by the City or by a person authorized to have infrastructure within the Highway;
- 1.5 metres of any catch basin or manhole;
- 1.5 metres of a fire hydrant, and within a three-metre wide corridor between the fire hydrant and the roadway
- 1.5 metres of the back or side of a hydro transformer box, and three metres of the front of a hydro transformer box;
- 25 metres of the ingress side of a bus stop flag or five metres from the edge of a concrete bus stop pad, which ever is further from the bus stop flag;
- Five metres of the egress side of a bus stop flag; and
- That area measuring 20 metres in length and three metres in width along the rear side of a bus stop, measured from the bus stop flag towards the ingress side of the stop
- No part of the Soft Landscaping or Free Library Box extends beyond the highway frontage of the abutting owner's property; an
- The Soft Landscaping or Free Library Box complies with all applicable City of Ottawa by-laws.
- In addition to subsection (1), no person, when installing or constructing a Free Library Box within a boulevard, or causing the installation or construction of a Free Library Box within a boulevard, shall fail to comply with the following requirements:
- A free library box may only be located within a boulevard that abuts:
- a Highway classified as a local or collector road as defined in the City of Ottawa Official Plan; or,
- a Highway classified as an arterial road as defined in the City of Ottawa Official Plan, provided it abuts and is accessed from a sidewalk.
- the storage area has a minimum accessible height of 0.9 meters and a maximum accessible height of 1.1 meters, measured from the grade of the base of the free library box when installed;
- no part of the free library box is located within 0.5 meters of a roadway edge;
- the free library box may be easily removed and is not permanently fixed within the Highway;
- the free library is maintained in a good state of repair;
- The free library box is not installed within the area of the triangle formed by the intersection of lines at a roadway intersection projecting along the exterior face of the curb a distance of 15 metres, and the line drawn from these two points and connecting these lines to form the base of a triangle;
- A free library box may only be located within a boulevard that abuts:
- No person may install, or cause to install, a Free Library Box without first submitting to the City a signed letter of acknowledgement in a form and containing such information as required by the General Manager.
- The signed letter of acknowledgement shall include an acknowledgement that a person installing a free library box within a highway shall indemnify and save harmless the City from any and all claims, demands, causes of action, loss, costs or damages that the City may suffer, incur or be liable for, resulting from the installation and maintenance of the free library box.
- No person, when establishing, or permitting the establishment of, a pop-up retail display and vending within a highway shall fail to comply with the following requirements:
- a two-meter-wide pedestrian clearway is maintained at all times
- the pop-up retail display and vending is cane detectable, with the bottom structure being between 0.73 meters and 0.86 meters measured from the ground surface, and detectable at the leading edge and trailing edge of the display;
- no part of the pop-up retail display and vending is permanently fixed within the Highway;
- the pop-up retail display and vending is removed from the Highway on a nightly basis;
- the pop-up retail display and vending must not be located on the Highway outside of the area fronting the commercial operator or owner's property;
- the pop-up retail display and vending does not exceed a total area of five square metres;
- the pop-up retail display and vending is located on a hard and level surface; and
- where the abutting property is located on a corner lot, no part of the pop-up retail display and vending may be within the area of the triangle formed by the intersection of lines at a roadway intersection projecting along the exterior face of the curb a distance of 15 metres, and the line drawn from these two points and connecting these lines to form the base of a triangle.
- No person shall establish a pop-up retail display and vending without first:
- submitting a signed letter of acknowledgement to the City prior to the establishment of the pop-up retail display and vending each year in a form satisfactory to the City; and,
- providing proof of insurance coverage for the duration of the pop-up retail display and vending as follows:
- Commercial General Liability insurance subject to limits of not less than $2,000,000 inclusive per occurrence for bodily injury, death and damage to property including loss of use thereof, and such insurance shall be in the name of the applicant and shall name the City as an additional insured thereunder and which shall preclude subrogation claims by the Insurer against anyone insured thereunder;
- Broad Form Property insurance coverage to the replacement value of the furniture for the pop-up retail display and vending , or, in the event the furniture are self-insured by the applicant, a letter signed by an Executive Officer of the applicant, accepting loss or damage to the furniture;
- a Certificate of Insurance evidencing the above insurance coverage(s) shall be provided to the City; and,
- an endorsement to provide the City with thirty (30) days prior written notice of cancellation.
- Any person who installs or maintains Soft Landscaping or a Free Library Box or pop-up retail display and vending within a highway pursuant to the provisions of this by law, shall, at all times, indemnify and save harmless the City from any and all claims, demands, causes of action, loss, costs or damages that the City may suffer, incur or be liable for resulting from the person's installation or maintenance of soft landscaping or free library box whether with or without negligence on the part of that person.
- No person shall fail to remove, or ensure the removal, of Soft Landscaping, Free Library Box, or pop-up retail display and vending when required by the City within a reasonable time.
- No person who installs and maintains, or permits the installation of, Soft Landscaping, a Free Library Box or a pop-up display and vending within a highway pursuant to the provisions of this by-law, shall have any claim for loss, costs, or damages caused or sustained howsoever against the City, its employees, agents or any person acting on its behalf, or any person authorized to occupy or work within a Highway by reason of damage or removal of the Soft Landscaping, Free Library Box or pop-up display and vending.
Section 6 - Highway Name Signs, Traffic Signals & Signage
No person shall pull down, destroy, or in any way interfere with, any municipal infrastructure, including but not limited to, any post, surveyor’s mark, bench mark, traffic sign, highway name sign, sign board, regulatory sign, traffic signal, traffic cone, or any other traffic control device, affixed, or placed on a highway. (By-law No. 2008-2)
Section 7 - Lighting
No owner or occupier of property abutting a highway shall permit any flood light to directly or indirectly illuminate a highway without the written approval of the General Manager. 8. No person shall erect or place private driveway lighting, address/name posts, or reflectors on a highway without the permission of the General Manager.
Section 9 and 10 - Powers of The General Manager
The General Manager may:
- remove any item, structure or material placed or deposited on a highway contrary to this by-law;
- remove Soft Landscaping, Free Library Box or pop-up display and vending installed in accordance with this by-law, if in the opinion of the General Manager, these present a risk to the safety of persons or property, interfere with City operations or infrastructure, or interfere or obstruct the operations of any person authorized to occupy or conduct work within the Highway; and
- send a notice by registered mail to the owner or person responsible for the item, structure or material that the object has been removed at the owner's expense;
The City may recover expenses resulting from actions taken in accordance with section 9 by action, or in like manner as municipal taxes.
Section 11 and 12 - Temporary Closing of Highways
The General Manager may temporarily close to traffic any highway by reason of any work or improvement being carried out thereon or by reason of the condition thereof and the General Manager may cause to be erected or kept thereon, any barricade or notice warning the public that the highway is closed to traffic and no person shall enter upon or use a highway so temporarily closed.
- Where a highway or part of a highway is closed pursuant to Section 11, the General Manager shall:
- provide and keep in repair a temporary alternative route for public use where possible;
- provide access to lots abutting the highway; and
- erect signs, barricades and other protective and warning devices in accordance with provincial traffic regulations.
Section 13 to 15 - Highway Cleaning and Repair
The cleaning and repair of all highways shall be performed under the direction of the General Manager.
No person hauling earth, sand, stone or other substances on a highway shall so load his vehicle or drive the same as to permit or cause the contents thereof to fall, spill or be deposited on a highway.
No person in charge of a vehicle shall bring the vehicle, or permit it to be brought upon a highway unless there has been removed from the wheels thereof as completely as is reasonably practicable, all mud, clay, lime, and similar material, or any fertilizer or manure which is likely, if not removed, to cause an obstruction or dangerous condition or nuisance in a highway or cause damage to the surface of the highway.
No person hauling earth, sand, stone, or other substance shall load or drive his vehicle so as to permit damage to a highway.
Section 17 - Administration and Enforcement
This by-law shall be administered and enforced by the Chief of Police or designated municipal by-law enforcement officers of the City.
Section 18 and 19 - Penalties
Any person who contravenes any provision of this part of this By-law is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine to the maximum allowable under the provincial Offences Act.
When a person has been convicted of an offence under this by-law.
- the Ontario Court (Provincial Division) of the City of Ottawa, or
- any court of competent jurisdiction thereafter, may, in addition to any penalty imposed on the person convicted, issue an Order prohibiting the continuation or repetition of the offence or the doing of any act or thing by the person convicted directed toward the continuation or repetition of the offence.
Section 20 - Repeal
The following by-laws or portions of by-laws of the old municipalities are repealed:
- Chapter 2, Part 2.2 of the Regional Regulatory Code of the old Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton entitled "Use and Care of Regional Roads", as amended;
- By-law Number 165-73 of the old Corporation of the City of Ottawa entitled "A by-law regulating the use and care of streets", as amended;
- Except for subsection 4 (1-6) thereof, By-law No. 93-64 of the old Corporation of the City of Nepean entitled "Care of Streets By-law", as amended;
- By-law No. 32-99 of the old Corporation of the City of Kanata entitled "Being a by-law of the Corporation of the City of Kanata regulating the use and care of city streets, boulevards and sidewalks", as amended;
- By-law No.1503 of the old Corporation of the City of Vanier entitled "Being a by-law regulating the use and care of streets", as amended;
- By-law 79/89 of the old Corporation of the Township of Rideau entitled "Being a by-law to regulate the use and care of Township roads", as amended;
- By-law No. 29 of 1985 of the old Corporation of the City of Gloucester entitled "A By-law regulating the use and care of city roads and streets", as amended;
- By-law No. 22-94 of the old Corporation of the Township of Goulbourn entitled "Being a by-law of the Corporation of the Township of Goulbourn regulating the use and care of streets", as amended; and
- By-law No. 2000-11 of the old Corporation of the Village of Rockcliffe Park entitled "A by-law of the Corporation of the Village of Rockcliffe Park regulating the use and care of streets", as amended.
Section 21 - Short Title
This by-law may be referred to as the "Use and Care of Roads By-Law".
Enacted and passed this 8th day of October, 2003.
Schedule A - Species
|Buckthorn, European (Common)
|Dog-strangling Vine, Black
|Cynanchum louiseae (Vincetoxicum nigrum)
|Cynanchum (Vincetoxicum) rossicum
|Lonicera tatarica, maackii, morrowii, x be/la, xylosteum
|Reynoutria x bohemica
|Lily of the Valley
|Miscanthus sinensis, M. sacchariflorus
|Phragmites australis subsp. australis
|Winged Burning Bush