Fines for Toronto parking offences could increase significantly

New recommendations would see penalties for illegal on-street parking increase from $30 to $75 and parking in a bike lane may end up costing drivers $200. Mark McAllister breaks down what to expect.

By Mark McAllister

Fines for parking offences are set to increase significantly in Toronto as the city aims to keep vehicles moving and collect some extra funds at the same time.

A review by city staff that compared Toronto fines to other Canadian municipalities determined more could be charged for parking offences on the streets. It follows a similar move for city and privately-owned parking lots last fall

There are 123 offences associated with parking a vehicle, stopping and standing on city streets listed in the report that could possibly incur much higher penalties.

“I think people will give it a second thought if the fine is higher,” said Councillor Jennifer McKelvie. “We found that in the city lots, for example, the fine is about $30. Increasing to $75 makes people think twice before they leave their car spot where they shouldn’t.”

Some of the proposed increases include parking in bike lanes going from $150 to $200, not paying at parking machines increasing from $30 to $75, not having a permit where one is required will now be $75, as will parking or stopping in a zone where signs say otherwise.

A full list of the parking offences that would be adjusted can be found in the report.

It’s estimated that the city could make an additional $62 million in revenue from the increase based on the number of tickets issued, but city staff suggest it will likely be around $40 to $50 million.

“I would be happy if nobody got a parking ticket because they were parking where they should in the city really. It’s about increasing mobility, making sure that we can keep people moving to where they need to get to. That means that we need better compliance on where you can and you cannot park in the City of Toronto,” added McKelvie.

The City is also looking to create new offences for electric vehicle charging stalls in off-street parking lots so using them without charging can be enforced.

“We’re starting to see more electric cars in the City of Toronto. That is a good thing, but it means that they do need those parking spots with those chargers so that they can charge their vehicles. That means that for the rest of us, we have to park where we should, too,” shared McKelvie.

The recommended increased penalties are set to be debated at the Infrastructure and Environment Committee meeting next week before going to council for approval on March 20. If approved, they would take effect August 1.

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