parkingsigns toronto

Parking Matters – Blog

Parking is a big deal, even if you don’t have a vehicle. All of our buyers looking in Toronto’s parking restrictive core get this crash course.  There are many different parking scenarios in Toronto, so we attempted to rank them according to our biased experience from most to least favourable.

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Parking Via Public Laneway

Arguably better than private drives. Your land is utilized better with no driveway, and it also has better curb appeal, and more front or back yard space. Most city public laneways are wide and accessed by concrete. A main negative to laneway parking is the laneway being inaccessible if another car blocks the way, or if there is a large snowfall that doesn’t get plowed. Another negative is if you require more than the 1 or 2 parking spaces you have, or often require parking for guests. We find if streets have laneways, they are more likely to have ample street parking.

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Private Driveway 

Just as it sounds, a glorious place to permanently park your car(s) without any extra expense, permits to renew, and/or neighbours to battle. The only negative is you might have a bit more to shovel. Big plus here is that it’s all yours!

Condo Parking

Don’t overlook the benefits of heated, locked, underground garage spaces. These are often owned as a separate PIN (you can buy more of them or sell them off), and often come with a small maintenance fee.

Condo Parking
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Parking Via Right of Way

Very similar to Parking via Public Laneway, but with some drawbacks; often some of your lot is given up to be part of the right of way portion of land. The surface is commonly a neglected gravel/grass/mud mix, or maybe asphalt. The right of ways can be more contentious with neighbours and sometimes require owners to be litigious.

Front pad parking (AKA Boulevard Parking)

This is technically a licence to park your car on the city’s property. The city owns a portion of land from the curb to the front of the house (often found near the middle of the front yard setback). With this type of parking, you get to enjoy a $248.58+HST (2019) annual licence renewal fee. If you don’t have parking and are thinking of getting one of these, manage your expectations. The city doesn’t allow applications for new licences in most wards, and there are many requirements when they do accept applications. If you’re buying a property, you should confirm the house you’re looking at is on the List of Toronto licensed locations

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Mutual driveway

This is a right of way, where two neighbours contribute 3-5ft of access each to form a 6-10ft wide driveway to a pad or garage parking at the back, that is entirely on their own land. Mutual drives are very contentious in many ways. How wide are they? Can you actually fit an average car forwards and backwards without scratching your car? Who is responsible for shoveling it?

Some horror stories stem from these as according to the rules, nothing can impede access over the mutual drive at any time. When mutual drives are too narrow for practical use, neighbours often have to come to a compromise for sharing the potential 1-car space created. Don’t forget the surface maintenance/replacement you get to do with your neighbour. These are commonly found where semi-detached homes are built, so storing the car in your backyard often gobbles up most of the backyard space.

Residential On-Street Parking

A program in some areas of the city that entitles residents to buy a permit to park their automobile on the street within a specified area exclusively during permit parking hours.

$15.85/month if you have no parking on your property, and $39.70 if you do (2019).

Parking Permit

Temporary On-Street Parking

Temporary resident or visitor permits may be obtained to provide 24-hour, 48-hour and weekly on-street parking within the limits of a permit parking street or area, provided space is available.


Description Fee Basis User Fee
24 hours Per space $9.76 + HST
48 hours Per space $14.64 + HST
7 days Per space $22.86 + HST

Did You Know:

  • Most areas of the city have a 3 hour limit for street parking. Toronto Municipal Licence Enforcement Officers don’t ticket unless someone calls to complain.
  • It is illegal to park overnight in North York between December 1st and March 31st.

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