Every year from around March 1st to May 31st the Muskoka municipalities put half-load, or reduced/seasonal load restrictions on select roadways. During this period of time:

  • Vehicles are restricted to load limits of 5 tonnes per axle
  • There is limited truck and transport access to these areas

Reason for weight requirements

In the spring, as frost comes out of the ground and moisture comes out of the road bed:

  • Roads become softer and weaker
  • Heavy loads on roads can cause it to sink and break apart, which can lead to permanent damage
  • Half-load restrictions are put in place to protect our roads and road beds from being damaged
  • Reduces the need of having to re-build a road after every spring thaw (that could get costly for our taxpayers)

About weight requirements

Vehicles over a certain weight class are not permitted to use the roadway. This includes larger vehicles like:

  • dump trucks
  • delivery trucks
  • concrete trucks
  • heavy equipment floats that haul excavators, bulldozers and cranes

Vehicle exceptions

Passenger vehicles are exempt from these restrictions.

Road exceptions

Portions of Town roads that the reduced load period does not apply to:

Road name From and To
Centre Street From Main Street District Road #3 to Highway 60
Hanes Road From District Road #2 to Howland Drive
Falcon Road From District Road #2 to Huntsville Industrial Supply
Crescent Road From District Road #3 to 1 Crescent Road
Domtar Road From District Road #3 to Panolam Main Entrance
Old North Road From Highway 11 to Fanotec
Lakewood Park Drive From District Road #3 to West Airport Road
West Airport Road From Lakewood Park Drive to Canusa
Greer Road From Highway 11 to South Mary Lake Road District Road #44
Lindgren Road West From Highway 11 to the end of Lindgren Road West
Payne Drive From Centre Street North to Dufferin Street North
Dufferin Street North From Payne Drive, Northerly to Uponor Yard
Stephenson Road 8 East From Greer Road to Muskoka Ready Mix
Stephenson Road 2 East From Highway 11 to North Muskoka River Road
Old Ferguson Road From Highway 11 to The Garage at 315 Old Ferguson Road 
Howland Drive From Centre Street to Hanes Road

Visit the District of Muskoka website for district road half-loads and exceptions list.

Time of year

With spring thaw and changes in weather, half-load restrictions are generally March 1st to May 31st. The roads are given time to shed winter frost.

How residents can help

Consider alternate routes

When a half-load restriction is in effect, the road is off limits to heavy transports. However, there may be alternate routes that can be taken in order to reach the destination. This may require additional permits such as a road occupancy approval permit.

Plan spring building projects

If your building project takes place in the spring (busiest time of year in the building industry), knowing about half-load restrictions in your area will help you in planning your project.