Your Complete Guide to Ontario Road Signs

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.” Wherever you drive this is going to be the case, and it is incredibly important that every driver know what all of the road signs mean. To not know the signs could result in traffic accidents that could have easily been avoided. There are a variety of road signs used in Ontario, and actually, if you do not learn what each of these signs mean, you will not be able to pass your G1 test and get your driver’s license. Obviously, everyone knows what a stop sign looks like, but there are many others you need to know the meaning of as well.

Most regulatory signs in Ontario are rectangular or square in shape, with a black or white background, and the opposite for lettering. Should the sign have a green circle with a picture inside, it means that you are either allowed to, or must, do what the sign represents.

Here are the regulatory signs you will see in Ontario:

  • Green circle with bicycle inside – The road you are on is an official bicycle route, and you should be aware of them while you are driving. If it is a red circle with a line through the middle, it means that you may not drive a bicycle on this road.
  • Green circle with a capital “P” inside and hours – This means you can park in this area during the hours noted on the sign.
  • Green circle with snowmobile inside – This road is open to snowmobiles, take caution and watch out for them.
  • Red circle with white bar in middle – Pretty much the same everywhere, this means that you cannot enter the road from this point.
  • Red circle with black stop sign and red bar through it – It is illegal to stop your car in this area for any amount of time, not even to drop someone off.
  • White sign, “no standing” in red – You may only stop in this area long enough to pick up or drop off passengers. You may not sit here and wait for them.
  • Red circle, “P” inside with red line through it – You cannot park in this area, but you can stop long enough to drop off or pick up passengers.
  • Red circle, left arrow with red line through it – This means that you may not make a left turn at this intersection. Some of these signs tell you that you cannot turn left at certain times of the day.
  • Red circle, arrow pointing up with red line through it – This sign means that you may not go straight ahead at a particular intersection.
  • Red circle, upside down “U” with arrow and red line through it – You will see this sign in a lot of areas, and it means that you may not make a U-turn.
  • Red circle, line through right arrow, traffic lights beneath – No right turn on a red light at this intersection.
  • Red circle, “P” with red line through, handicapped symbol beneath – You cannot park in this area unless you have a handicapped parking tag displayed prominently in your windshield. A similar sign will say “no standing” which means that although it is a handicapped space, it is only for dropping off or picking up passengers.
  • Red circle, black pedestrian in middle with red line through it – No pedestrians are allowed on this road.
  • Black shield shape, curvy arrow to right – This means you must stay to the right side of a traffic island.
  • Black number with upward arrow – The speed limit is going to change up ahead.
  • Red circle, two cars with red line through them – You may not pass another vehicle on this road.
  • Black lettering “slower traffic keep right” – Self-explanatory.
  • Yellow sign with children in black, speed posting beneath – This is a school zone, and you must drive at the posted speed, during school hours.
  • White sign, black letters “Stop for School Bus When Signals Flashing” – Self-explanatory.
  • Black sign, white arrows (left, right, straight-left) – Near intersections, these signs inform you which lanes you need for certain directions.
  • Black sign, white arrow pointing right – You may only drive on this road in one direction.
  • Two signs: White with black letters “Pedestrian” and large black “X” – This is an area for pedestrian crossing.
  • Black sign, white arrows (one up and to the left, one down and to the right) – The lane you are in is for two-way left turns.
  • Two signs: White diamond in upper left corner, bicycle on right, downward arrow – The lane is for bicycles only. Similar signs will have pictures of other vehicles to let you know what vehicles are allowed on the road.
  • Black and white sign, black arrow point up with an offshoot arrow to the right – You must keep to the right unless you are going to pass another vehicle, and only where there is a passing lane.

These are just the regulatory signs you will see in Ontario. Other types of Ontario road signs are:

  • Informational and directional signs
  • Warning signs
  • Temporary conditions signs
  • HOV lane lines and signs
  • Yield to bus signs
  • Emergency detour routes signs
  • Construction zone/speed fines signs

You must learn about these and all other Ontario road signs in order to receive your driver’s license. If you would like to learn more about Ontario road signs, you can find plenty of information, including graphic images, at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/signs/, which is part of the driver’s handbook. This is information that you will need to be prepared for on your written knowledge test.

Learning the meaning of all of the Ontario road signs is not only necessary for passing the knowledge test, but also to prepare you for Ontario driving, and ensuring that you and the drivers around you are safe.

You’re welcome to practice our G1 Road Signs Marathon Practice Test (remember that we do not display the answers in the G1 marathons on purpose – click here to read more about the reasons, see the FAQ section on the left).