Are electric bikes legal in Ottawa?

Are electric bikes legal in Ottawa?

Understanding the Regulations

As the popularity of electric bikes continues to soar, many residents of Ottawa are wondering whether they are legal to ride on the city's roads and bike paths. In this blog, we will explore the current laws and regulations surrounding electric bikes in Ottawa.

Firstly, it's important to note that electric bikes, also known as e-bikes or pedal assist bikes, are legal to ride in Ottawa. However, there are some rules that need to be followed to ensure that you are riding your e-bike safely and within the confines of the law.

Classifying e-Bikes In Ottawa

According to the Government of Ontario, an electric bike is defined as "a bicycle that is propelled by a motor and has a power output of not more than 500 watts." In Ottawa, e-bikes are classified as bicycles as long as they meet these criteria and have pedals that can be used to propel the bike. This means that e-bikes are subject to the same rules as regular bicycles in terms of where they can be ridden and how they are operated.

Where You Can Ride E-Bikes in Ottawa

e-bikes ottawaE-bikes are permitted on bike paths, multi-use pathways, and on-road bike lanes. They are not allowed on sidewalks, and they must be ridden in the same direction as traffic on the road. E-bikes are also subject to the same speed limits as regular bicycles, which means that they should not be operated at speeds exceeding 32 km/h (20 mph).

E-bikes are not allowed on certain roads or highways, particularly those with high speed limits or limited access. As a result, it's important to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations surrounding e-bikes before taking to the streets.

It's worth noting that pedal assist bicycles (cyclist must move their legs), like the ones we sell, can be used anywhere a regular bicycle can go. However, it's important to be aware of the regulations surrounding electric bicycles that have a throttle option where the rider can simply twist the handlebar mounted throttle and the bike propels itself without any help from the rider. These types of e-bikes are starting to have more and more restrictions placed on them as many places are viewing more as a scooter than a bicycle, so make sure you know the laws before making a purchase of those products.

The Importance of Choosing the Right E-Bike

At Scooteretti, we offer a wide range of electric bikes that are legal to ride in Ottawa, including pedal assist bikes and e-bikes with power outputs of up to 500 watts. Our bikes are designed with safety in mind, and we encourage our customers to ride responsibly and within the confines of the law.

Municipal Laws and E-Bike Certification

We have recently started to see municipalities in North America, such as New York City, which have passed new municipal laws around e-bike safety. As a result, it's important to ensure that your retailer provides you with proof that their products have been certified. We strongly recommend that you only buy bikes which are UL2849 certified which is currently the only industry standard for e-bike safety. Ask your retailer for proof to ensure your safety and that your ebike is compliant protect your investment in case the laws change.


In conclusion, electric bikes are legal to ride in Ottawa as long as they meet certain criteria and are operated in accordance with the rules and regulations governing their use. As the popularity of e-bikes continues to grow, it's important to be aware of these rules in order to ride safely and responsibly.

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