Toronto, Ontario Prohibit Excessive Idling of Vehicles and Boats

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Toronto, Canada

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Type: By-Law1

Status: Adopted on 10/2/98

Source File:


BY-LAW No. 673-1998
To Prohibit Excessive Idling of Vehicles and Boats.

1. As used in this by-law, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

(1) BOAT - A ship or any other description of vessel not propelled by oars and includes a boat used exclusively for towing purposes, a water taxi and a boat used on water for living purposes.

(2) IDLE - The operation of the engine of a boat or vehicle while the vehicle or boat is not in motion and not being used to operate auxiliary equipment that is essential to the basic function of the vehicle or boat, and idling has a corresponding meaning.

(3) LAYOVER - A stopping point along a transit route for a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes used by transit vehicles to allow transit vehicles to adjust to service schedules.


(a) A vehicle containing equipment that must be operated inside or in association with the vehicle; or
(b) A vehicle serving as a facility for taking measurements or making observations operated by or on behalf of a municipality, public utility or police, fire or ambulance service.

(5) OFFICIAL - A police officer, police cadet, municipal law enforcement officer or any person authorized to enforce this chapter.

(6) STOPOVER - A scheduled delay of a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes at a transit vehicle terminal to allow transit vehicles to adjust to service schedules.

(7) TRANSIT VEHICLE - Public transit vehicles, tour buses and motor coaches.

(8) VEHICLE - A motor vehicle, trailer, traction engine, farm tractor or road- building machine as defined in the Highway Traffic Act and any vehicle drawn, propelled or driven by any kind of non-muscular power, but does not include cars of electric or diesel electric railways running only upon rails.

2. (1) No person shall cause or permit a vehicle or boat to idle for more than three (3) minutes in a sixty-minute period.

(2) Subsection A does not apply to:

(a) Police, fire or ambulance vehicles or boats while engaged in operational activities, including training activities, except where idling is substantially for the convenience of the operator of the vehicle or boat.
(b) Vehicles and boats assisting in an emergency activity.
(c) Ferry boats operated by the City of Toronto or the Toronto Harbour Commissioners providing service to the Toronto Islands, including the Toronto Island Airport.
(d) Boats not at anchor or tied to a dock.
(e) Mobile workshops while they are in the course of being used for their basic function.
(f) Vehicles or boats where idling is required to repair the vehicle or boat or to prepare a vehicle or boat for service.
(g) Armoured vehicles where a person remains inside the vehicle while guarding the contents of the vehicle or while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded.
(h) Vehicles or boats required to remain motionless because of an emergency, traffic, weather conditions or mechanical difficulties over which the driver has no control.
(i) Vehicles or boats engaged in a parade or race or any other event authorized by Council.
(j) Transit vehicles while passengers are embarking or disembarking en route or in terminals.
(k) Transit vehicles while at a layover or stopover location except where idling is substantially for the convenience of the operator of the vehicle.
(l) Vehicles transporting a person where a medical doctor certifies in writing that for medical reasons a person in a vehicle requires that temperature or humidity be maintained within a certain range.
(m) Vehicles or boats when the ambient temperature inside a vehicle or boat is:
(a) More than twenty-seven degrees Celsius (27°C.); or
(b) Less than five degrees Celsius (5°C.).

3. Any person who contravenes any provision of this by-law is guilty of an offence.

Footnote: 1 - For the sake of consistency, Canadian municipal by-laws are categorized as ordinances as they serve the same purpose as their American counterparts.