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Changes Ahead: Ontario’s towing pilot project kicks off Dec. 13

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— Ontario will implement a series of restricted towing zones along Highways 401, 400, 409 and 427 in an effort to “clear collisions or vehicle breakdowns on highways more safely and quickly,” according to the provincial government. 

First announced in March 2021, the new Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) pilot program will only allow authorized towing companies to operate in the restricted areas.

The affected routes cover approximately 119 kilometres stretching between Newmarket, Burlington and Markham, Ont. 

Image credit: MTO

Locations for the pilot project include:

  • Highway 401 from Hwy. 400 east to Morningside Ave.
  • Highway 401 from Hwy. 400 west to Regional Road 25
  • Highway 427 from QEW to Hwy. 409
  • Highway 409 from Hwy. 427 to Hwy. 401
  • Highway 400 from Hwy. 401 to Hwy. 9
  • QEW from Hwy. 427 to Brant St.

The MTO has also listed rates for the Tow Zone Pilot. Towing for breakdowns and impoundments will be based on a flat-rate that includes a 10-kilometre distance, and towin and recovery for collisions will be based on hourly rates, set in 30-minute increments after the first hour.

Heavy-duty wreckers will see rates range from $650 per hour for a 40-ton rotator to $850 per hour for a rotator certified for more than 75 tons.

Vehicle storage rates will be based on the calendar day starting at the time of arrival of the vehicle, equipment or load at the storage site. A partial day counts as a full day, said the Ontario government. 

For more information on Ontario’s towing pilot project, click here.

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