The east-central province of Ontario is between the Great Lakes and the United States. Its capital is Toronto, a major Canadian city, but the province also features the capital of Canada, Ottawa.
Can you bring a drone to Ontario and safely launch it?
According to Transport Canada rules, you can fly a drone in Ontario, including Ottawa and Toronto. However, pilots cannot fly within five miles of airports or military bases and should use a drone map to check for other restricted airspace.
If you’re eager to learn more about Ontario drone rules, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll talk further about restricted airspace and recommend some great scenic areas where drones are welcome, so don’t miss it!
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Can you fly a drone in Ontario?
In Canada, the governmental department known as Transport Canada makes the rules about air, marine, rail, and road transport.
Transport Canada’s rules permit drones in Ontario just as they do across greater Canada.
Drones cannot fly near airports and heliports throughout Ontario. Depending on the classification from the Canada Flight Supplement, you can fly within one or three nautical miles.
You’re allowed within 5.6 kilometers or three nautical miles of an airport with a Certified classification and only within 1.9 kilometers or one nautical mile from a heliport with a Certified classification.
Ontario is the second biggest province in Canada at 415,000 square miles. As you might expect, it has a ton of airports. Here’s the full list for your perusal:
- Ottawa International Airport in Ottawa
- Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga
- London International Airport in London, Canada
- Thunder Bay International Airport in Thunder Bay
- John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport in Hamilton
- Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport in Toronto
- Windsor International Airport in Windsor
- Timmins/Victor M. Power Airport in Timmins
- Kingston Airport in Kingston
- Jack Garland Airport in North Bay
- Greater Sudbury Airport in Greater Sudbury
- Sault Ste. Marie Airport in Sault Ste. Marie
- Muskoka Airport in Bracebridge
- Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport in Sarnia
- Dryden Regional Airport in Dryden
- Kenora Airport in Kenora
- Niagara District Airport in Niagara-on-the-Lake
- Red Lake Airport in Red Lake
- Region of Waterloo International Airport in Woolwich
- Wiarton Keppel International Airport in Wiarton
- Peterborough Airport in Peterborough
- Attawapiskat Airport in Ontario
- Peawanuck Airport in Peawanuck
- Nakina Airport in Nakina
- Oshawa Executive Airport in Oshawa
- St. Thomas Municipal Airport in St. Thomas
- Sioux Lookout Airport in Sioux Lookout
- Fort Frances Municipal Airport in Fort Frances
- Pembroke & Area Airport in Pembroke
- Lake Simcoe Regional Airport in Oro-Medonte
- Wawa Municipal Airport in Wawa
- Kingfisher Lake Airport in Kingfisher Lake
- Deer Lake Airport in Deer Lake
- Bearskin Lake Airport in Bearskin Lake
- Big Trout Lake Airport in Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug
- Cat Lake Airport in Cat Lake First Nation
- Fort Albany Airport in Fort Albany
- Fort Hope Airport in Eabametoong
- Fort Severn Airport in Fort Severn First Nation
- Landsowne House Airport in Neskantaga
- Kasabonika Airport in Kasbonika Lake First National Community
- Kaskechewan Airport in Kashechewan
- Moosonee Airport in Moosonee
- North Spirit Lake Airport in North Spirit Lake
- Pickle Lake Airport in Pickle Lake
- Pikangikum Airport in Pikangikum
- Poplar Hill Airport in Poplar Hill
- Sachigo Lake Airport in Sachigo Lake
- Sandy Lake Airport in Sandy Lake
- Summer Beaver Airport in Nibinamik
All courses offered by Pilot Institute are taught by remote pilots, flight instructors, FAA commercial pilots, and other certified professionals.
The best 7 places to fly a drone in Ontario
You’re in the mood to launch your drone. Fortunately for you, Ontario has many esteemed places where you can do just that.
Here’s a list of places to visit and explore the skies.
>> Read More: Can You Fly a Drone in Winnipeg?
1. Downtown Toronto
One of the most thrilling parts of Toronto is undoubtedly its downtown area. Here, you can find a variety of fun and funky neighborhoods, nightlife, restaurants, and skyscrapers, including the CN Tower.
Downtown Toronto is the home of the Royal Ontario Museum, the shopping area Bloor Street, St. Lawrence Market, and the large mall known as the Eaton Centre.
Although you can’t get too close to structures or crowds with your drone, if you plan your time in Downtown Toronto when the area has fewer crowds, you should be able to take some uninterrupted aerial footage.
2. Erindale Park
In Mississauga, Erindale Park is 222 acres of greenspace, making it the biggest park in the area. The park features toboggan hills, trails, grills, picnic areas, and a playground. The park also has a photography site.
Open seven days a week, you can get into Erindale Park from dawn until 11 p.m. That gives you plenty of leeway for planning your visit when the park isn’t as crowded.
3. Toronto Harbourfront
Overlooking the beautiful Lake Ontario shores, the Harbourfront area is sure to inspire your latest drone projects.
This area has mountainous condo towers, a children’s amusement park in Centreville with a carousel from 1907, and nearby Toronto Islands with beaches for swimming and sunbathing.
While you don’t want to fly your drone too close to the water, the Harbourfront has a lot to fall in love with and is an excellent way to spend an afternoon in Ontario.
4. North Maple Regional Park
In Vaughan, you’ll find a little slice of heaven known as the North Maple Regional Park. Built in 2018, the 900-acre park includes turf soccer fields, a pavilion, hiking and walking trails, a toboggan hill, and picnic areas.
The park’s features are spaced out enough that you can find a nook for flying your drone away from the crowds. North Maple Regional Park is open daily between 8:30 a.m. and 11 p.m.
5. Scarborough Bluffs
The escarpment in Toronto’s Scarborough District is known as Scarborough Bluffs or The Bluffs for short.
The Bluffs encompasses the waterfront area and includes a number of parks and gardens. Here are your options:
- Sylvan Park
- South Marine Drive Park
- Scarborough Heights Park
- Scarboro Crescent Park
- Rouge Beach Park
- Rosetta McClain Gardens
- Port Union Waterfront Park
- Harrison Properties
- Guild Park and Gardens
- Greyabbey Park
- Doris McCarthy Trail
- East Point Park
- Cudia Park
- Crescentwood Park
- Chesterton Shores
- Cathedral Bluffs Park
- Bluffer’s Park
6. J. C. Saddington Park
If you’re still looking for parks to explore in Ontario, head over to Mississauga to J. C. Saddington Park.
The park includes an amphitheater, heritage buildings, a playground, picnic areas, and a looped path system. Even better, it was erected over what was once a landfill.
With so many unique sights, you can spend all day here with your drone. J. C. Saddington Park is open from dawn until 11 p.m. daily.
7. Colonel Samuel Smith Park
We also recommend enjoying Colonel Samuel Smith Park in the Etobicoke district if you have some time during your Ontario travels.
Once favored by Victorian Torontonians as the ultimate getaway site, Colonel Samuel Smith Park today is still a great reprieve. The park has stunning views of Lake Ontario, perhaps some of the best you’ll get in the region.
Throughout the rest of the park, you’ll see a playground, hiking trails (including scenic trails), boats and yachts on the water, observation decks for viewing wildlife, and picnic areas.
You can use your drone to capture footage of endangered wildlife or more common Canadian creatures like beavers, swans, turtles, and ducks. Just don’t get too close to any animals with your drone.
If you want to shoot some urban sights, areas of the park allow you to take panoramic footage of the city, including CN Tower.
Ontario drone laws to know before you go
Are you ready to head out for a day of exploration and fun in Ontario? Make sure you stay abreast of these important Transport Canada drone laws.
- If your drone weighs more than 250 grams, you must have a license and registration.
- When obtaining a drone license in Canada, you can select between a Pilot Certificate – Basic Operations or Pilot Certificate – Advanced Operations. If you want the full freedom to do what’s legal with your drone, pursue the advanced license. Just expect a tougher test and a flight review to earn the license.
- You can register your drone through Transport Canada. You’ll receive a registration number that you must affix to your drone.
- You cannot fly your drone during emergency operations.
- Your drone must fly under 400 feet.
- If a special event occurs, you cannot use your drone too close.
- You must stay 30 meters away from crowds if you have a Basic Operations license.
Ontario, Canada is a phenomenal place to fly your drone. The province features parks, beaches, forests, and cityscapes.
Always follow Transport Canada rules when planning your drone adventures and have fun out there!