Why Toronto Needs to Legalize Electric Scooters in 2023 - An Open Letter

June 5, 2023
Item 2023.IE4.8, E-scooter Pilot Program

Infrastructure and Environment Committee
Toronto City Council

Dear Infrastructure Committee and Toronto City Council,

Since 2004, Segway of Ontario has retailed, serviced, and educated Micromobility riders in Toronto, Ontario, and Canada.  In 2017, we launched sales of Canada’s first electric scooters and are considered one of North America’s leading Micromobility experts. We are writing to offer you our experience + insight today.

Because of our position as a retailer, we’re writing you from a different perspective than many other commentators.  We know there are 30,000+ privately owned electric scooters riding through Toronto streets. Our sales data shows the popularity of these devices continuing to increase across all demographics and age groups.

We have three recommendations for this Committee, and more broadly, City Council, to consider and adopt:

  1. At minimum, legalization of privately-owned electric scooters under the guidelines of Ontario’s pilot program.
  2. Create a clear distinction between privately owned devices vs. any potential scooter-share program.
  3. Develop a best riding practices guide in collaboration with retailers, riders, all road users, and community stakeholders including vulnerable road user groups.

Feedback from our customers is that the city’s ban on privately owned electric scooters is at best misguided and at worst, harmful.  Banning these easy-to-use, affordable, and environmentally friendly forms of transportation has put Toronto at a disadvantage. Especially as almost every neighbouring municipality has legalized electric scooters.

Continuing a blanket ban on privately owned devices means the city is avoiding, instead of educating, the growing e-scooter riding community on safe riding practices.  At Segway of Ontario, we’d rather have a partner on education than an opponent.

Our focus as a locally owned and operated retailer has always been on moving people with safety and affordability at top of mind.  Some commentators on this file will tell you that electric scooters will cause injuries, deaths and other destruction. However, the proof is already out there, full-sized SUVs & trucks are a leading cause of pedestrian, cyclist & Micromobility user injury.

We don’t have room for more streets or full-sized SUVs and trucks in Toronto – which means we’ll see all kinds of traffic get busier and denser.  Adopting a progressive Micromobility strategy will give Toronto the tools to take informed action on road safety.  Pushing only for more electric cars is a double-edged sword.  They’re often heavier and larger than ICE autos, leading to more dangerous and deadly outcomes with all other road users - along with increased infrastructure repair costs.

Reducing the amount of trips taken by 5000+ pound SUVs, Trucks and other full-sized vehicles will help get the city moving more efficiently and safely. You can help by recommending the legalization of privately owned E-Scooters & Micromobility devices.

There are additional benefits to legalization:

  • Improve tourism. Businesses like our Tour Division, Go Tours Canada, would LOVE to launch tours of the new Port Lands or Waterfront Tours on Segways or Kickscooters. This is a proven job creator and economy booster in other Canadian cities. We’re happy to connect you with businesses already doing this.
  • Better rider education. Collaborative approach is better than just us trying to shout best practices into the wind while Amazon, Best Buy and other e-tailers offer zero assistance on rider training.
  • Protect workers. The current ban means too many employees of food delivery and app-based employment are working in grey areas while just trying to earn a living or pay their way through school. This benefits nobody in society and creates greater risk for everyone using streets.


We need to get more people on active transportation and reduce car congestion in Toronto.  Micromobility and especially electric scooters are part of that solution.  We’re at your service to help get to the best outcome for all street users.


Aaron Binder
Chief Experience Officer
Segway of Ontario


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