Torontonians could soon be paying more at the parking meter in some parts of the city.
The Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) has reviewed its city-wide On-Street Paid Parking program for 2017 and is proposing to hit the gas pedal and drive the hourly rates up. The changes will be considered by the government management committee on Sept. 25, and could be implemented as soon as the fall.
Regular increases to the charges at Green P lots and on-street parking spaces aren’t new, with prices normally going up by 15-25 per cent. However, this time, prices could go up as much as 50 per cent.
The increase in hourly rates are expected to hit a few select parts of the city and could affect paid parking Monday to Sunday.
Among those areas subject to an increase in parking rates are College Street and Danforth Avenue, two areas of the city that know all-too-well about parking troubles that are due to ongoing summer construction.
“The construction has been on the south side, now to implement [increased parking costs] on the north side, it’s like rubbing salt in the wounds,” says Ben Swirsky, who co-owns a restaurant and bar in the area. Alchemy opened its door a month ago and just started adjusting to the construction.
CityNews reached out to the TPA for comment on this proposal. They did not have anyone available to answer our questions.
One city councillor says the increases are justified. According to Ward 19 Coun. Mike Layton, each neighbourhood should be treated equally, and some of the listed streets haven’t seen a price increase in years.
The review reflects the areas with a growing demand when it comes to parking spaces, Layton said. “It is a revenue tool for the city. If we can use it to make more money, I don’t see the problem.”
Layton also adds that a portion of revenue generated from these increases will go back to the city as dividends. The remainder will be used by TPA towards buying new parking lots and maintaining old ones.
And while business owners understand, change is always hard to come by.
“People are never good with change. [Before], rates before were debatable. [The increase] is not going to help us,” says Swirsky.
“If you’re going to increase the rates, do it after the construction is completely done.”
Layton says the city has been in talks with TPA to make this transition early and less impactful: they hope to slowly implement the increased parking rates gradually over the year.