Can I Ride My Bike on the Sidewalk In Ottawa?

Can I Ride My Bike on the Sidewalk In Ottawa?

The Legalities Of Cycling On Ottawa's Sidewalks

When it comes to exploring the beautiful city of Ottawa, the idea of cycling on a sidewalk can seem tempting. After all, the city's sidewalks are typically smoother and provide on many occasions a potentially safer and more comfortable riding experience than busy roads. However, before embarking on such a ride, it's essential to understand the legalities and potential hazards of cycling on sidewalks in Ottawa.

Firstly, it's important to note that the City of Ottawa's bylaws prohibit cycling on sidewalks, with the exception of children under the age of 14. This means that as an adult, it is not legal to ride a bike on a sidewalk unless it is designated as a shared-use path. In such cases, the sidewalk will be marked with a symbol of a cyclist and pedestrian, indicating that it is safe for cyclists to use.

The reason for this bylaw is to protect the safety of pedestrians who use sidewalks. Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks, and cyclists who use them can pose a risk to those walking. Moreover, sidewalks are not designed for fast-moving traffic, making them a potentially hazardous environment for cyclists.

The Hazards of Cycling on Ottawa's Sidewalks

In addition to the legal implications, riding on sidewalks can also be hazardous for cyclists. Sidewalks can have uneven surfaces, curbs, and other obstacles that can cause accidents, particularly if a cyclist is moving too fast. Additionally, pedestrians may not hear or see cyclists coming, making collisions more likely.

Safe Cycling Alternatives in Ottawa

Ottawa Bike Lanes

So, what options do cyclists have if they want to ride safely in Ottawa? There are numerous bike-friendly paths and lanes throughout the city that are designated for cyclists which are safe. The City of Ottawa and the NCC also offer detailed cycling maps that highlights these paths and lanes, making it easy for cyclists to plan their routes.

As an electric bike store located in Ottawa, at Scooteretti, we understand the importance of cycling safely and legally in the city. We encourage all our customers and fellow cyclists to follow the bylaws and use designated cycling paths and lanes to ensure their safety and the safety of pedestrians.


In conclusion, while it may be tempting to ride your bike or electric bike on the sidewalk in Ottawa, it is not legal for adults to do so, and it can pose a risk to pedestrians and cyclists alike. Instead, cyclists should take advantage of the designated bike-friendly paths and lanes throughout the city to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride. At Scooteretti, we are committed to promoting safe cycling in Ottawa, and we encourage all our customers and cyclists of all kinds to do the same.


Cycling Safety | City of Ottawa

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