Terminology


Cameras

Cameras on Ontario 511 come from multiple sources. Therefore, the camera images are not updated at the same intervals or displayed in the same format.

Carpool Lots

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario provides free carpool parking lots near dozens of highway interchanges throughout Ontario. They are ideal places to meet up with your pre-arranged carpool partners before entering the highway system. Selected lots are also served by public transit.

Entrances to the lots are marked by the familiar parking lot sign.

Anyone can use them. No registration or permit is required, and there is no charge for use of these unsupervised lots. Just drive in and park. Overnight parking is permitted. Commercial vehicles are not allowed.

(Note: The Ministry of Transportation accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to vehicles or their contents.)

For more information on Carpool lots visit the Ministry's carpool lots page

Construction

Construction includes information about major construction projects on provincially owned roadways.

Electric Vehicle Chargers

Ontario 511 displays information on stations that are part of the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) grant program.
Level 2: 240V. Can fully charge a vehicle from 0 per cent charge in about four to six hours.
Level 3: 480V. Can charge a vehicle to 80 per cent in about 30 minutes.

Ferries

Ontario 511 Ferries information includes provincially and privately owned ferry locations. For information regarding specific ferries please visit the websites provided.

Forecasted Driving Conditions

New this 2017-18 winter season is 511's pilot project to include a layer showing “Forecasted Driving Conditions.” Forecasted Driving Conditions are based on weather forecasts and pavement temperatures, and are independent of reported road conditions. Forecasted Driving Conditions are identified as “good”, “fair”, “caution” or “poor” based on wind speed, rain, snow, and temperature. Forecasts are generated in four, three-hour timeframes (0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 hours) up to 12 hours ahead. In addition to Forecasted Driving Conditions, the ministry provides Reported Road Conditions, traffic cameras, and weather cameras to assist drivers in planning their travel during the winter.

Ontario 511 endeavours to provide accurate, up-to-date information, however, Forecasted Driving Conditions are a prediction. Actual driving conditions may differ on occasion.

Inspection Stations

Truck inspection stations are found at various highway locations in Ontario. Signs indicate whether or not a station is open. If a station is open, trucks must enter and stop for inspection.

Vehicles and loads are checked for weight, height, length, width and axle spacing. Driver licences are also checked for validity and proper class of licence for the vehicle.
Ontario 511 provides the location of all Ontario Truck Inspection Stations. For road safety purposes, the Ministry of Transportation does not provide an open/closed status for stations.

Remote Airports

Remote Northern Airports are located in Ontario's far north, extending from the Manitoba border on the west to Hudson's Bay on the north and to the Quebec border on the east. Except for Pickle Lake and Armstrong, these airports serve aboriginal communities, which have no all-weather road access to the rest of Ontario.
 

Rest Areas

This includes rest areas, picnic parks and scenic lookouts.

Road Conditions

Reported Road Conditions are road and visibility conditions reported by the Ministry of Transportation's maintenance contractors. These official reports are generated at minimum, five times a day.
Reported Road Conditions identify the roadway as either “bare,” “partly covered” or “covered” and visibility as “good,” “fair” or “poor.”

Road is Bare
Road is Bare

All wheels of a vehicle are on a bare surface. Bare includes:

  • Bare and dry: Most of the road surface is bare.
  • Bare and wet: Most of the road surface is moist.
Road is Partly Covered
Road is Partly Covered

Two wheels of a vehicle are on a bare surface. Partly covered includes:

  • Partly Ice Covered: Two wheels on bare surface and other wheels likely on ice.
  • Partly Snow Covered: Two wheels on bare surface and other wheels likely on loose snow.
  • Partly Snow Packed: Two wheels on bare surface other wheels likely on snow bonded with road.
Road is Covered
Road is Covered

All wheels of a vehicle are on snow or ice. Covered includes:

  • Ice Covered: All wheels are on ice.
  • Snow Covered: All wheels are on loose snow.
  • Snow Packed: All wheels are on snow bonded to road.

Visibility definitions


Visibility is Good
Visibility is Good

Visibility is more than 500 metres over the entire section.

Visibility is Fair
Visibility is Fair

Visibility is between 250 and 500 metres at specific locations.

Visibility is Poor
Visibility is poor

Visibility is reduced to less than 250 metres at specific locations.

Roadwork

Short term or emergency road repairs and maintenance on provincially maintained highways.


Roundabouts

Roundabouts on provincial highways and ramp terminals are designed to accommodate a regular tractor-semitrailer design vehicle and are not an impediment to truck configurations compliant with O. Reg. 413/05, Vehicle Weights and Dimensions for Safe, Productive and Infrastructure Friendly Vehicles.

Roundabouts

Large trucks may need to use more than one lane when they enter, drive through and exit a roundabout. Within the roundabout, they may also need to use the truck apron between the circulatory roadway and the central island. Drivers are cautioned not to drive beside large trucks when approaching or within the roundabout.
Ontario 511 provides the locations and type (single/multi-lane) information for all roundabouts on provincial highways.

Seasonal Loads / Load Restrictions

Under the Highway Traffic Act the province enforces reduced load restrictions on trucks to protect Ontario's highways during spring thaw, when road damage is most likely to occur. The Ontario 511 website provides both map and text based reports on any seasonal load changes to provincially owned highways. 


Service Centres

There are 23 Ontario Highway Service Centres located on highways 400 and 401 across Ontario. Twenty of these sites have been fully modernized to provide improved service to all road travellers. These centres have been branded as ONroute. All service centres have the following services:

  • washrooms that are fully and easily accessible
  • self-service gas station open 24 hours a day
  • full-service gas station open 7am to 10pm every day
  • service for disabled drivers available 24 hours a day (see Onroute.ca regarding the Disability Assistance Program after hours service)
  • full-service convenience store open 24 hours a day
  • quick service restaurant(s)
  • automated teller machines (ATM)
  • seasonal rest/picnic areas
  • free WiFi
  • public telephones water drinking fountains

Traffic Events

Traffic events include closures, incidents and roadwork.

Travel Info Centres

Traveller Information Centres are operated by Tourism Ontario. These centres provide a variety of services including: a vast array of free travel brochures of all of Ontario, free Ontario road maps, discount coupon books, special promotion packages, customized trip planning, accommodation reservations and attraction ticket sales, free WiFi service, washrooms, picnic and play facilities, fishing licences camping permits (select locations only), and merchandise/souvenirs. For more information about individual centres visit https://www.ontariotravel.net/en/plan/otics