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Bicycles are defined as vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. As such, cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as motorists.

According to a City bylaw, bicycles with wheels that measure 60 centimetres or less can ride on sidewalks as long as the rider is under the age of 12. The intent of this measure is to allow children to cycle on the sidewalk while they learn to ride. This is a municipal bylaw and rules vary in communities across Ontario.

The Cornwall bylaw states that riding a bicycle with a tire size over 60centimetres (24 inches) on sidewalks is prohibited. Cyclists over the age of 12 are also prohibited from riding on the sidewalk.

Cyclists are more vulnerable than motorists, and they need to equip themselves to be safe and visible in traffic and on the recreational path.

Recreational Path Guide 

Recreational Path GuideFind information on the City recreational path, bicycle safety, e-bikes, dogs in the park and more in the 2012 Recreational Path Guide!

The guide is a special publication of Seaway News

Click here to download the guide (PDF 6.6 MB). 

Safety tips for cyclists
- Cyclists should wear helmets for their own safety. Helmets are mandatory for those under the age of 18.
- Bicycles must have both front and rear facing lights
and should also have reflectors on the wheels.
- Cyclists should wear light-coloured clothing and
reflective stickers should be affixed to bike helmets to improve visibility.
- Make sure your bike has a working bell.

Travel rules for cyclists
- Cyclists belong on the road, the recreational path or designated bike lanes, not the sidewalk. Only children under 12 with small bicycles are allowed on the sidewalk.
- Cyclists should always ride on the right with traffic.
- Cyclists should ride 1 metre (3.2 feet) from the curb and exercise caution when passing parked vehicles or road hazards.
- On one-way streets, cyclists should follow the traffic flow.

Share the Path!Waterfront Recreational Path
Cornwall's recreational path is one of the City's most popular recreation assets. It's also one of the busiest, with cyclists, pedestrians, joggers, in-line skaters and many others making use of the path on a regular basis.

We all have a part to play in keeping the path safe and enjoyable for everyone, and we must recognize and respect the rights of others to use the path.

All path users are asked to keep the following travel tips in mind:

  • Yield to pedestrians at all times.
  • Always keep to the right side of the path when traveling.
  • Move completely off the path when coming to a stop.
  • Check behind and in front before moving across the path or making a sudden turn.
  • Notify others when you are passing by calling out a warning or ringing a bell.
  • Obey all traffic signs and travel at a safe speed.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you're listening to music, keep it at a low level or use a single earphone.

Path users should also consider these safety tips:

  • Familiarize yourself with the path and know your route.
  • Stay on the path and avoid isolated areas.
  • Tell others where you are going and bring a cell phone with you.
  • Wear sun block and stay hydrated.

Bicycle signals

Signalling is a matter of law, courtesy, and self protection. Use these signals when stopping or turning:

Left turn: Left hand and arm extended horizontally beyond the side of the bicycle.
Right turn: Left hand and arm extended upward beyond the left side or the right hand.
Stop or sudden decrease of speed: Left hand and arm extended downward beyond the left side of the bicycle.

Making Left-Handed Turns:
There are two ways to make a left turn:

  • Like an automobile - Look over your left shoulder for traffic behind you, signal, move into the left lane when safe, yield to oncoming traffic, and turn left. Complete the turn near the right curb.
  • Like a pedestrian - Dismount from your bike and cross following pedestrian rules.

Driving at Night:
Bicycles must have both front and rear facing lights and should also have reflectors on the wheels. Cyclists should wear light-coloured clothing and reflective stickers should be affixed to bike helmets to make them more visible.

Other Safety Tips:
- Always wear a helmet.
- Make sure your bicycle has a working bell.
- Obey all traffic signs and regulations.
- Never carry another person on your bicycle. 
- Always use hand signals when turning or stopping.
- Competing with high speed, heavy traffic is dangerous. Look for safer, less travelled routes.
- Be careful when checking traffic and when looking over your shoulder.
- Give pedestrians the right-of-way.
- Choose a bicycle with the right fit. A bike that is too big or too small can be uncomfortable and dangerous. An oversized bicycle impedes balance and hampers control.
- Keep your bicycle in good condition.
- Be cautious at night, especially along pathways that are not lit. Ride at a slower pace, especially around dark curves, and stay visible by dressing brightly and using bicycle lights.

More information: