• Black LinkedIn Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

Parking in Toronto

November 16, 2016

 

Off-street parking is not available in all Toronto districts. You can find the licensed locations here. But even in the areas where this is possible, there are laws that can stop you from parking your car in front of your house. You may wonder why is there a law that forbids you to use your front yard as a parking spot, but the City of Toronto has its reasons for these regulations, like for example insuring the replenishment of ground water level to provide water to our trees, ensuring that our storm water system remains adequate to collect storm water or preventing the development of urban heat island effect that increases temperatures in cities.

 

Driveway Parking

 

Older houses didn't always have driveways and today owners have to build new ones. All new houses must be built with a driveway. You should be aware of that if you buy a house that has a driveway, this doesn't necessarily mean you have the right to park there. A front yard parking license isn't automatically transferred to the new owner of the property, therefore after buying a house, you have to apply for the licence. You can find the application here. You can apply for a licence providing that on-site parking is neither available nor feasibly accessible, by means of a driveway or a contiguous street or lane.

There are certain wards in Toronto where front yard/boulevard parking isn't available.

Application for a licence to park on any portion of a boulevard shall not be accepted for residential properties located within Wards

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16
    (portion outside former City of Toronto, excluding the portion east of Avenue Road, south
    of Brooke Avenue in the former City of North York and excluding Woburn Avenue between
    Avenue Road and Grey Road in the former City of North York),

  • 23, 24, 25 (portion outside former City of Toronto),

  • 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44.

A front yard parking application shall not be accepted for front yard parking for residential properties located within

  • the area of the former City of Toronto in
    Wards 14, 18, 19, 20, 27, 28, 30 and 31.

A front yard parking application shall not be accepted for residential properties located within

  • Ward 26, which do not have an existing mutual driveway.

 

If you want to build a front yard parking pad, you have to follow certain conditions. You can find all of them in the by-law, but I've chosen some of them which I think most of people may need to know about.

 

Conditions for Building Front Yard Parking Pad

  • The front yard parking pad has to be constructed to slope upward at a 2 percent to 6 percent gradient from the rear edge of the sidewalk or curb, where no sidewalk exists, to the private property.

  • The proposed front yard parking pad must be paved with permeable paving material.

  • The width of the front yard parking pad must not be less than 2.2 metres and not more than 2.6 metres, except for a front yard parking pad licensed to the holder of a disabled person's parking permit which shall not be more than 3.66 metres in width.

  • The total length of the front yard parking pad can not be less than 5.3 metres and not be more than 5.9 metres.

  • Any driveway leading to a front yard parking pad must be maximum of 2.0 metres in length measured from the rear edge of the sidewalk or, where no sidewalk exists,the face of the curb or edge of the roadway and maximum of 2.6 metres in width.

  • You can not park less than 0.3 metre from: the back edge of the public sidewalk, any door of any residential building (measured perpendicular to the door) the bottom step of any stairs, any basement or ground floor window in any residential building (measured perpendicular to the window, and in the case of a basement window).

  • The front yard parking pad has to be situated vertical to the adjacent sidewalk and, if there is no sidewalk, vertical to the face of the curb.

  • An angled front yard parking pad may be permitted only where there are obstructions such as fire hydrants, trees, and hydro poles or if the front yard or boulevard is not deep to accommodate the motor vehicle from being parked vertical to the adjacent sidewalk or curb.

  • In the case of a mutual driveway, the proposed front yard parking pad cannot be located within the existing mutual driveway, but can be constructed adjacent to the mutual driveway, while maintaining the existing grade of the mutual driveway.

There are some other interesting rules regarding your private parking that the by-law from 2010, the most recent one, brought:

  • If you have a single car garage you are allowed to park one car in the garage and one in the driveway.

  • If you have a double car garage you can park two in the garage and two in the driveway.

This two rules apply mostly to the people who are building new houses, but if you want to update your old driveway, you should be aware that:

  • If you own a single car garage and you want to widen your driveway for two cars, you would be declined the permit.

  • If you had a double car garage you would be approved to widen your driveway.

When applying for a front yard parking licence and planning to build a front yard parking pad you also have to be aware of the conditions regarding landscaping.

 

Conditions - Landscaped Open Space

Front yard landscaping

  • For lots less than 15 metres a minimum of 50 percent of the boulevard and front yard must be maintained as landscaped open space.

  • For lots greater than 15 metres a minimum of 60 percent of the boulevard and front yard must be maintained as landscaped open space.

Front yard soft landscaping

  • A minimum of 75 percent of the boulevard and front yard must be maintained as soft landscaping. The remaining 25 percent of this area will be permitted as hard surface such as walkways, patios, and other hard surface areas.

  • Hard surface paving areas must be separated from driveways, front yard parking pads and walkways by means of a permanent physical barrier.

  • Walkways located on the boulevard from the back edge of the sidewalk or back of curb to the property line shall not have a width greater than 1.05 metres.

*This is just a general summary and the conditions may vary depending on your lot size and characteristics as well as your location. For more information contact the appropriate District office.

 
Determine your maximum driveway width:

1. You have to determine your lot frontage. 
This is the distance between your side lot lines at the front of your lot.

2. You have to determine how wide your driveway can be. 
With a lot frontage of 16 m, your maximum driveway width may be 6 m.

 
Determine your required front landscaping:

1. To determine the area of your front yard, you should multiply your lot frontage by your front yard setback.
In this case, the lot frontage is 16 m and the front yard setback is 6 m. The area of the front yard is: 16m*6m = 96 square metres


2. Now determine how much of your front yard needs to be landscaped. The lot frontage in this case is 16 m, you are required to have 60% of your front yard as landscaped open space.

Determine required front yard soft landscaping:

 

1. You have to determine your lot frontage. 
This is the distance between your side lot lines at the front of your lot.


2. You have to determine how wide your driveway can be. 
With a lot frontage of 16 m, your maximum driveway width may be 6 m.

 

Determine your required front landscaping:

First you have to determine the area of your front yard not including the area taken up by your driveway.

So, if the front yard area is 96 square meters and the driveway area is 6 m*4 m=24 square meters. Area not included is the front yard area minus the driveway area so 96 square meters - 24 square meters = 72 square meters.

 

 

The requirement for front yard soft landscaping is 75% of the front yard area, not including the area occupied by a driveway.
In our case 72 square metres (front yard area - driveway area) * 0.75= 54 square metres.
So, 54 square meters of your front yard area must be soft landscaping.

 

Conditions - Tree Planting

  • No person shall remove a tree for the purpose of the front yard parking.

  • The applicant agrees to plant a tree in the front yard. If you don't do this on your own, the City will do it, but you will have to pay a fee, which will be added to your tax roll and collected in the same manner.

 

Originally sourced from http://juliekinnear.com/toronto/parking

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

Laneway Housing: More Than Just a Solution To Density

April 5, 2019

1/10
Please reload

Recent Posts

September 9, 2019