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​ATV/ORV Frequently Asked Questions


The Township of Oro-Medonte By-law 2018-045 (Off-Road Vehicles By-law) governs the use of all terrain vehicles (ATV) and certain off-road vehicles (ORV) in identified areas within the Township, on a one-year trial period basis. It is important to understand that the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA), the Off-Road Vehicles Act and other regulations govern the use of off road vehicles. Under the HTA, the Township only has the ability to regulate where ATV and ORV use can occur, the times of use and to lower speed limits. The Township’s authority is limited to municipal roadways.

It is important to note that the municipal By-law reflects the same types of ATVs designated in the Highway Traffic Act. Operators should familiarize themselves with the ATV and ORV required specifications before heading out on the roads. Particular attention should be made to Ontario Regulation 316/03, as amended, regarding the operation of off-road vehicles on highways.

To learn more about use of these types of vehicles, and familiarize yourself with the municipal by-law, as well as relevant Highway Traffic Act and Off Road Vehicles Act regulations, please see the list of frequently asked questions below. We encourage you to review these questions before operating your off-road vehicle within the Township.

Where can I legally drive my off-road vehicle (ATV and ORV) on municipal roads in Oro-Medonte?

​Please see HERE​ to review a map showing permitted roads and time of year use.​

Are there times during the year where I am not permitted to drive my off-road vehicle on municipal roads in Oro-Medonte?

​Yes.  Off-road vehicles are not permitted on municipal roads between March 16th and April 15th and November 15th and December 31st.​

If I live in the Shanty Bay or Eight Mile Point area, am I able to operate my off-road vehicle in these areas?

Yes. Consistent with the previous ATV By-law implemented in 2013, Off-road vehicles are permitted in these areas January 1st – March 15th.


I live on a road which borders a permitted and prohibited area, am I able to operate my off-road vehicle on this road?

Use is permitted only if the road is a Township road.
No. If the road is a boundary road with another Municipality use is not permitted.


When am I permitted to drive my off-road vehicle on municipal roads in Oro-Medonte?

Licensed and insured ATV and ORV operators may drive their vehicles between the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on select roads.  Please refer to the map for specified timeframes throughout the year.


What is an off-road vehicle (ORV)?

An off-road vehicle (ORV) is a vehicle intended for off-road use and within the meaning of the Off-Road Vehicles Act, as defined by the Highway Traffic Act and/or the applicable regulations including; all-terrain vehicle (ATV), multi-purpose off-highway utility vehicle and recreational off-highway vehicle.  Please see the following definitions regarding off-road vehicles permitted on municipal roadways in Oro-Medonte.

All-terrain vehicle (ATV) means an off-road vehicle that:

a) has four wheels, the tires of which are all in contact with the ground;

b) has steering handlebars;

c) has a seat that is designed to be straddled by the driver; and

d) is designed to carry;

(i) a driver only and no passengers, or

(ii) a driver and only one passenger, if the vehicle,

(A) has one passenger seat that is designed to be straddled by the passenger while sitting facing forward behind the driver, and

(B) is equipped with foot rests for the passenger that is separate from the foot rests for the driver.

Multi-purpose off-highway utility vehicle means an off-road vehicle that:

a) has four or more wheels, the tires of which are all in contact with the ground;

b) has a steering wheel for steering control;

c) has seats that are not designed to be straddled, and

d) has a minimum cargo capacity of 159 kilograms.

Recreational off-highway vehicle means an off-road vehicle that:

a) has four or more wheels, the tires of which are all in contact with the ground;

b) has a steering wheel for steering control; and

c) has seats that are not designed to be straddled, and has an engine displacement equal to or less than 1,000 cubic centimeters.


Does the Off-Road Vehicles By-law permit the use of dirt bikes and golf carts on municipal roads?

​The Highway Traffic Act does not permit the use of golf carts on roads. Generally dirt bikes are also prohibited unless the requirements of the Highway Traffic Act are met. The specific types of off-road vehicles permitted on municipal roads is regulated by provincial regulations, not the Township's By-law. ​

Can I drive my off-road vehicle through municipal parks, on trails (including Copeland Forest), sports fields and playgrounds?

No.  Use of ATV and ORV vehicles is not permitted in any of these areas in Oro-Medonte.

Can I drive my off-road vehicle through unopened municipal road allowances?

Use of ATV and ORV vehicles are not permitted on unopened municipal road allowances except for the following; Colborne Street, Black Forest Road, Ice Road, Little Road, Wilson Street and Woodland Drive during January 1st – March 15th.

Can I drive my ATV/ORV in County of Simcoe Forests?

No. Currently there are no approved ATV/ORV trails in the Oro-Medonte County Forests.  The County of Simcoe regulates the recreational use of County Forests through its Recreation Use Policy.

Can I drive my off-road vehicle on the Rail Trail that connects Barrie and Orillia?

No.  Use of ATV and ORV vehicles is not permitted on the Rail Trail located in Oro-Medonte.

Can I drive my off-road vehicle in ditches or drainage areas?

No.  In accordance with the regulations and in order to ensure public safety, use of ATV and ORV’s is not permitted within any ditches, drainage areas or other portions of the roadway outside of the travelled portion of municipal roadways.

What part of the road am I permitted to operate my off-road vehicle?

The HTA provides for rules of the road and states where ORVs and ATVs are to be operated. Specifically:

24. (1) The off-road vehicle shall be driven on the shoulder of the highway in the same direction as the traffic using the same side of the highway.  O. Reg. 316/03, s. 24 (1).

24. (2) Despite subsection (1), the off-road vehicle may be driven on the roadway in the same direction as the traffic using the same side of the highway if,

(a) there is no shoulder;

(b) the shoulder of the highway is obstructed and cannot be used by the off-road vehicle; or

(c) the shoulder is not wide enough to allow the off-road vehicle to be driven with all of its tires remaining completely off of the roadway. O. Reg. 316/03, s. 24 (2); O. Reg. 135/15, s. 7 (1).

Do I need a license and insurance to drive my off-road vehicle?

Yes. Similar to driving a motor vehicle, operators of off-road vehicles must be licensed and vehicles must be registered and insured when operating on roadways.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes. The law requires riders to wear an approved motorcycle helmet at all times while operating off-road vehicles. Riders are encouraged to wear appropriate headwear, footwear, clothing, as well as eye protection and gloves, at all times.

How old do I have to be to operate an off-road vehicle on a public road in the Township of Oro-Medonte?

You must be at least 16 years of age and possess a valid Driver’s License. (Classes: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, G2, M or M2).

Is there a minimum age to be a passenger on an off-road vehicle while travelling on the roadways in Oro-Medonte?

Yes. The Highway Traffic Act states that passengers must be 8 years old or older to be a passenger. 

Who enforces the off-road vehicle By-law?

The By-law is enforceable by Municipal Law Enforcement Officers, or other such persons appointed by the Municipality.

Provisions related to the Highway Traffic Act and Ontario Regulation 316/03 are enforceable by a Police Officer.

What should I do if I encounter a driver who is operating their vehicle outside of the permitted use (i.e. restricted roads, high rates of speed etc.)

If you encounter a driver(s) who is operating their vehicle outside of the permitted use, please contact the Township’s Municipal Law Enforcement department at 705-487-2171 or the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) at 1-888-310-1122.

What are the speed limits for off-road vehicles (ATVs and ORVs)?

The maximum speed limit is 20 km/h on roads where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less.  Off-road vehicles (ATV and ORV’s) are permitted to drive at a rate of speed of 50km/h if the posted speed limit is greater than 50km/h. 

How will the Township address any issues that may arise from the By-law?

Council has endorsed guiding principles to govern the use of ATV/ORV use on Municipal roads.  Safety, minimizing the impact to the community, and environmental sensitivity were key considerations for Council while contemplating all aspects of the By-law. To monitor, prevent and address any issues which may arise from the implementation of the By-law, the following controls have been established:

a) Education – Will occur through Township communications and detailed maps. Groups of community volunteers, as well as the Central Ontario ATV Club will be assisting both the Township and the Ontario Provincial Police in communicating, educating and reporting any issues which may arise from the implementation of the By-law.   

b) Enforcement – See #19. In addition, local volunteers and the Central Ontario ATV Club will assist in reporting any issues which may arise.

c)   Monitoring – Staff will work closely with the Ontario Provincial Police and the community to monitor ATV/ORV use under the By-law.

d) Changes to By-law – The By-law was enacted understanding that flexibility may be required to adapt the regulations according to what may be experienced following the passing of the By-law. If changes are required, the By-law can be amended or repealed by Council. Further, the By-law was approved on a one-year trial basis. For 2018, this period will be from August 7 – November 15. Council may amend or revoke the By-law at any time.