The Right-of-Way (ROW) By-law, Permits and Inspection Unit is responsible for regulating activities in the public right-of-way. The ROW includes the traveled portion of the public streets and alleys, as well as the border area, which includes, but is not limited to, any sidewalks, planting strips, traffic circles, or medians.
Programs administered by ROW include:
Café Seating Permit
The Cafe Seating program allows businesses to place limited outdoor seating on the road allowance. A Café Seating Permit allows businesses to have a maximum of four tables with two chairs each against the wall of their building. At no time can alcohol be served at the cafe seating.
Customer Service Box Permit
Customer service boxes are either publication distribution boxes or courier drop boxes that are permitted to be installed on the road allowance.
Decorative Banner Permit
Decorative Banners may be installed on utility poles to decorate an area or promote a major special event.
Directional Farm Sign Permit
Directional Farm Signs are permitted alongside roadways to direct traffic to registered farms or farmers’ markets.
Homebuilder Way-finding Sign Permit
Homebuilder Way-finding Signs are permitted alongside roadways to direct traffic to the boundary of new housing developments and to the builder sales centres to assist with general way-finding.
Permanent Encroachment Agreements (Aerial, Subsurface, Surface)
A legal agreement is required for anything man-made that encroaches on public property whether below, at, or above grade.
Private Approach Permit
If you plan to construct, widen or close your driveway, you need to apply for a Private Approach Permit.
Road Cut Permit
A permit is required before anyone can undertake a road cut, which is defined as: a surface or subsurface cut in any part of a highway made by any means, including excavation, reconstruction, cutting, overlaying, crack sealing, braking, boring, jacking or tunnelling operations.
Temporary Construction-Related Encroachment Permit
Temporary Construction-related Encroachment Permits are issued to clients undertaking a private property project requiring the use of City road allowance in order to store materials and/or stage part of their work.
The Outdoor Patio program allows businesses, such as bars, restaurants and cafés, to put outdoor seating on the road allowance. An initial review and approval in accordance with the provisions of the Right of Way Patio By-law is required, after which monthly permits may be issued.
Over-Dimensional Vehicle Permit
A permit is required in order to operate an over-dimensional vehicle on City Streets.
For any questions, you may contact the City’s ROW By-law, Permits and Inspection Unit at 613-580-2424 ext. 16000 or ROW_Permit_Office@ottawa.ca.