Road allowance regulations

This web page provides information about which activities are prohibited and allowed on public spaces in the City of Vaughan, in line with the Road Allowance By-law. 

What is the "road allowance"?

As per the Road Allowance By-law, "road allowance" is defined as Public Lands in between private properties, including but not be limited to the boulevard, any highway, lane, alley, square, place, viaduct or trestle, waterway or bridge, park, woodland, greenbelt, storm water management facility, open space, municipal golf course or cemetery, and all parts thereof.  Below is an example of what the road allowance includes:


Figure 1 - example of what road allowance includes



What does the Road Allowance By-law regulate?

In short, the by-law prohibits various activities on the road allowance, such as:

  • to create a health, safety, or environmental issue; 
  • to hinder pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic and/or sightlines; and 
  • sales, performances and the placement of materials, unless permitted by the City.

The by-law requires permits for newspaper boxes, some encroachments, and ‘road occupancy’, such as when a road is opened up to get to utilities below, or a bin is parked on the road.

The by-law also states rules for other uses of the road allowance, such as encroachments of vegetation that are allowed without a permit, and the requirement for property owners to remove snow removal from sidewalks adjacent to their property, unless they are being cleared by the City.

Non-compliance may result in administrative monetary penalty of $500 or higher fine amount under provincial regulation.


Permit applications

The following activities require a permit; click on the links below for information on how to apply:

Permit nameWhat this permit is for
Encroachment permit

To allow placement of certain things on the public boulevard:

  • any object, other than vegetation, that projects over Public Lands at a height of 30 cm or more;
  • any encroachment that extends more than 20 cm below the ground; or
  • other objects that the City deems to be a significant encroachment, such as, but not limited to, below-ground hydro installations, heated driveways, and encroachments related to commercial Private Property.
Newspaper box permitTo allow newspaper boxes to be placed on public land.
Road occupancy permitTo allow work to be done on the road allowance, or for objects to be placed temporarily on the road allowance, such as, but not limited to,  construction, digging into the road or placement of a construction waste bin.



Contact Information


By-law and Compliance, Licensing and Permit Services

Vaughan City Hall
2141 Major Mackenzie Dr.
Vaughan, ON L6A 1T1



(905) 832-2281

Fax Number