Much Ado About Parking Pads

Houses | February 26, 2020

Big Yellow Taxi.  Anyone?

Joni Mitchell?

You know that famous lyric, right?

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

Hey now, now
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got
Til its gone
They paved paradise
To put up a parking lot
Why not?
They paved paradise
To put up a parking lot
Hey hey hey
Paved paradise
To put up a parking lot

Good.  Glad that’s settled.

So where do you stand on paving paradise to put up a parking lot?

Well for starters, define “paradise.”  I think we all have a different definition.

I mean, for myself, paradise is sitting at this very desk in my office, drinking my morning coffee, checking eBay for new hockey card listings, and not dealing with a crying newborn and a jealous 3-year-old.  That’s my paradise, sad as it is.

The cliché picture of “paradise” is the sun setting on an ocean, with sand in front, from the perspective of a relaxed, rested individual laying on a beach chair, drinking a margarita.

Cliché?  Boring?  Or your idea of paradise?

What about a beautiful, lush, dark green patch of grass?  Aaaaah, beautiful!  So…….functional?

Excuse the tangent, but I must…

For Christmas, my wife bought me this beautiful winter jacket which was somewhere between “dress” and “casual.”  Owning only a knee-length winter coat that goes over my suits, and a thick Reebok hooded jacket that I wear on weekends, I didn’t really have an in between option.  This new coat was fantastic!  The only problem: it had no inside pocket.

I didn’t understand.  Where was I supposed to put my wallet?

I asked one of the guys in my office, who you might say is a fashionista, and he said, “That’s the style these days.  It’s a slim coat, you don’t want a noticeable lump on your chest when you throw your fat wallet inside.”

This made zero sense to me, and I was unwilling to accept this as an answer.

The basis of my refusal?  Why would you want something that looks good, but isn’t functional?

Why do I want to wear a nice-looking jacket if it doesn’t meet my basic needs?

In my opinion, the needs of the jacket are, in order, as follows:

1) Warmth
2) Protection from the elements
3) Place for my wallet and keys

I suppose after those three criteria are met, I might consider how it looks.  I know that I’m “different” and every time that I slag people for viewing photos of their friends lunches on Instagram, I’m simply showing what a curmudgeon I am, but I can’t help it.  I’m rational and logical.

A jacket without a pocket is not.

So what then is the purpose of your front lawn?

We spend hours tending to our front lawns, pulling weeds, fertilizing, raking leaves, mowing the grass, and for what?  For enjoyment?  Yes, I suppose.  I spent dozens of hours working on my front lawn last year, and I did take some pleasure in watching it go from brown to green.

But I have a driveway to the left of my lawn.

So for those people who can only choose one, maybe they’d pick the driveway instead?

The comments on Monday’s blog were very interesting.

FIrst, we debated the value in street parking versus owned parking, but later this turned into a conversation about the necessity of both; specifically what the city should do, and in who’s interests their decisions would serve.

The readers began discussing how much the street permits cost, then how the city goes about allocating the permits if there’s truly a waiting list.

Are street permits and front parking pad licenses both revenue-generating tools?  Should they be?

I thoroughly read all the comments from Monday, and I appreciate everybody who contributed.

There are two comments that I want to pick up on:

In reading all the comments, I suppose there are a few discussion points and/or questions.

1) What criteria should be used for evaluating whether or not a house should or should not have a parking pad.

2) If there is an existing pad, and it’s not licensed, what should happen with it?

3) What are the benefits and drawbacks to having parking pads?

4) Who benefits, and who loses, when parking pads are created?

5) What is the end goal for a neighbourhood, vis-a-vis the parking therein?

I don’t want to belabour every point individually, but rather I bring these discussion points or questions up as they are meant to guide the discussion.

A house with a legal front parking pad is worth more than one without.  Guaranteed.

How much?  That’s open for debate.  But a 3-bed, 2-bath semi with no parking, selling for $900,000 might sell for $975,000 if it has a legal front parking pad.

So why do some houses have parking pads, and others don’t?

Well, anecdotally, many would agree that the city won’t be allowing the creation of new parking pads in many areas, and we always point to the Beaches as an area where applying to pave over your front lawn and create a parking pad is absolutely futile.

It’s safe to say that, as houses and parking spaces go right now, those that have parking are merely “lucky” and a by-product of previous owners, previous by-laws, and previous iterations of city council.

Those that have parking, have parking.  Plain and simple.  The curb has been cut, and that means there is one less parking space available for street parking.

Therein lies the rub.

For an owner of a home without a front pad, to ask the city to allow for a legal pad, with a curb-cut, means that the city will remove one space from the street, and thus for the public.

Ergo, to give a home-owner a space is to remove a space from the public domain.

Are we currently in a political climate that allows such a move?

Would the public allow for an individual home-owner to benefit at the expense of the public?

Then there’s the question of revenue-generating.  If a street permit brought in more than a licensed front parking pad would, then does it make more sense for the to reject an application for a private front parking pad?  Are we talking a few bucks here?  Or if we multiply by thousands of houses, is this money significant?

And what of the illegal front parking pads?

Well, for this, I finally, finally get to use an article which I’ve had in my “queue” for almost two years now.

“Why IIlegal Front-Yard Parking Pads May Soon Be Brought In From The Cold”

I found this article rather interesting because it came on the heels of years of debate about a moratorium on new front-yard parking permits.  It’s my understanding, and correct me if I’m wrong, that the City of Toronto hasn’t “banned” new front-pad parking, but rather they’re just not allowing them.

But this article was more to do with the 8,000 illegal and unlicensed front parking pads, and what to do with them.

Should they be left alone?

Should they be made legal, and thus create more revenue for the city?

Then the question of “fairness” arose.

Said Councilor Mary Margaret McMahon from Beaches-East York: “For me, it’s an equity issue.  It’s not fair that we have 8,000 parking pads in the city of Toronto that people don’t have to pay for right now while others do.”

I get that.

And if push came to shove, I would support the City’s decision to start collecting licensing fees from these 8,000 home owners.

But what if the conversation wasn’t about the existing unlicensed pads, and whether or not to collect a fee?  What if the conversation was about the pads themselves, and the idea of “functionality,” as per my coat-without-a-pocket example?

I’m fascinated with the comments provided by two city councilors, who lean to two very different directions on the left-right scale.

More interesting, however, is the two separate reactions from two different city councilors with respect to

Mike Layton:

“The reality is that it’s more valuable to us as an open space, as green space, than it is as a parking spot.  They need to be restored to the function they did before they were paved over.”


Stephen Holyday:

“You have to recognize that people have to live their lives — they’ve got cars.  They’ve had this pad in place for years. Life has to go on. Maybe there’s a way to correct this situation, to start collecting money, to make it a fairer system.”



Okay, so you know which comment I don’t like, right?

I’m sorry, Mr. Layton, but explain the “value” in the green space on somebody’s lawn?

And who says it’s green anyways?  Do you know how hard it is to keep a lawn green?  I do!

And Mr. Layton refers to a “function” before these spaces were paved over.  What function does a lawn serve?  Can we agree that there’s no real “function,” per se?  And what is meant by “before?”  When?  How long ago?  What if there was never a lawn there?  What if it was brick?

As for Mr. Holyday’s comments, I’ll put my contrarian hat on and say that if a home-owner purchased a home with an illegal front parking pad, with the expectation that they would be permitted to park here, for free, in perpetuity, then that’s a huge mistake.

I agree that starting to collect money would make this more fair, but I would also add that if there’s already a curb-cut in place on the street, then cars aren’t parking on the street in that place.  Legal, or illegal, if a parking pad exists, via a curb-cut, then there’s no street parking.  In order to add a street space, the city would need to re-pour the concrete to add a curb.  You can only imagine how much time and money this would take.

I don’t agree with Mr. Layton.  I’ll go on record labelling him a “greenie” and call his comment stupid.  I’m not sure whether he actually means what he says, ie. the “value” and “functionality,” or whether it’s a sound-byte, but bottom line, he said it.

Now let me throw in one last curveball.

What about green parking?

What about the owners of electric-powered cars who are doing their part for the environment, who want parking pads so they can charge these cars?

Oh, wow.  Now we’re in a pickle.

With the federal government absolutely obsessed with the environment, how does that play off the Toronto city council’s decision to desire to not link parking pad applications to electric vehicle charging?

The Beaches-East York city councilor, Brad Bradford, brought forth such a motion last fall.

He wrote an opinion piece in the local Beach Metro Community News explaining his logic:

“In My Opinion: Parking Pads Offer Opportunity To Meet Toronto’s Electric Vehicle Charging Needs”

Do you think this motion makes sense?

Does it have legs?

It would seem………..not.

“Tesla Access Shouldn’t Figure In Parking Pad Decisions, City Says”

That article is from only one month ago, when city council met and turned down the motion by Brad Bradford.

While this motion was turned down, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this, and for the very reason I noted above: that the federal government is all about the environment!  It’s a real juxtaposition, isn’t it?  How in the world can we Canadians be expected to turn to clean energy if we can’t charge our cars in our own driveways?

And how would Mike Layton feel about this?  Would the “function” and “value” of a patch of grass in front of one’s house trump the benefit of an electric car over a gas-powered vehicle?

Oh, I’d love a straight answer on this one.

But politicians and straight answers are like, well, um, front lawns and “value”?  Er, jackets with no pockets and “function”?

Ready, set, debate!

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  2. A Grant

    at 6:40 am

    “I’m sorry, Mr. Layton, but explain the “value” in the green space on somebody’s lawn?”

    Two thoughts. First you have to consider drainage. Front lawns add drainage capacity to the city. If everyone paved over their front lawn, the potential exists to overburden the city’s already overtaxed sewer system.

    Second, snow removal. An unused front lawn provides a place to store the snow you’ve shoveled off your driveway. But if all of your frontage is a driveway, where do you put it?

    1. J

      at 9:38 am

      These are very solid points that were missed above, hardly “reaching.”

      Drainage is a huge issue that will likely worsen going forward. There are reasons why city by-laws disallow directing your drain pipes directly into the sewer. Similarly, there are zoning rules requiring certain amounts of soft landscaping. This issue could be somewhat alleviated by having a permeable driveway surface, but I doubt that’s as good as a lawn.

      The snow removal point is a very interesting one. The house across the street from me has a large driveway and there’s currently a mountain of snow piled up on the street, taking up two potential parking spaces. So a parking pad has the potential take up parking beyond just the space directly in front of it.

      1. A Grant

        at 9:47 am

        In fact Toronto bylaw specifically prohibits it:

        719-5. Moving snow onto streets.
        No property owner, occupant or other person shall move or permit to be moved snow or ice from private property onto a highway, sidewalk or lane way.

        1. Steve

          at 9:50 am

          The bylaw prohibits it but enforcement is near to nonexistent and a homeowner who has nowhere to put the snow, even if it’s because of their own decisions, is still going to do it.

      2. Craijiji

        at 11:01 am

        We’re talking about existing illegal parking pads, so it’s definitely a reach.

        First off, drainage is a moot point if it’s been paved/bricked over for the past 20 years. If they paved over it yesterday, sure I am with you.

        Snow removal is also a moot point. Put the snow where they’ve been putting it since the pad was put in. Once again, if it’s a new pad put in yesterday the point makes sense…but that’s not what we’re talking about is it?

        1. J

          at 11:34 am

          The points above are in response to David’s general dismissal of there being any value in green space.

          Within the scope of illegal pads, you don’t need to agree with Layton’s viewpoint on them, but in the article he proposes that “they need to be restored to the function they did before they were paved over.” The article suggests that the city has the power to do so. And even if the pad wasn’t paid over but illegal parking was merely enforced, the owners that happen to not enjoy shoveling snow would probably stop doing so.

    2. Peter

      at 10:18 am

      Maybe. But I’m not sure Mike Layton is an expert on drainage. It’s more likely that he just objects to benefits for home owners, cars, and increased home prices.

      1. A Grant

        at 10:33 am

        To be fair, in the CBC article cited by David: “The most common reason for barring pads expressed by councillors is that paved front yards impede drainage, and rainwater routinely winds up flooding basements.”

        1. Tamir

          at 1:27 pm

          Three words that I’ve spoken to Janet Davis’ & Brad Bradford’s offices:
          Permeable. Parking. Materials!

        2. Frances

          at 10:15 pm

          I live in a part of the city that has driveways and front lawns and the paved driveway has yet to flood the basement. Instead it floods the road. That reason for disallowing them sounds specious to me. It’s more likely to flood the road.

    3. TOPlanner

      at 2:06 pm

      Agree with A Grant and J.

      The value in a green (or not green) space on someone’s lawn is environmental and infrastructural. This city has major flooding and stormwater management issues – the Toronto Islands are already flooding and being sandbagged this year and it’s only February. Every bit of permeable green space that gets paved over makes this problem worse. Green space (or soft coverage) is necessary for absorbing run-off and precipitation, which mitigates the effects of floods. This is only going to become more of an issue as the impacts of climate change continue. The City already tracks this and it’s an important consideration not only for parking pad permit applications, but for development applications and C of A applications as well.

      Sometimes the ‘greenies’ have a point.

  3. Marina

    at 7:17 am

    If the city just legalized illegal pads, isn’t that just incentive for me as a homeowner to pay to have an illegal pad put in, knowing it will bypass the waitlist?

    Legalizing pads for electric cars is a fairness issue. Real estate prices are already high. Do we further reward those who can afford a Tesla on top of that?

    Want to stop illegal pads? Put penalties in place. Parking ticket every time there’s a car parked there. Of they don’t pay, roll into property taxes. $25 parking ticket for every night here’s a vehicle in an illegal parking pad. Talk about a revenue stream!

    Otherwise they are just free parking.

    1. A Grant

      at 7:59 am

      What I find funny is that the issue of “entitlement” comes up often in this blog. Most often in cases of housing affordability – in that people know the city is expensive, yet they choose to live here. Why should they expect affordable housing?

      Yet here we are.

      People with cars know they need one or more parking spaces. Yet they choose to buy a house knowing full well it has limited (or no) off-street parking. Why should they expect cheap (i.e. publicly subsidized) on-street parking or for the government to look the other way as they go ahead and build an illegal off-street parking pad?.

      1. Logan

        at 8:36 am

        Only ~50% of my condo’s parking spots are wired for electric car charging capability.

        There’s a notice posted on the bulletin board by a resident looking for someone to swap parking spots, as they report they’re in the process of purchasing an electric vehicle but don’t have a charging capable parking spot.

        I wish them luck, but personally, I would never enter into that type of situation.

      2. Derek

        at 9:25 am

        I don’t follow the logic of characterizing the pricing of street parking permits as “publicly subsidized”.

          1. A Grant

            at 11:31 am

            I would suggest picking up Donald Shoup’s “The High Cost of Free Parking” It’s a very informative read in this regard.

          2. Derek

            at 9:00 pm

            So spell out the minimum List of criterion that would result in it being acceptable In your eyes for my family to continue to own a car in my west end Toronto residential neighbourhood.

        1. A Grant

          at 11:25 am

          I consider a government subsidy as anything that can be delivered by the private sector that is subsequently provided by the public sector at a lower cost than the free market.

          Sometimes there are good reasons for these types of subsidies. Car storage is not one of them.

          In this case, as David rightly notes: “A house with a legal front parking pad is worth more than one without. Guaranteed.”

          Further, a house with off-street parking is worth a lot more than one without. How much more? I’m sure David would be in a better position to answer, but I’d imagine somewhere in the neighbourhood of $50K more.

          Meanwhile, you can rent a parking space on a public right to facilitate the storage of your car for just over $220 a year. A steal compared to the costs associated with the purchase of off-street parking. In fact, David considers the latter one of the first compromises a home buyer ought to consider when buying a house.

          And yes, I understand that there is more value inherent in readily available and convenient off-street parking, but under the existing model, I would argue that on-street parking is currently significantly undervalued.

          1. Derek

            at 12:41 pm

            Sorry this is a bit of a quick vomit of thoughts, but…… I live on a residential street with a mixed parking situation. Most are mutual, a few are private. Curb parking in between, one side of street only (one side has more spots so the City quit the seasonal switch). On a typical residential street such as mine, why on earth does it make any sense for the City to treat the available curb parking spots as an asset to be profited from? I’m not sure why the City needs to share in any increased value of a residential property for parking availability considering it already receives a windfall in the LTT. The residential neighbourhood is delineated by streets, for cars. I live on an Avenue, not a hiking trail. I suppose if it was cost prohibitive to park a car on the street where you live in the greatest City in the world, everyone could get rid of them and not support any businesses anywhere that are not conveniently available via public transit. I’m not sure that is a trade that those newly shunned businesses would welcome. Does this boil down to who makes the choice as to who should subsidize who? The home owner and car owner have surplus resources to subsidize other City services that cannot survive on the “below market” rates charged to the user.

          2. A Grant

            at 9:19 pm

            Derek – I don’t know the specifics of your street but I would argue that curbside parking is a public asset that SHOULD be profited from. Frankly, it’s foolish for a city not to. Take New York City as an example. Did you know that almost all curbside parking within city limits is free? That’s right, this high demand resource, of which there is limited supply, is simply given away. And the results are predictable. Parking is an absolute cluster.

            Meanwhile Toronto ought to pursue the exact opposite approach. Not only as a means to generate much needed revenue. But by pricing parking in such a way that forces residents to consider alternatives to adding yet another personal vehicle to Toronto’s already congested streets.

          3. Derek

            at 10:00 am

            I personally believe that bike lanes are a huge City asset and the City needs to profit from them. It is particularly egregious that companies like Foodora can have their delivery cyclists using City property for free! I also look around at my local parks and see all the local residents crowding in there on warm summer days without paying a darn cent to the City. What kind of City allows their residents to use such assets without one thought towards the potential profit that could be generated?

          4. A Grant

            at 8:29 pm

            My answer to that is the city needs to subsidize desired outcomes. Getting people out of cars that cause congestion and into sustainable transportation is a net positive for everyone (including drivers). So walking, cycling and public transportation ought to be encouraged not made more expensive.

  4. Mike

    at 7:43 am

    Did you actually write this entire screed without doing a lick of research into the role of green infrastructure in preventing flooding in urban settings with already overburdened storm systems? LOL. Classic TRB.

    1. Tamir

      at 1:29 pm

      Again, permeable parking options exist so the flooding issue is a non issue.
      Make them replace it and split the cost 50/50

      1. jeff316

        at 9:52 pm

        Permeable pavers often get clogged and need more maintenance. It’s an improvement but doesn’t render drainage a non-issue.

  5. Appraiser

    at 8:29 am

    “What function does a lawn serve? Can we agree that there’s no real “function,” per se?”

    Have to disagree here. Eight thousand green spaces holding at least 8,000 full grown trees serves several very real functions. Long term too.

    1. Appraiser

      at 9:46 am

      …for example…

      The list of benefits of trees includes:

      Shade, which reduces the urban heat island effect.
      Mitigating air pollution.
      Retaining stormwater and reducing peak flows.
      Leave or foliage that falls from trees can create an environment for organisms in the ground that help maintain soil porosity.
      Noise from highways and other sources can be reduced with trees.

      …a single tree provides $73 worth of air conditioning, $75 worth of erosion control, $75 worth of wildlife shelter, and $50 worth of air pollution reduction…”

      1. Terrence

        at 10:51 am

        In fairness to David, we’re talking about some concrete pads that have been there for decades. Mike Layton wants to dig these up to plant trees??

        So then we’re talking about using existing parking pads to IMPROVE drainage?

        Are there no better ideas? Shouldn’t the city be looking to improve city sewers and infrastructure instead of using private property to drain water?

        My humble opinion.

        1. Craijiji

          at 11:07 am

          Ding ding! Finally someone understands that David was talking about existing pads.

          1. Steve

            at 10:18 am

            It’s not like they were all built at once 20 years ago. People are continuing to build new illegal pads today and the lack of doing anything about existing ones only further emboldens this.

        2. Appraiser

          at 2:10 pm

          “Shouldn’t the city be looking to improve city sewers and infrastructure instead of using private property to drain water?”

          They should be doing BOTH and a great deal more. Private (and public) greenspace helps to clean and drain water and keeps it out of our antiquated storm water system. All new driveways and parking pads, if there should be any, should be constructed of permeable pavers or equivalent products that allow rain water to become ground water, as nature intended.

          1. Frances

            at 10:25 pm

            The driveways with which I am familiar nearly all send water toward the street. Since we have storm sewers, that’s where the water goes.

          2. Frances

            at 10:28 pm

            We don’t have an antiquated storm water system, we have an antiquated sanitary sewer system. The older parts of the city have no storm sewers so rain goes into the sanitary sewers and that is the real reason why the city wants permeable front lawns.

        3. Tamir

          at 1:30 pm

          This is cheaper and easier and more effective and let’s start charging those for illegal pads.

  6. Verbal Kint

    at 9:49 am

    Thank goodness I don’t have to live in a neighbourhood where this is an issue!

  7. SW

    at 9:55 am

    1. Can someone explain to me the rationale for the city charging the ~$250 per year in the first place to allow me to park on my legal pad? I can’t think of any good reason.

    2. Can someone explain to me the rationale for the city preventing new/additional parking pads where the curb is already cut, either because it’s part of a mutual driveway or because there’s already a legal pad and we want to add a second? So long as I have the requisite amount of soft landscaping, what are they losing?

    1. planner

      at 11:33 am

      Your legal parking pad is probably partially on city property. I have one and it is city property 16 feet from the curb which means my car is half on city property.

    2. Steve

      at 10:04 am

      That’s approximately what they would have charged for a permit to part on the street where your curb was presumably cut and took an on street space away.

  8. michael taylor

    at 11:20 am

    we are the owners of a hybrid car. we have a laneway along 1 side of our house with an indent that allows a car to be parked out of the stream of traffic. the city owns the indent. the only way to safely charge our car is to park it there impinging on no one. our neighbour who has societal issues constantly phones and reports us. we pay for street parking in front. we would pay for the right to park there and we would pay to put a fast charge on the house. there is no greenery issue in our case.

    1. Tamir

      at 1:32 pm

      And your neighbour is an a$$hole and you are experiencing what I couldn’t since we could not even consider a plug-in vehicle.

  9. A Grant

    at 12:23 pm

    If you’ll forgive me if I go on a bit of a tangent (given David’s predilection for the same, I’ll hope you’ll grant me some leeway), but I’ve always found the availability of parking to be one of the most interesting (albeit unsexy) aspects of urban planning.

    Generally, when we look at purchasing a residence, “location, location, location” is one of, if not the primary factors informing our decision. And generally, the most sought after and highly-valued locations are those in what we would consider “walkable” neighbourhoods. And these neighbourhoods generally have limited parking. In fact, the very absence of large-scale surface parking is one of the reasons why these areas are so desirable.

    And yet, despite limited supply and high demand, we insist on providing on-street parking for free or nearly free in these neighbourhoods (private off-street parking is always more expensive than nearby publicly-owned on-street parking – one would have assumed that this would drive free marketeers nuts). And any effort to transition this public space away from car storage to another use that could further beautify these neighbourhoods or improve their accessibility, such as through wider sidewalks, on-street patios, or dedicated bus/bike lanes, is generally met with fierce resistance (the “war of cars”!) completely at odds with the low dollar value we place on it.

    1. Tamir

      at 1:32 pm

      “private off-street parking is always more expensive than nearby publicly-owned on-street parking”.

      False, costs about the same.

      1. A Grant

        at 8:31 pm

        Generally it’s easy to find free on-street parking. So no. It’s not.

  10. Joel

    at 2:59 pm

    As someone who lives in the beaches and downst have parking, I would very much be for allowing green parking pads.

    2 people on my street have put in pads with no permit and they never get ticketed.

    Right now I simply cant buy a hybrid or electric car as i have no where to charge it. In 10 years when all or most cars are electric the city will need to address this and it makes sense to get ahead of it while you can.

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  12. Abacab

    at 3:52 pm

    Re: “…the federal government is all about the environment!”

    Perhaps I’m “reading” David incorrectly, but that exclamation mark implies a “WTF??” on his part, as if to say “the environment” shouldn’t be *really important* to everyone (whether in reality it is or not).

    1. Verbal Kint

      at 6:46 pm

      Your perspective: “Look, the fluid leaks soak right into the groundwater.”
      Neighbour’s perspective: “I have to look at the [rust]box on his front lawn.”

      1. Tamir

        at 1:34 pm

        These cars shouldn’t even be on the road anyway. Newer cars that are well-maintained won’t leak like this.
        Also, then these cars parked on the street would leak onto the road and flow into the drains too.

      2. Kyle

        at 7:29 am

        @ Verbal Kint

        Your perspective: “One of these days, i’m going to land a real zinger on David”

        Everyone else’s perspective: “Wow this bitter, envious Agent is a total psycho, who would probably benefit and be more successful from listening and considering David’s advice instead of trying so hard to get him in a gotcha moment. Maybe with more successful and you could also be less bitter and envious.”

  13. Crofty

    at 6:37 pm

    According to the website database David provides a link to, there are seven legal front parking pads on my street (Broadview/Danforth area). I was not aware that these people pay a fee for their pads. So I am now wondering why the half-dozen or so homeowners on my street who have driveways not pay a fee. Doesn’t seem fair.

  14. Derek

    at 11:40 am

    How about a tangent? Any thoughts on the impact, if any, of the recent stock market turmoil on the pending spring real estate market?

    1. Tamir

      at 1:39 pm

      Rates may go down more before the Spring market if governments are scared of economic slowing.

  15. Ilona

    at 1:53 pm

    You can create green parking pads with open pavers that allow vegetation to grow and for drainage. And as someone said at a Lanescape workshop last night, “you can park a car on a lawn you know”. True.

  16. Tatooine

    at 10:06 am

    Try dealing with illegal pads. It is tiring to have to pay for your pad when your neighbours, and many others on the street you live on get a freebie. Then try to ask the city to do something about it. The answer I have seen most commonly, when I have inquired about this, and asked why parking enforcement can’t enforce illegal parks? The answer? Well, they just don’t ticket them. Even though the inspector is one the street *every* day, and will ticket legal pads for paying fees late, but won’t ticket an illegal park next to a legal one. They won’t do a survey, or try to calculate how many are illegal, or set some process up for either fining illegal pads, and legalizing them. Considering 8000 illegal pads would bring in $2.4M a year in extra revenue, you would think it was an incentive? The final answer… “well if you want to provide us with a list of illegal pads, then we could monitor them, and deal with them”. Like it’s my job. I wish the city would just (i) fine the illegal pads, $2500 would be a good figure, covering 10 years of “free” parking; (ii) grandfather in those that are deemed okay, i.e. have the appropriate curb already in place, but charge them, a marginally higher fee, and (iii) make on street parking the same city-wide, not just a few streets here and a few streets there.
    The city is always complaining about a lack of funds, but doesn’t seem interested in actually actioning those items which basically are free money.

  17. Bob

    at 1:25 pm

    This is all BS. The only reason the city councilors like street parking is that it puts lots of money in their municipal pockets from parking permits but mostly from parking tickets. They could care less about water run-off or the environment. Need proof? If I tear down a house with no parking tomorrow and build a new one with a garage, I get a curb cut and a driveway to that garage, no questions asked.
    If I already have a house with a garage, I can park on my driveway, no questions asked.
    I can make my driveway out of anything I want regardless of whether it’s permeable to water or not, and in fact there’s a new bylaw that’s makes it illegal to do anything but slope your driveway toward the street to make sure runoff goes to the street and isn’t kept on the property.
    This nonsense is all about figuring out any ridiculous reason to squeeze people for as much money as they can. Just a money grab, plain and simple.
    Snow removal? Really? In my neighborhood, there are so many cars on the street that snow removal is nearly impossible and as result driving down most streets is like driving over the arctic tundra.
    Cars parked on driveways makes the neighborhood ugly? Please! Go to any street parking neighborhood and then try to tell me the unending lines of cars on both sides of the street looks good. Meanwhile a street with driveways and front pads, you barely even notice the cars.
    Stop drinking the kool-aid, your councilors want your money, that’s it. Same reason they insist on cash payouts instead of Greenspace on the majority of new development projects where Greenspace is mandated as a bylaw requirement unless a cash payout is paid, which they determine, and rarely ask for any green other than money. It’s also the reason why they take cash payments in lieu of adequate parking in new condos, so they can get more cars out on the streets and/or into their own parking structures where they can continue to give parking tickets.
    Here’s some things to consider other than the supposed “environment” or “water runoff” concerns:
    -mothers with babies
    -children getting into cars parked on busy streets with cars whizzing by
    -elderly people having to walk long distances to their cars
    -elderly people having to dig out their cars daily due to poor or non-existent snowplowing
    -elderly people having to bring in groceries
    -the amount of water wasted every year on watering lawns (now banned in a lot of southern cities due to the REAL environmental cost.
    -damage to vehicles parked on streets
    -poor snow plowing
    -MASSIVELY diminished property value in return for a few extra dollars in city pockets.
    -ease of theft or vandalization to the cars parked on the road and away from their owners.
    Don’t fall for the BS, if someone figured out what the revenue was from parking tickets and raised the cost of parking pad fees to cover it or pay more, I guarantee you bans would be lifted, pads would start popping up all over the place, and councilors would have all kinds of new reasons why they are actually good for the environment.
    If I can have a garage with a driveway, and that’s not a horrible thing for the environment, a driveway without a garage isn’t either.
    Next time an election comes up, vote for the person who will put a stop to this reckless cash grab that serves only to make living in the city unnecessarily expensive, ugly, difficult and unsafe.

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