Canada's Condominium Magazine

Toronto Cracks Down on Overnight Parking

The city of Toronto is cracking down on overnight parking by eliminating thousands of free parking spots throughout the downtown core and in East York. Public consultations will take place in Toronto, East York, and at City Hall between April 3rd and 10th. Following the move, city-issued overnight parking permits will be required wherever parking is permitted.

Overnight parking is currently illegal, as parking time is restricted to three hours on downtown streets, However, tickets are typically only issued if someone lodges a complaint. “People in huge sections of the district are parking overnight with no consequence,” said Councilor Janet Davis. “The problem is that there s quite inequitable parking enforcement of the bylaws. The thing about on-street permit parking is you don’t have to have it.”

The move to require payment and mandatory permits for access to these parking spaces could raise over $4 million annually. However, the plan is quite controversial, as many have grown accustomed to using these spaces when other options are unavailable.

“Anything related to parking, there’s always a certain amount of fireworks,” said Director of Transportation Kyp Perikleous. “We want to make sure they understand that this is a fact-finding mission. We’re going to present our findings to community council so they can make an informed decision.”

Another controversial part of the plan is that it would open up parking to everyone on all streets, whereas the current system allows each street to make its own decisions. When a street considers opening up for street parking, a survey is issued asking residents to voice their opinions on street parking.

The survey must be completed by at least 25 per cent of residents, and over 50 per cent of respondents must agree before street parking is permitted. Following this, free overnight parking could be opened to residents with multiple cars or to guests visiting residents.

However, the new plan would eliminate that system altogether, opening up street parking city-wide and extending the privilege to anyone willing to pay for it. This not only forces residents and guests to pay for a feature that was previously free (albeit not entirely legal), while also creating a new problem through overcrowding. If one resident has a large number of guests, they could take up spots on multiple streets.

“People get very angry and emotional about their parking spots, but they’re city rights-of-way, and they’re for everyone.” said Councilor Mary-Margaret McMahon.

Currently, the plan is to roll out these changes in phases over several years, starting inwards with only a few streets initially requiring conversion.

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