Vehicle Idling on Campus

Vehicle Idling on Campus

Legislative History:

Reviewed by President and Vice-Presidents:  January, 2011 Effective: February 1, 2011.

Approval Authority: Vice-President Finance and Administration

Signature: Gary Brewer

Description: Establishes idling restrictions for motor vehicles on University Roadways and other areas of its premises, in accordance with City of Toronto By-laws.  Reference By-law No. 673-1998.


To advance the University's commitment to sustainability, this Guideline has been established in accordance with the City of Toronto By-law to discourage the unnecessary idling of cars, trucks and buses on York University's campuses. The City By-law limits idling to no more than one minute in a 60-minute period (with specific exceptions, such as during extremely hot or cold weather).


To minimize the impact of the amount of vehicle exhaust generated on York University roadways and other areas of its premises, the University shall ensure to the extent possible that idling restrictions prescribed by City of Toronto By-laws are observed. These restrictions are summarized in Appendix I.



The following restrictions, applicable to York University’s Keele and Glendon campuses and established by City of Toronto By-law 673-1998 (and amended June 8, 2010), are drawn from Chapter 517 of the City of Toronto Municipal Code.


IDLE -- The operation of the engine of a vehicle while the vehicle is not in motion and not being used to operate auxiliary equipment that is essential to the basic function of the vehicle, and "idling" has a corresponding meaning.

LAYOVER – A stopping point along a transit route for a maximum of 15 minutes used by transit vehicles to allow transit vehicles to adjust to service schedules.


  1. A vehicle, containing equipment that must be operated inside or in association with the vehicle; or
  2. A vehicle serving as a facility for taking measurements or making observations operated by or on behalf of a municipality, public utility or police, fire or ambulance service.

OFFICIAL – A police officer, police cadet, municipal law enforcement officer or any person authorized to enforce this chapter.

STOPOVER – A scheduled delay of a maximum of 15 minutes at a transit vehicle terminal to allow transit vehicles to adjust to service schedules.

TRANSIT VEHICLE – Public transit vehicles, tour buses and motor coaches.

VEHICLE – A motor vehicle, trailer, traction engine, farm tractor or road-building machine as defined in the Highway Traffic Act1 and any vehicle drawn, propelled or driven by any kind of non-muscular power, but does not include cars of electric or diesel electric railways running only upon rails.

Restriction on Idling

No person shall cause or permit a vehicle to idle for more than one minute in a sixty-minute period.

Exceptions to the Restriction

  1.  Police, fire or ambulance vehicles while engaged in operational activities, including training activities, except where idling is substantially for the convenience of the operator of the vehicle.
  2. Vehicles assisting in an emergency activity.
  3. Mobile workshops while they are in the course of being used for their basic function.
  4. Vehicles where idling is required to repair the vehicle or to prepare a vehicle for service.
  5. Armoured vehicles where a person remains inside the vehicle while guarding the contents of the vehicle or while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded.
  6. Vehicles required to remain motionless because of an emergency, traffic, weather conditions or mechanical difficulties over which the driver has no control.
  7. Vehicles engaged in a parade or race or any other event authorized by City of Toronto Council.
  8. Transit vehicles while passengers are embarking or disembarking en route or in terminals.
  9. Transit vehicles while at a layover or stopover location except where idling is substantially for the convenience of the operator of the vehicle.
  10. Vehicles transporting a person where a medical doctor certifies in writing that for medical reasons a person in a vehicle requires that temperature or humidity be maintained within a certain range.


Every person who contravenes any provision of this chapter is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine as provided for in the Provincial Offences Act.