Toronto makes a lot of money from parking tickets, and to be fair, most of them are issued to Torontonians.
Where the city’s losing money however, is with tourists and visitors that get written up, only to skip town and forget about the whole thing.
It’s estimated that out-of-province residents owe Toronto $3 million in unpaid parking fines.
Statistics show drivers from Quebec get the most tickets, while Albertans are the worst when it comes to owning up, with almost 95 per cent of issued tickets going unpaid.
The problem with getting these drivers to pay, is that the city doesn’t have any way of knowing who’s driving the car. Some jurisdictions are charging for the information, while provinces like Quebec and Nova Scotia, refuse to release it at all.
“I think it’s somewhat disrespectful,” said councilor Sylvia Watson of Parkdale-High Park.
“Just to refuse outright, no matter what, to give out the information is going a bit too far . $3 million goes a long way from fixing our roads, fixing our water system, doing the basic maintenance and repair.”
And the word on the street? Agreement.
“I think that if you’re visiting another community you have the same civic responsibility as when you’re at home,” said Eric Bausejour, a tourist from Montreal.
Of course, it’s not like Torontonians are innocent. In Calgary, 74 per cent of visitors from Ontario have unpaid parking tickets in the city.