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Pay parking not enforced on stat holidays, officer says

Last Updated Feb 6, 2019 at 5:33 pm EDT

Confused about whether to pay for street parking on a stat holiday? The City of Toronto says payment is required — but the good news is Toronto parking officers don’t enforce those rules.

Brian Moniz, acting officer in charge in the Parking Enforcement Unit of the Toronto Police Service, said drivers get a break on statutory holidays like Good Friday and Victoria Day.

But many people aren’t clear on the rules.

There’s no information about stat holidays listed on parking meters, and in the city’s parking bylaw it states, “Payment for parking is required 365 days a year … however Toronto police have the discretion as to whether to enforce it.”

Parking officers said pay parking hasn’t been enforced on stat holidays for years and the same goes for rush-hour routes and timed areas.

“Rush-hour routes are not enforced or any timed area where it would indicate, for example, no parking Monday to Friday from eight to four o’clock,” Moniz said.

City officials, meanwhile, said they’re not looking at changing the bylaw to make it consistent with practice.

“I guess the short answer and the unpopular answer is no,” said Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker who is on the Licensing and Standards Committee.

“We have parking enforcement for a reason. And that’s to encourage people to have short trips, to stay half an hour, an hour, get your hair cut and leave. Don’t stay parked in one spot for 10 hours so nobody else can get a spot and get their hair cut.”

The Parking Enforcement Unit said it could do better by letting the public know when payment is required and when drivers get a free pass.

“I think going forward, we’ll be issuing media releases prior to any statutory holidays indicating what the exemptions are or not,” Moniz said.

Still, drivers do have to follow some rules on stat holidays.

Parking in front of a fire hydrant or in a no-stopping zone, among other violations, will still get you ticket no matter what day of the year it is.