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Public, Unassumed and Private

Boundary roads

We share boundary roads with our neighbouring municipalities. Some of these roads are unassumed.

Each section of boundary road falls under a particular agreement with a neighbouring municipality. Residents on boundary roads should make themselves aware of which municipality is responsible for their particular section of road.

If you are unsure about municipal responsibility on a section of boundary road contact your nearest Municipal Service Centre.

Provincial Highways

Provincial Highways and their intersections with municipal roads are the responsibility of the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, which usually tenders maintenance operations to private contractors. All provincial highways within the municipality are currently tendered to Carillion Canada Inc., which can be reached at:

Emcon Services Inc. - Bancroft Division
6611 Highway 7,
Cavan Monaghan, Ontario

There are four provincial highways with segments in Kawartha Lakes including:

  • Highway 35
  • Highway 115
  • Highway 7A
  • Highway 7

Unassumed Roads

Publicly accessible road allowances owned by the municipality may be signed as Unassumed or Unimproved. These roads usually do not meet the minimum standards that the municipality considers acceptable for assumption. The municipality absolves itself of liability in connection to these roads.

The municipality may assume a previously unassumed or private road in the future provided the road meets the minimum standards outlined in the Assumption of Private and Unassumed Roads Policy CP2017-010

Seasonal level of service

You should review the requirements in the Seasonal Level of Service Policy and be aware that the road must meet the minimum standards before submitting an application. This Seasonal Level of Service Application is for unassumed roads only, we no longer accept applications for service on private roads. All applications require a Letter of Consent for their Designated Representative, naming the main contact for communications from the City.

City staff will inspect the road prior to approving or declining the application. The City will inform the applicant of any reasons that an application has been declined and provide opportunity to rectify any deficiencies for a second inspection where warranted.


Seasonal load restrictions and road closures

Many gravel roads are placed under a 5 tonnes-per-axle load restriction every spring. Signs are erected to notify road users of this restriction.

Load weight will be restricted on most secondary roads throughout the City in accordance with By-Law 2016-062, at the discretion of the Director of Public Works.

Load restriction periods are usually between October 1 and May 31 annually. Notices will be issued each year to define restriction periods based on seasonal weather conditions.

Restrictions are typically put into place during the spring thaw, when road damage is most likely to occur due to heavy loading. This program identifies and imposes load restrictions on roads, or portions of roads that are weakened by excess water in the road base. Once the road has been determined to be structurally sound, load restrictions may be rescinded.

Due to changing weather patterns, the roads affected and the duration of the restricted period may change.


Please visit and subscribe to the Construction Updates and Road Closures alerts for current information.

Summer road maintenance

The following services are typically delivered from May-October:

Grading and shouldering

Gravel roads are usually graded four times per year and arterial roads are usually shouldered three times per year. Exact service levels may vary from year to year.

Dust control

Calcium Chloride is applied to gravel roads during May and June.


Hot or cold mix materials are used in patching potholes, depressions, and edges.

Weed control

Roadside weeds like poison ivy are destroyed with spray from May to August.

Roadside mowing

Roadside grass is cut back 6 feet from the shoulder in June.

Brushing and ditching

These activities take place on selected lengths of roadway when needed.

Street sweeping

As part of the annual road maintenance needs, the City of Kawartha Lakes provides street sweeping services.  Sweeping services are completed to provide a safe environment for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.  Sweeping also helps prevent materials placed during winter maintenance activity from entering the City’s storm infrastructure which can cause blockages and restrict flow.

Staff plan sweeping activity based on forecasted weather, resource availability and planned workload.  Generally Staff coordinate sweeping within community central business districts first.  Council has adopted a policy CP2019-001 on street sweeping. The policy outlines equipment, resources and includes a list of roads that receive sweeping services.

Parking lots

Municipal parking lots are kept swept and are painted in May and June.


Sidewalks are repaired as needed until reconstruction takes place.

Private roads 

A private road is a local road that is not owned by the municipality. It may or may not be publicly accessible. On March 21, 2017 Council made resolution on CR2017-248 that no new agreements be accepted for Limited Service Agreements (now Seasonal Level of Service) on Private Roads.

The municipality may assume a previously unassumed or private road in the future provided the road meets the minimum standards outlined in the Assumption of Private and Unassumed Roads Policy CP2017-010

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