Bylaw 89-2022, passed Feb 3, 2022
OLT ruled Oct 12, 2022
So, let’s be honest, like a lot of you, I have mixed feelings about parking in Toronto. When I do drive a car, the lack of reasonably priced parking in the City frustrates me to no end, but when I bike, transit, or walk, I have no issue with it at all!
As an Architect helping Homeowners design environmentally friendly solutions to their needs, my relationship with parking bylaws gets messy. While I long for a world without gas guzzling private cars in every driveway, I love the convenience and freedom that a car brings.
Up to now, parking requirements have dominated much urban planning and even the design of individual homes, especially when it comes to adding rental suites or Backyard Houses – something that we know a thing or two about!
So I want to share some recent big news about Parking requirements in Toronto. As of October 12, 2022, there are no longer ANY minimum parking requirements for a wide range of residential uses including houses, semi-detached houses, townhouses, etc. with up to 5 suites and for any Garden Suites or Laneway Suites. For the technically minded, Bylaw 89-2022 is now in full force and effect after an OLT ruling on an appeal. Here’s an extract from the new parking tables. Note the ‘None’ and ‘minimum…’
What does this mean to you?
If you’re not planning any renovations or a new Backyard House – probably nothing. You can go back to planning your next bike trip now. For the rest of you, it means that we no longer HAVE to plan for where to park cars on your property. You are still free to plan for parking, but as there no longer any minimum requirements, the width and length of your parking pad is up to you. You still may not be able to park freely on front yard or in your neighbour’s driveway, and the rules around soft landscaping will still apply, but you have much more freedom for making great low carbon designs!
Don’t forget room to park your bikes, though! For Garden Suites and Laneway Suites a minimum of two bike parking spaces must be provided. We are working on some cool designs to slip bike parking in underneath the ubiquitous front porches found on many downtown Toronto and East York houses. Stay tuned for more on those as we roll them out (Ouch – I just can’t resist the dad jokes).
*To read more on the parking by-laws in Toronto, visit the official City of Toronto Zoning By-law page.