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Highway Corridor Management

Anyone planning to construct on or adjacent to a provincial highway may require a permit from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). MTO issues permits under the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act and administration of the permits is the responsibility of the Corridor Management Office. The Corridor Management Office reviews applications from developers, municipalities, utility companies, and the general public for adherence to policies and impacts on the highway system, resolving conflicts, issuing permits, and enforcement of violation of policies.

Access management is the process that manages entrances onto provincial highways, at highway interchanges and intersections, and onto municipal roads in the vicinity of a provincial highway within MTO’s permit control area. It is an important tool for balancing the need for highway safety and mobility while providing appropriate access for land development, as well as co-ordinating transportation planning with land use planning along provincial highways.

For access management practices best suited for Ontario highways, MTO has developed the “Highway Access Management Guideline”.  The guideline sets out clear policies, standards and requirements to promote consistency across the provincial highway network.  MTO encourages municipalities, as well as property owners, developers, and agencies, to use the guideline to address access management early in their planning process when alternatives can be reasonably considered and implemented. 

The link below will take you to the 'MTO Research Library' site where you can download a PDF of the Highway Access Management Guideline and other associated material.  The Highway Access Management Guideline and other associated material are available in both English and French.

MTO Research Library

To provide insight into MTO's mandate and interest in municipal official plans, the MTO has developed a guideline entitled "Ontario Ministry of Transportation Guidelines for Municipal Official Plan Preparation and Review." The guideline serves to provide our municipal stakeholders with a detailed account of the wide range of MTO interests in municipal planning documents as well as provide MTO staff with insight into what a municipal official plan should include. We encourage municipalities to incorporate those Ministry policies that are applicable to their municipalities and to work with the MTO during the early stages of their official plan process.

To clarify the respective responsibilities of MTO and proponents where land development necessitates highway improvements, a guideline is provided. The guideline outlines the procedures for proponents who must deal directly or indirectly with MTO and the responsibilities with regard to the design and construction, as well as the financial responsibilities:

Effective January 1, 2010, all TIS's shall be undertaken by a firm approved under the Ministry of Transportation's consultant Registry, Appraisal and Qualification System (RAQS) under the Traffic Impact Analysis specialty category. Also effective January 1, 2010, TIS's shall be signed and stamped by a Professional Engineer registered in the Province of Ontario taking responsibility for the TIS contents.

The Ministry of Transportation has prepared these guidelines to provide guidance to developers and consultants in the preparation of Traffic Impact Studies (TIS) and the details required in a TIS that would be considered acceptable to the ministry. Compliance with these guidelines and discussions with appropriate Ministry staff in the preliminary stages of the development planning process will provide for a more consistent and efficient review process.

This one-stop online shop brings together land use planning resource materials from 8 partner ministries including the Ministry of Transportation , for municipal and planning board staff, councils/boards, developers, consultants, agents, and Ontarians. The site also provides access to guides and provincial application forms.

If you are a municipality, charity, service club, film maker or anyone else planning an event that requires the temporary closure of a provincial highway, then you need to apply for an Encroachment Permit. Due to the high volume of traffic on provincial highways, we encourage you to first work with municipal officials to identify municipal roadways that can support your event. Closures of freeways, expressways and toll highways are not permitted as these are strategic links and any closure would cause serious disruption.

The Corridor Management Office administers control over the following activities on and adjacent to provincial highways:

In addition, the MTO is a mandatory reviewing agency for the following Municipal applications, which are administered under the Planning Act.

Regions/Regional Area Offices

  • Corridor Management Officers in Regional Area Offices issue permits and deal with administration such as permit fee collection and infractions.
  • Regional Development Review Co-ordinators reporting to their respective Planning and Design Sections review development applications (ie: Subdivisions, zoning amendment applications, severances).
  • Central Region operates a separate Corridor Management Section that fulfills the above two functions.

Corridor Management and Property Section (St. Catharines) with respect to Corridor are:

  • Land Use Planning: the office is the one window contact for MTO for the Province's one window planning system administered by MMAH.
  • MTO Permits: the office updates and maintains the policies and procedures related to MTO's permit controls for building and land use, signs, access, and encroachments.
  • Policy: developing, updating, communicating and interpreting policies, procedures, standards and guidelines in consultation with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Liaison: liase with internal and external stakeholders on the management of MTO's corridor policies and procedures.