The purpose of the Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM) is to provide information and guidance for transportation practitioners and to promote uniformity of treatment in the design, application and operation of traffic control devices and systems across Ontario. The objective is safe driving behaviour, achieved by a predictable roadway environment through the consistent, appropriate application of traffic control devices. Further purposes of the OTM are to provide a set of guidelines consistent with the intent of the Highway Traffic Act and to provide a basis for road authorities to generate or update their own guidelines and standards.
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The Ontario Traffic Manual provides policy and practical guidance on the full range of traffic control devices and their application, and is comprised of 22 Books, separately bound. Book 1 provides an introduction to the whole Manual, and contains considerable essential information about the fundamental principles and policies behind the design and application of traffic control signs, signals, markings, and delineation devices.
This Appendix A to Book 1 of the Ontario Traffic Manual provides an illustrated index of all signs and sign types which have a standard sign number, and an illustrated index of standard traffic signal displays.
Book 1b (Sign Design Principles) of the Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM) is intended to assist OTM users in understanding sign design principles and related driver requirements. In outlining general sign design principles, Book 1B reflects sign design principles applied currently in Ontario, by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) and municipalities, that are considered to be good practice.
In 1986, Positive Guidance was brought to Canada for the first time, at a seminar at the University of Calgary. Seminars and workshops on Positive Guidance were held throughout Ontario under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and by the Ontario Traffic Conference (OTC) beginning in 1988. In the mid and late 1980s, there was a growing awareness within the MTO of the role of human factors or ergonomics in providing a safe, efficient driving environment for the broad range of Ontario motorists capabilities and limitations. This appendix to the Ontario Traffic Manual documents both the principles upon which Positive Guidance is based and a simplified procedure by which engineers and technicians can identify and analyze driver problems at hazardous locations and black spots in order to provide appropriate safety-related information.
The specific purpose of Book 2 is to provide practical guidelines and sign patterns for the design and fabrication of traffic signs. Book 2 (Sign Design, Fabrication and Patterns) is part of a series of volumes that makes up the Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM). Book 2 is intended for those engaged in the actual practice of sign design and/or sign fabrication.
OTM Book 4 (Ground-mounted Sign and Support Inspection and Maintenance) has been developed both to improve uniformity among agencies having experience and knowledge of inspecting and maintaining signs and sign supports and to provide direction and guidance on procedures for agencies having little experience in these areas. Book 4 is intended for use by the following agencies and organizations: (1) The Provincial, Municipal, and private road authorities in Ontario and their contractors. (2) Utilities, contractors, and others who may have approval to work on public roadways.
OTM Book 5 (Regulatory Signs) is one of a series of volumes that make up the Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM). OTM Book 5 (Regulatory Signs) addresses the selection and application of regulatory signs. OTM Book 5 (Regulatory Signs) is not intended to provide sufficient detailed information on the design, fabrication or installation of individual signs. For these purposes, refer to OTM Book 1B (Introduction to the Ontario Traffic Manual), OTM Book 2 (Sign Design, Fabrication & Patterns) and OTM Book 3 (Ground-Mounted Sign Support and Installation).
Book 6 addresses the selection and application of warning signs. It should be read in conjunction with Book 1 (Introduction to the Ontario Traffic Manual) and its appendices, which contain considerable essential information about the fundamental principles and policies behind the design and application of traffic control signs, signals, markings and delineation devices. Book 6 is not intended to provide sufficient detailed information to allow the design, fabrication and installation of individual signs. For these purposes, reference should be made to Book 1b (Sign Design Principles), Book 2 (Sign Patterns and Fabrication) and Book 3 (Sign Support and Installation).
OTM Book 7 addresses the application of traffic control devices in temporary work zones that result from highway activities such as: • Planning. • Construction. • Surveying. • Maintenance. • Work by utility companies. • Unplanned event responses. • Other work within a public highway allowance.
The Ontario Traffic Council is proud to have been part of the OTM Book 7 Committee. The OTC also offers regular training on OTM Book 7.
OTM Book 8 is published as a two-volume set: • Volume 1: Guidelines; and • Volume 2: Typical Layouts. Book 8 addresses the selection and application of guide and information signs that must present information quickly and effectively for road users.
This Book provides information about the planning, design, installation and operation of Dynamic Message Signs (DMSs) for use in outdoor, traffic management related applications. The intent of Book 10 is to give sufficient information to the reader to ensure that he/she is aware of the key design elements that must be considered in the selection and use of Dynamic Message Signs. Typically, such signs are used within the context of a traffic management system. Information about the control systems for DMSs and how the signs fit within a traffic management system may be found in a companion volume, OTM Book 19 (Advanced Traffic Management Systems).
OTM Book 11 (Markings and Delineation) has been prepared to provide the user with a consistent way of utilizing pavement and curb markings, post-mounted delineators, object markers, and glare control devices to convey information to the driver. The purpose of this Book is to promote uniformity of treatment in the design and installation of markings and delineation throughout Ontario.
Book 12 of the Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM) is a user manual intended to provide some elementary instructions to beginners and to provide a reference for experienced persons for the design and operation of traffic signals. The intent is to provide a recommended best practice guide. This is not to say that the recommended methods are the only methods, or necessarily the best methods for the specific set of traffic control signals under consideration, as many factors are involved.
The OTC has a representative on the Updates to OTM Book 12 and 12A Technical Advisory Group (Heide Schlegl). If you have any comments please send them to the OTC through
The purpose of OTM Book 15 – Pedestrian Crossing Treatments is to provide practical guidance and application information on the planning, design, and operation of pedestrian roadway crossings treatments for transportation practitioners and to promote uniformity of approaches across Ontario. The set of guidelines provided within this manual are consistent with the intent of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA)1 with respect to the pedestrian crossing applications and provide a basis for road authorities to generate or update their own guidelines and standards.
The purpose of Ontario Traffic Manual Book 18 – Cycling Facilities (“OTM Book 18”) is to provide practical guidance on the planning, design and operation of cycling facilities in Ontario. The guidance in this manual applies to on- and off-road facilities within the road right-of-way. Off-road trails through parks, ravines, hydro corridors or open space are beyond its scope. This manual is for use by traffic engineers, planners, road designers and other transportation practitioners, and promotes a uniform approach across the Province.
This Ontario Traffic Manual, Book 19, provides information about the planning, design, installation and operation of ATMS and incorporates relevant operational guidelines and technical standards. It is intended for use by both the experienced practitioner as well as the newcomer to the field. Book 19 presents a greater amount of information with respect to practical guidance, engineering principles and application details than contained within previous manuals. The book explains not just the “what to do” aspects, but also the “why”, in terms that will lead the reader to think carefully about relevant considerations and the choices to be made, in order to reach the best decision for the given circumstance. Book 19 serves as a practical and useful user manual instead of purely a reference manual and is available for use by the traffic and transportation community within Ontario, North America and the world.
OTC Bicycle Signals
OTM Book 12A Bicycle Traffic Signals
The Ontario Traffic Council is pleased to announce the release by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation of Ontario Traffic Manual 12A: Bicycle Traffic Signals.
The OTC and a cross-section of municipalities from across Ontario provided input to assist with the development of the Manual. The development of this guide dealing with bicycle signals was intended to serve as a companion to Ontario Traffic Manual Book 18: Cycling Facilities, which was created through a partnership between OTC, MTO and 12 Ontario municipalities. A project to revise and update OTM Book 18 is currently underway.
OTM Book 12A can also be used in conjunction with Ontario Traffic Manual Book 12: Traffic Signals.
To view the Manual click here:
OTM Book 12A OTM Book 18
OTM Book 18: Cycling Facilities
How to purchase OT Manuals
To download OTM Book 7 (Full Office Edition), click here:
OTM Book 7 2014 To download the 2016 errata to OTM Book 7 Office Edition, click here: OTM Book 7 Office Edition ErrataTo download OTM Book 18, click here: OTM Book 18 2013
To purchase OTM Book 7 Field Edition or other OT Manuals, use these instructions:
1. Access the MTO Library On-line. Cut & paste the following into your browser.
2. Choose (double-click) the
Type in Ontario Traffic Manual in the Title box.