Parking management strategy

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

  • Improves availability of short-term parking spaces, 
  • Continues to pay for itself so that general taxation is not impacted, 
  • Offers customer service options for better customer interaction, and
  • Provides a balanced transportation network for residents.

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Parking area plans

Next steps include development and implementation of individual area parking plans.

  • South Pandosy Area Plan (2014)
  • Hospital Area Plan: The short-term, on-street portion of the plan has been implemented
  • Downtown Area Parking Plan (2019)
    • 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 conducted in Nov. 2018, which heard from 354 people, 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.
    • The recommendations were reviewed and endorsed by Council on July 15, 2019. 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.

Area plans will allow the City to respond to a number of issues and concerns related to parking, including:

  • Changes to parking supply,
  • Growing demand for short and long term parking, and
  • Impacts of increased development and activity on neighbouring residential areas.
Guiding principles for parking management
Focus on excellent short-term parking

Our goal is to provide better short-term public parking and move away from being the primary provider of long-term parking.

Self-funded parking system

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.

Customer service and fairness

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.

Work with institutions, businesses and developers

Parking policies must coordinate with the private and institutional sectors to ensure efficient and economical ways to address parking and transportation needs.

Support a more balanced transportation system

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.

Reference library
Parking rate, fine & fee adjustments
2015

On Nov. 16, 2015, Council approved changes to base parking rates, fines and fees consistent with the 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.

2014

City Council approved changes to base parking rates on Jan. 27, 2014 and endorsed guiding principles that set the direction for the City-Wide Parking Management Strategy. The goals are to improve parking availability, ensure the system pays for itself so that general taxation is not impacted, and improve customer service options to residents.

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 City 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.