Parking management strategy

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Parking rules, regulations and rates are part of our City-wide parking management strategy, endorsed by Council in January 2014 and guided by a set of parking management principles. The strategy makes sure our parking system: 

  • Improves availability of short-term parking spaces: Our goal is to provide better short-term public parking and move away from being the primary provider of long-term parking.
  • Continues to pay for itself so that general taxation is not impacted: There are many costs associated with parking: new infrastructure, maintenance, equipment, enforcement, upgrades, customer service applications, replacement of existing infrastructure, land acquisition, management and more. The parking system must continue to pay for itself, so taxes are not used for future initiatives or infrastructure.
  • Offers customer service options for better customer interaction: Payment options, fair practices and real-time information make parking more accessible and easier to find, eases (or lessens) enforcement and supports active business areas and balanced neighbourhoods.  
  • Provides a balanced transportation network for residents: Parking is part of the larger transportation picture. We need to get serious about discouraging single-occupant vehicle congestion and encouraging other ways to travel. Inexpensive and plentiful parking will not encourage people to use transit, walk or cycle. 
  • Works with institutions, businesses and developers: Parking policies must co-ordinate with the private and institutional sectors to ensure efficient and economical ways to address parking and transportation needs. 
Parking area plans

Parking area plans allow us to respond to numerous parking issues and concerns: 

  • Changes to parking supply 
  • Growing demand for short- and long-term parking 
  • Impacts of increased development and activity on neighbouring residential areas 
Area plans

Our next steps involve developing and implementing individual area parking plans. 

  • Capri-Landmark Area Parking Plan - upcoming (timing TBD)
  • South Pandosy Area Plan (2014) - implemented
  • Hospital Area Plan: On-Street (2016) - implemented
  • Downtown Area Parking Plan (2019) - In Progress
    • We've updated our Downtown Area Parking Plan based both on past consultation with residents and businesses, as well as data collected on downtown parking occupancy. These parking recommendations are in part based on what we heard from 3,248 people in a Fall 2017 survey as well as at a Fall 2017 stakeholder meeting. A survey of 354 people conducted in Nov. 2018 helped refine the recommendations. As part of the city-wide parking management strategy, the plan responds to issues such as parking supply, demand and impacts of development on neighbouring residential areas. 
    • Parking recommendations recommendations were reviewed and endorsed by Council at the July 15, 2019, Council meeting. Most of the recommended parking changes will be implemented immediately, whereas some will be implemented later on pending system upgrades and further research. 

Other areas of the City will follow, as required and pending budget approval.

Reference library
Parking rate, fine & fee adjustments (2014/15)

2014

City Council approved changes to base parking rates on Jan. 27, 2014 and endorsed guiding principles that set the direction for our City-Wide Parking Management Strategy. 

Base on-street parking rates increased by 75 cents per hour beginning in June 2014. Off-street parking rates were set to remain lower than on-street rates to encourage greater use of off-street parking, leaving on-street spaces more available for short-term use. 

Old rates were too low to discourage long-term parking in short-term spaces, or to replenish reserve funds to support our parking and transportation infrastructure. On-street parking rates had been in effect and unchanged for over 20 years, and were well below market rates and the true cost of providing the service. 

City Council also approved the development of specific area parking plans as the next phase of the parking strategy. This will allow the us to respond to a number of challenges related to parking in key areas, including changes to parking supply; a growing demand for short- and long-term parking in developing areas; and the impacts of increased growth and development on neighbouring residential areas. 

The strategy and area plans will help to ensure there is sufficient parking for customers and visitors to key areas, while at the same time supporting the goal of providing a balanced transportation network based on the Official Community Plan, which means encouraging people to carpool, take transit, bike and/or walk to work when possible.

2015

At a Nov. 16, 2015 Council meeting, Council approved changes to base parking rates, fines and fees consistent with our City-wide parking management strategy. These adjustments promote a balanced transportation system, align with transit rates, create a competitive marketplace and maintain adequate parking reserves.