Toronto City Council Removes Most Minimum Parking Requirements

The parking reform movement has a major new feather in its cap: the Toronto City Council has this week adopted sweeping changes to the parking requirements of the city's zoning bylaws.

2 minute read

December 16, 2021, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A man pushes a snow blower to clear the ground of an outdoor parking lot filled with cars.

Chandra Ramsurrun / Shutterstock

The Toronto City Council this week adopted Zoning Bylaw Amendments that will remove most minimum parking requirements for new developments, according to a press release published by the city of Toronto. Parking maximums have also been added.

The city reports that the changes to the city's parking requirements align with goals set by its climate action strategy, TransformTO, approved in 2017, and the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan, adopted in 2019.

An article by Erin Nicole Davis for Storeys provides more details about the expected impact of the drastic parking reforms adopted by the fourth-most-populous city in North America.

Part of the reasoning behind the reforms is a pattern of overbuilt parking in new residential developments. According to Davis, "The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) says data shows that in new condo projects, an average of 33% of parking stalls were left unsold. One builder, according to RESCON, had 90% still available for sale as a building neared construction."

RESCON also estimates that the price of building a parking spot has increased dramatically in recent years—from $80,000 to $165,000 in three years.

Planetizen shared news that Toronto was heading toward a historic moment in parking reform in November, but Toronto announced the potential for parking reforms [paywall] back in February.

Toronto becomes the latest city to roll back parking requirements in 2021, joining San Diego, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, and Berkeley—although Toronto's reforms are far more universal than many, but not all, of the cities on that list. Planners in Raleigh, St. Paul, and Dallas are also working on parking reforms, and could have legislation for approval relatively soon.

There's also a crowd sourced map of all the cities that have adopted parking reforms.

Thursday, December 16, 2021 in Toronto Storeys

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