Is Hitchhiking Illegal in Canada? [ANSWERED 2024]

Is Hitchhiking Illegal in Canada?
Josh deLacy poses with his sign that reads "Traveling on Trust." He hitchhiked 6,745 miles as a social experiment after he graduated from college.

 We’ve addressed all your legal queries regarding the legality of hitchhiking in Canada below in much detail. 

As the law surrounding hitchhiking laws in Canada is subject to constant change, we make sure to update our content on a regular basis in regard to such changes. All the info you’ll find below is based on the latest developments regarding; Where in Canada is it illegal to hitchhike, when did hitchhiking become illegal in Canada, and can you hitchhike across the border. We make it our goal to provide relevant & authentic info to help you in achieving legal awareness regarding the subject.

Hitchhiking, the act of soliciting free rides from passing vehicles, has long been a topic of intrigue and curiosity. If you plan on hitchhiking but aren’t sure about its legality, you’re at the right place. We discuss the laws relating to hitchhiking in Canada in great detail below. Every aspect is covered to answer all possible questions regarding Canadian laws on the subject matter.

Is Hitchhiking Illegal in Canada?

Yes, hitchhiking is legal in Canada outside of restricted zones which include schedule 1 highways & expressways. Hitchhiking’s legality in Canada is a topic that often sparks debates and confusion. Although it varies depending on the province, still you can safely hitchhike as long as you’re not doing it on highways.

Where Exactly in Canada is it Illegal to Hitchhike?

While hitchhiking is generally permitted across Canada, there are specific regions where it is explicitly prohibited. These areas typically include major highways and expressways, where pedestrian traffic is restricted for safety reasons. The intention behind these regulations is to prioritize the safety of both hitchhikers and drivers.

So Can I Hitchhike in Places Other than Highways?

Is Hitchhiking Illegal in Canada?

Yes, hitchhiking is allowed in places other than highways. In fact, some municipalities and regions may have designated spots or areas where hitchhiking is encouraged or tolerated. These areas are often located away from busy roadways, ensuring a safer environment for hitchhikers and drivers to interact.

Is it Illegal to Pick Up a Hitchhiker?

Is Hitchhiking Illegal in Canada?

Personal safety should always be a priority, and drivers should assess the situation and trust their instincts before engaging in such acts of goodwill.

Hitchhiking Laws by Canadian Provinces

The regulations surrounding hitchhiking can vary from province to province in Canada. 

Quebec: In Quebec, hitchhiking is generally legal outside of highways and expressways.

Ontario: Hitchhiking is permitted in Ontario; however, it is recommended to avoid major highways and expressways due to safety concerns. Utilizing designated rest areas or service stations is a more viable option.

Alberta: Hitchhiking is legal in Alberta, but it is advisable to avoid major highways and expressways. Exercising caution and using designated areas away from high-traffic zones is recommended.

Saskatchewan: Similar to other provinces, hitchhiking is generally allowed in Saskatchewan. However, staying away from high-speed highways and choosing safe locations is crucial.

Nova Scotia: Hitchhiking is generally legal in Nova Scotia, but it is important to exercise caution and use designated areas or rest stops for increased safety.


Understanding the specific laws and guidelines in different Canadian provinces is crucial for a safe and enjoyable hitchhiking experience. Remember to use designated areas, avoid high-speed highways, and trust your instincts when engaging in this mode of travel.

E.A. Gjelten