No. Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is against the law. Here’s why.
No bikes on the sidewalk!
Section 492.1 of the Highway Safety Code states that motorcycle, moped and bicycle riders are forbidden to drive on the sidewalk except when necessary or if a sign instructs them to do so.
In other words, unless there is major road resurfacing work going on, a temporary detour lane or an obvious obstacle, you must never ride on the sidewalk.
Why is riding on the sidewalk not allowed?
Sidewalks are for pedestrians. If you ride on a sidewalk at high speed, you threaten their safety.
It can also be dangerous for you: when motorists drive on the road, they expect to meet other road users, and so they anticipate hazards. It’s much more difficult, however, for a motorist pulling out of a driveway (especially if they are backing up) to manoeuvre out of the way of a cyclist approaching on the sidewalk.
We teach children to look both ways before crossing the street. When you’re on a bike, you should do the same. Stop just shy of the sidewalk, look left, then right, then left again to make sure the way is clear.
In the city, always be alert, and make children aware that there are many alleyways.
The golden rule? Approaching any alleyway or driveway, use caution, as though you are at an intersection.
So if sidewalks are off-limits to cyclists, does that mean that bike paths or lanes are mandatory for them? No, it’s best to put safety first, and a dedicated cycling lane remains the best option!