Highway Corridor Management

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) is responsible for managing the provincial highway corridor network.  Through the application of legislation, policies, and guidelines, the ministry supports economic growth while ensuring the safe and efficient movement of people and goods across the province.

Responsible growth is supported by the two primary functions of Highway Corridor Management:

  • Highway Corridor Management permit administration
  • Review land use planning matters (municipal planning, development applications)

Go to Highway Corridor Management - Online Services

Table of Contents


Highway Corridor Management permits

If you are planning a construction project on or near a provincial highway you may need a permit from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Permits are issued by MTO's Highway Corridor Management Offices under the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act. Applications from developers, municipalities, utility companies and the general public are reviewed to ensure they follow all policy rules and guidelines.

There are four types of highway corridor management permits:

  • Sign

    If you are planning to erect or alter a sign or advertising device on a property within 400m (¼ mile) of any provincial highway right-of-way, you may require a permit. There are certain restrictions as to setback, size and location, that are considered when issuing sign permits.

  • Building and Land Use

    Building and land use permits are available for either commercial developments or residential developments.

    If you are considering commercial or residential constructing or renovating a house / barn / shed, drilling a well, installing a swimming pool or underground storage tanks, etc. close to or adjacent to a provincial highway, you may require a residential building and land use permit.

  • Entrance

    The ministry controls all residential and commercial entrances to provincial highways and all entrances must be constructed to ministry standards. You may not construct an entrance to a provincial highway without a ministry entrance permit.

    You also require an entrance permit if you have purchased a property that has an existing access to a provincial highway, as entrance permits do not change ownership with title.

    If you are planning to construct an entrance to a highway from a commercial development, upgrade an existing residential entrance to a commercial entrance, or modifying an existing commercial entrance, etc., an entrance permit is required.

  • Encroachment

    Typically, an encroachment is any installation or works, upon, under or within the limits of a provincial highway right-of-way placed by someone other than 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 "residential" on the encroachment application form followed by a detailed work description confirming the encroachment is servicing a private dwelling or private farm.

    Residential Encroachment – 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.


Applying for a permit

The ministry offers streamlined permitting services through its online permit portal.

In addition to applying for a permit using MTO’s online services, you can also perform the following functions:

  • Track a permit application - view the progress and status of a permit application
  • Make a payment - pay your billing statement online by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or by Interac Online
  • Submit an inquiry - contact Highway Corridor Management staff with site-specific questions
  • Submit post-construction information - submit as-built drawings and construction completion date for encroachment permits involving utilities
  • View permit controlled areas - determine if you are in the controlled area by entering the location and type of proposed activity

To find out if you require a permit, complete the permit application wizard.  A paper-based version of the Application for Highway Corridor Management Permits form is available should you wish not to apply online. Alternatively, permits can also be obtained through hardcopy submissions to your local Highway Corridor Management Office.


Highway Corridor Management permit application requirements

When submitting applications for Highway Corridor Management permits, you should provide relevant drawings, plans, photos, supporting reports (i.e. Storm-water Management, Traffic Impact Study), or other related documents for online or hardcopy submission.


Permit fees

Building and Land Use

Fee

Frequency of Renewal

Residential/Agricultural Building and Land Use Permit

$195.00

One Time Fee

Commercial Building and Land Use Permit

(Minimum $345.00)

$2.90/m2 - each square metre with the first 20,000m2

One Time Fee

$1.40/m2 - each square metre over 20,000m2 and up to 40,000m2

$0.60/m2 - each square meter over 40,000m2

Telecommunication Plant Land Use Permit

$1265.00

One Time Fee


Entrance Permit

Fee

Frequency of Renewal

Residential/Agricultural Entrance Permit

$230.00

One Time Fee

Residential/Agricultural Entrance Permit – Change Ownership

No Charge

N/A

Residential/Agricultural Entrance Permit – Pave Existing Entrance

No Charge

N/A

Commercial Entrance Permit

$860.00

One Time Fee

Commercial Entrance Permit – Change Ownership

No Charge

N/A

Commercial Entrance Permit – Pave Existing Entrance

No Charge

N/A

Temporary Commercial Entrance Permit

$520.00

One Time Fee


Encroachment Permit

Fee

Frequency of Renewal

Billboard Sign (on the Right-of-Way)

$11.50/m2 (minimum $170.00) – New

Annual

$7.50/m2 (minimum $150.00) – Renewal

Signs/Banners/Commercial and Municipal Activities on Highway Right-of-Way

$520.00

One Time Fee

Residential – Utilities on Highway Right-of-Way

$520.00

5 Year

Commercial/Municipal Utilities on Highway Right-of-Way

$1560.00

5 Year

Guide Sign - Private Roadway (Grr1)

$85.00 – Initial

Annual

$55.00 – Renewal

Guide Sign - Personal Direction (Grr2)

$85.00 – Initial

Annual

$55.00 – Renewal

Guide Sign – Radio Sign

$170.00 – Initial

Annual

$55.00 – Renewal


Sign Permit

Fee

Frequency of Renewal

Billboard Sign (off the Right-of-Way)

$11.50/m2 (minimum $170.00) – New

Annual

$7.50/m2 (minimum $150.00) – Renewal

Location Sign

$23.00/m2

One Time Fee

Portable Sign

$23.00/m2

One Time Fee

Development Sign

$23.00/m2

One Time Fee



Processing time

The review process for Highway Corridor Management permit applications varies based on the type and complexity of application.  The ministry’s Highway Corridor Management Public Service Commitment standard lists the ministry’s commitment to provide prompt and clear information and guidance to help process your Highway Corridor Management permit applications.

Once an application is submitted, the progress of the review process can be viewed online by visiting our online tracking page.


Land Use Planning

The role of the Ministry of Transportation in municipal planning

Ministry responsibilities include preserving the safety, mobility and functionality of our provincial highway network. A safe, modern and efficient multimodal transportation network is critical to keeping people and goods moving, connecting communities and improving quality of life for all Ontario residents.

It is imperative that MTO be involved in the early stages of municipal land use planning in order to ensure that all ministry interests are considered when developing local official plans. It is in the interest of good land use planning that MTO be involved in the early stages of municipal land use planning processes and the development of municipal plans.

MTO also offers policy direction, guidance and technical advice to municipalities though our One Window Provincial Planning Service. We also provide input to technical advisory committees. Through the One Window process, MTO provides comments on official plans, secondary plans, transportation master plans, and similar plans to ensure that proposed transportation policies are consistent with current legislation, provincial plans and guidelines where applicable.

MTO staff also provides comments on all development applications (subdivisions, consents, zoning amendments, etc.) within our permit control authority, under the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act. Typically, MTO's comments are specific to highway access, technical matters and other permit-related issues and conditions.

Review of municipal plans

Through the One Window process, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MMA) notifies its partner ministries, including MTO, of a municipality's intent to begin the official planning process. MTO then has the opportunity to advise the municipality of any ministry interests that need to be addressed in the plan, and to suggest necessary studies at the very early stage of the official plan development (i.e. Traffic Impact Studies, Drainage and Storm-water Management Reports).  MTO will provide written comments and may also plan in-person meetings with municipal staff and or partner ministries to help clearly identify issues.

Official plans are not shared with MTO in cases where an upper-tier municipality has been assigned approval authority by MMA to sign off on a lower-tier's official plan Nonetheless, it remains the responsibility of all municipalities as part of the Municipal Plan Review to ensure that these plans are in line with all provincial legislation, policies and practices.

MTO is interested in reviewing lower-tier official plans if there are potential impacts on the provincial transportation system. Again, we encourage all municipalities to contact MTO early in their official planning process to ensure that your proposed plans align with MTO's permit controls.

MTO’s interest in municipal official plans in focused on general transportation policies and planning as well as more specific technical and operational issues. Please note that not all of these issues will apply to a given municipality.


Regional Highway Corridor Management Sections

Regional Highway Corridor Management sections are responsible for permit administration and land use planning functions such as reviewing development applications, subdivisions, zoning amendment applications, and severances.

For more information please contact the respective Regional Highway Corridor Management section in Central, East, Northeast, Northwest, and West regions.

Central Region

Downsview Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
159 Sir William Hearst Avenue, 7th Floor
Downsview, ON M3M 1J8
Phone: 416-235-5385
Toll Free: 1-866-636-0663 (for area codes 905, 705, 519)
Fax: 416-235-4267

East Region

Bancroft Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
50 Monck Road
P.O. Box 300
Bancroft, ON K0L 1C0
Phone: 613-332-3220 Ext. 214
Toll Free: 1-800-554-0487
Fax: 613-332-3751

Kingston Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
1355 John Counter Boulevard
Kingston, ON K7L 5A3
Phone: 613-544-2220 Ext. 4107
Toll Free: 1-800-267-0295
Fax: 613-540-5106

Ottawa Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
347 Preston Street, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1S 3J4
Phone: 613-745-6841
Toll Free: 1-888-362-1770
Fax: 613-748-5297

Peterborough Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
300 Water Street, South Tower, 1st Floor
Peterborough, ON K9J 3C7
Phone: 705-755-1318

Port Hope Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
138 Hope Street North
Port Hope, ON L1A 2P1
Phone: 905-885-6381
Toll Free: 1-866-224-0622
Fax: 905-885-9273

Northeast Region

Cochrane Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
74 2nd Street, P.O. Bag 5000
Cochrane, ON P0L 1C0
Phone: 705-272-4333
Toll Free: 1-800-280-1465
Fax: 705-272-6448

Huntsville Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
207 Main Street West
Huntsville, ON P1H 1Z9
Toll Free: 1-800-255-7814
Fax: 705-789-3606

New Liskeard Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
704024 Rockley Road, P.O. Box 1390
New Liskeard, ON P0J 1P0
Phone: 705-647-1802
Toll Free: 1-800-720-1120
Fax: 705-647-4571

North Bay Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
447 McKeown Avenue, Floor 2
North Bay, ON P1B 9S9
Phone: 705-472-7900
Toll Free: 1-800-461-9547
Fax: 705-497-6926

Sault Ste. Marie Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
70 Foster Drive, Suite 420
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 6V4
Phone: 705-945-6611
Toll Free: 1-877-366-0669
Fax: 705-945-6830

Sudbury Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
3767 Hwy 69 South, Suite 8
Sudbury, ON P3G 1G4
Phone: 705-564-7722
Toll Free: 1-800-222-1047
Fax: 705-564-7989

Northwest Region

Emo Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
57 Emo Road
Emo, ON P0W 1E0
Phone: 807-482-1362
Fax: 807-482-2957

Kenora Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
808 Robertson Street
Kenora, ON P9N 1X9
Phone: 807-468-2761
Fax: 807-468-2784

Thunder Bay Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
615 James Street North
Thunder Bay, ON P7E 6P6
Phone: 807-473-2000
Toll Free: 1-800-465-5034
Fax: 807-473-2166

West Region

London Office
Ministry of Transportation
Highway Corridor Management Section
659 Exeter Road
London, ON N6E 1L3
Phone: 519-873-4203
Toll Free: 1-800-265-6072 Ext. 5198734203
Fax: 519-873-4228


Provincial Highway Corridor Management Section

The Provincial Highway Corridor Management section of the Highway Standards Branch is responsible for:

  • Land use planning: this office is the one window contact for MTO for the Province’s one window planning system administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
  • MTO permits: this office updates and maintains the policies and procedures related to 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: liaise with internal and external stakeholders in managing MTO's corridor policies and procedures.

For information on highway corridor management policies and procedures, you can use our submit an inquiry page to have your question directed to the appropriate Highway Corridor Management staff for follow-up.


Frequently asked questions

Q: What is the purpose of highway corridor management?
A: The ministry supports economic development and ensures the safety and efficiency of the provincial highway network by facilitating responsible development within and adjacent to the highway corridor.

Q: Do I require a permit?
A: To find out if you require a permit, complete our convenient Permit Application Wizard.

Q: How long does it take to obtain a permit?
A: The ministry’s Highway Corridor Management Public Service Commitment standard lists the ministry’s commitment to provide prompt and clear information and guidance to help process your Highway Corridor Management permit applications.

Q: How much does it cost to obtain a permit?
A: You may review the permit fee schedule here.

Q: What is required when applying for a permit?
A: To ensure a prompt and timely review of your submission, please complete an "Application for Highway Corridor Management Permits” form, and submit any supporting documents such as drawings, reports, photos, or other documents related to the application.  The application and supporting documents are preferably submitted online.  Submissions can also be made by mail or by visiting a Highway Corridor Management Office near you

Q: How will I know the status of my permit application?
A: For your convenience, we now offer online status reporting.  You can track the status of your permit application here.

If you have a question which is not answered here or elsewhere on this website, please use our submit an inquiry page to have your question directed to the appropriate staff for follow-up.

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