Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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An encroachment, generally, is any installation or works, upon, under or within the limits of a provincial highway right-of-way placed by someone other than the MTO.

Encroachments may include signs, survey work, banners, acceleration and deceleration lanes, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, safety islands, sewers, pipelines, coaxial or fibre optic cable, or other works or structures that may during the construction, installation, or maintenance thereof, obstruct, cause material to be deposited upon, enter upon, take up, bridge over, tunnel under or in any way interfere with the land within the limits of a highway or the roadway or any structure forming a part of the highway.

For those applicants applying for a residential encroachment for utilities, the applicant will be required to check off “private” on the encroachment application form followed by a detailed work description confirming the encroachment is servicing a private dwelling or private farm.

Residential Encroachment – A residential encroachment shall be an encroachment by or on behalf of a private individual pertaining to a private farm or a private dwelling.  A residential encroachment may include a water pipeline, gas pipeline, hydro, telecommunications or other installation upon, under or over the highway right-of-way.

In order to receive and Encroachment Permit, applicants must submit the following to the Corridor Management Office:

  1. An Application for Highway Corridor Management Permits form (PDF - 2.3 MB)
  2. 4 copies of the plans for the proposed work
  3. Payment of the Encroachment permit fee

All encroachment permits are subject to the following standard conditions as well as any site-specific conditions that may apply.

Encroachment Permit Conditions

MTO permits are subject to the following conditions and any supplemental conditions established by the Ministry of Transportation at time of issuance.

  1. In addition to the conditions of a permit, the owner must meet all of the requirements of the local municipality and any other agency having jurisdiction.

  2. All work related to the encroachment for which a permit is issued must be commenced within 6 months of the date that the permit is issued or the permit shall be void and cancelled by the Ministry.

  3. All work related to the installation authorized by this permit shall be carried out in accordance with the approved plans, specifications and agreements and subject to the approval of the Ministry. The owner must bear all expense related thereto.

  4. Where the Ministry requires the relocation or alteration of a facility included in the Public Service Works on Highways Act, the Ministry will share the cost of such relocation or alteration in accordance with the Act.

  5. Vegetation on the right-of-way must not be cut or trimmed without the written permission of the Ministry. Any cutting or trimming permitted must only be done under the supervision of the Ministry or its authorized agent at the expense of the owner.

  6. The holder of a permit must give the Ministry 48 hours notice prior to the commencement of construction.

  7. The holder of a permit agrees to protect all survey markers and monuments In the vicinity of the work and agrees to replace all markers and monuments if damaged.

  8. The owner is responsible for the construction, marking and maintenance of any detours required and for maintaining safety measures for the protection of the public during the construction of any works in respect of this encroachment.

  9. The location, design and specifications of an approved encroachment may not be changed without the approval of the Ministry.

  10. The owner of an encroachment shall maintain the works in accordance with the requirements of the Ministry.

  11. During construction of the encroachment the owner shall ensure that the operation of the highway is not interfered with and that the right-of-way remains free of debris, earth or other material.

  12. If there is an expiry date named on a permit and a further term is required, an application for renewal of the permit shall be made to the Ministry before the expiry date of this permit. An extension of the expiry date may be approved, approved with additional conditions or denied by the Ministry.

  13. If a permit expires and is not renewed, all works constructed, maintained or operated under this permit, if the Ministry so requests, shall be removed at no cost to the Ministry and the highway shall be left in as good a condition as it was before the said works were installed or constructed. If at the end of six months after the expiry of the permit, the said works have not been removed; they shall become the property of the Ministry as damage for trespass after expiration of this permit.

  14. The owner at its own expense, at any time on the receipt of 60 days notice, shall suspend operations, remove, alter or relocate any or all of the works of an encroachment as may be required by the Ministry; or the Ministry may on 60 days notice remove the works.

  15. A permit may be cancelled at any time for breach of the regulations or conditions of this permit or for such other reasons as the Ministry at its sole discretion deems proper.

  16. If during the life of a permit any Acts are passed or regulations adopted, which affect the rights herein granted, the said Acts and regulations shall be applicable to this permit from the date on which they come into force.

  17. The owner shall hold harmless the Ministry for all damages and liabilities caused as a result of the works undertaken pursuant to this permit.

  18. The Ministry may charge an annual fee which maybe adjusted from time to time for the encroachment authorized herein.

  19. It is understood that a permit approves only the plant which will be placed on the right-of-way within one (1) year from the date of the approval. Any work described in a Permit which has not been carried out after the expiration of one year from the date of the approval shall be subject to further approval. All subsequent approvals shall be annexed to this Permit, form part of this Permit and be governed by the provisions of this Permit.

  20. Traffic will be maintained with minimum disruption in accordance with Traffic Control Plan submitted to and approved by the ministry.

  21. All works carried out under a permit, or Agreements, must be in accordance with the Traffic Control Manual for Roadway Work Operations when required. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the Permit or Agreement.

  22. No lanes will close, or stoppage or interference with traffic allowed, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. No lanes or shoulder closings will be permitted on weekends without Ministry approval. Additional restrictions in the approved contract plans and documentation will also be applicable.

  23. The Company will not cut, trim or interfere with any trees on the right-of-way without the approval in writing of the Manager, Corridor Management Office, or other person appointed by the Minister.

  24. MTO does not allow the cutting of right-of-way fences without obtaining permission from the Ministry Inspector.

  25. Tunnel shafts and auger pits should be located at the bottom of ditch line and back slope of the ditch, or beyond the toe of slope in a fill area. Open cut or trenching operations and jacking or boring pits, shall be prohibited within 3.0m of the travelled portion of the highway or within the shoulder area of the highway unless identified in contact.

  26. Tunnels to be grouted daily. Auger head to be no greater in size than the gas main/conduit in place or required to be grouted.

  27. Backfill to all trenching to be compacted as follows:
    • Native to 95% Proctor Dry Density
    • Granular to 100% Proctor Dry Density

  28. Utilities crossing highways, highway ramps and paved sideroads to be tunnelled or augered.

  29. No torpedo to be used under any of the Ministry's paved roads at any time or under any circumstances.

  30. All changes and/or deviations from the approved plans and/or locations(s) shall be subject to the re-approval of the Ministry.

  31. Affected areas to be restored to the original condition or better at no cost to the Ministry. All disturbed areas to be top-soiled, seeded or sodded as required. All disturbed ditches to be restored with at least four rows of sod placed in the bottom.

  32. All work on Ministry right-of-way to be carried out as per Ministry standards and/or as required by the Ministry's inspection staff.

  33. As constructed plans and profiles are to be submitted to the Ministry after completion of construction. No work is to be commenced until the Corridor Management Office has been notified in writing stating the permit number and/or exact location one week in advance of the date you wish to start construction.

  34. Whenever a Ministry Contract is underway, the Utility Company must recognize the Ministry's prime contractor as the coordinator for all activities including new plant installation, utility relocation and safety of workers within the limits of this project.

  35. The Ministry of Transportation has been issued an Order by the Ministry of Labour. The Order reads: "Except in an emergency the employer shall not permit a worker on a 400-series highway in Central Region to work within 10 feet or 3 metres of moving traffic unless protected by a guard or other device from moving traffic."
    • "Emergency" is described as assisting an injured person or clearing debris that represents an immediate or serious hazard to public safety. "Serious is that which would affect the movement of a vehicle.
    • "400-series highway" has been changed to "freeway" as defined by section 5 of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), i.e. "any public highway with a continuous dividing median and a posted limit of 90 km/h or greater".
    • "Guard or other device" includes a 6-ton dump truck or vehicle of similar weight, a guard rail, barrier or other physical barrier or by distance such that a worker cannot be struck by a moving vehicle or another vehicle in motion as a result of being struck.
    • "Work" is not considered to include getting in/out of vehicles nor the removal or replacement of equipment. If work is being carried out behind a guide rail, barrier or at a distance of greater than 3 metres of a travelled lane, a blocker truck would not be required.

The Contractor shall be required to comply with the Ministry of Labour Order.

Encroachment Permit Fees

Schedule of Rates

Encroachment Permit Fees - Schedule of Rates


Category Type


$520 Signs/Banners/Commercial & Municipal Activities on Highway Right-of-Way To be renewed every 5 years
$520 Residential -  Utilities on Highway Right-of-Way To be renewed every 5 years
$1,560 Commercial/Municipal – Utilities on Highway Right-of-Way To be renewed every 5 years

All cheques to be issued to "Minister of Finance"

Credit cards are acceptable at most area offices

Highway right-of-way

The Highway right-of-way is the strip of land within the limits of which a Highway is built and is usually indicated by a fence line or bush line.

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