Friday, May 6, 2011

Parking Offences

There always seems to be some confusion about what no parking actually means.  So let's see if we can clear some of this up.

There are three general on road offences that are regulated by sign.

No Parking
No parking means that you can stop your vehicle for the purpose of letting passengers in or out or dropping off / picking up packages.  This is short term.

No Standing
No standing means that you can stop your vehicle only for the purpose of letting passengers in or out of your car.  You'll find that most TTC Stops for example are in a no standing zone.

No Stopping

Pretty self explanatory.  You can't stop your car for any reason, except if directed by police, break down.

You have to look carefully at signs to determine allowable times since many areas will be governed by multiple signs.  An example of this is a rush hour route.  It may be OK to park in a specific area from 9:30am to 11:30am but then the area becomes a No Standing Zone until 1:30pm.  That same area may then become a No Stopping Zone at 3:30pm to 6:30pm.

Bicycle Lanes
Almost all of them that I have seen are in areas that are governed by No Stopping Signs.  This no stopping anytime regardless of how long or function. (See exceptions)  There is no specific charge for parking in a bike lane.  It falls to the no stopping offence.

Handicapped Spaces
Reserved for vehicles that bear a handicap permit that is visible.  The person that is named on the permit must be using it, or being transported in the vehicle.  In other words, if your elderly parents have a handicap permit and you are using their chauffeur, you can't use a designated space to shop at the mall unless they are physically with you.

Fire Routes
You may think it's no big deal to stop momentarily in them but they are allocated for the express purpose of fire vehicles to use for parking or for access.  Block a fire route and a ticket could be the least of your concerns.

Exemptions from Parking Rules
These are fairly obvious...Emergency Vehicles, (Ambulance, Fire, Police) and Public Works vehicles, all while in the course of their duties.

If your vehicle has received a parking infraction notice, your vehicle is eligible for a ride to a towing pound.  Rush hour routes...say good bye.  We work at keeping these free and clear to facilitate an optimum flow of traffic.
Relocation's occur from time to time for major events or emergency reasons.  Your vehicle won't be far, it's usually moved around the corner, a street over or across the street.  Just call 416-808-2222 and provide your licence plate number and we will be able to pinpoint the location for you.

Resources for more information

Toronto Police
(Caution on towing rates posted on this pdf...they may change. This is not the official rate notice)

City of Toronto

I'm sure there will be questions, so feel free to ask away.  I will answer them or direct you to the best resource for your answer.


  1. Regarding bicycle lanes: Since the lanes are designated for bicycles only, wouldn't it be an infraction for a motorist to even *enter* the lane / drive in it (except crossing it to park in a legal spot, turn, etc.) Isn't this the same as driving in a designated bus lane or carpool lane?

  2. Very helpful! But - can you clarify the wording in a couple of these sections.

    "No standing means that you cant stop your vehicle only for the purpose of letting passengers in or out of your car."

    Shouldn't that be "you can stop your vehicle ...."

  3. matter how many times I proof read, there is always something. Appreciate that very much!

  4. Yes Vic, it would be. I have never seen anyone drive in the lane. What we get to see is the result, the car stopped in the lane. The way the rules of evidence go, that merely isn't enough. We have to identify the driver committing the offence by observing it actually happen.

  5. Re: No Stopping

    I assume that needing a Starbucks or having stuff to unload for a Subway franchise is not covered by this? At least since this is what happens EVERY DAY at York St & Queen's Quay during the morning rush, I'm guessing that it's ok.

    How about airport limos having a snooze parked in the bike lane? Again, every day on Queen's Quay. In the morning rush.

  6. Don't forget to look behind you before opening your door. I almost got doored the yesterday day. Terrifying experience!