1. Watch for Signs and Pavement Markings

As the pressure for on-street parking continues to build, more areas of Toronto have posted parking restrictions. New residential permit parking zones are added each year, time limit areas expand and rush hour signs multiply. Signs without specific times listed are in effect 24 hours a day. Tow away signs are posted in some areas as an extra reminder, but are not required for vehicles to be towed.  Many bike lanes have been added to city streets.

2. Read the Pay and Display Machines/Parking Meters

Hurried motorists often forget to check the information on the parking machine before making payment. Always make sure you check the days and hours the machine is in effect or whether there are rush hour restrictions which require the vehicle to be moved.

3. Be Courteous - Do not Park in Reserved Parking Spaces

Show consideration for the parking spaces reserved exclusively for vehicles displaying valid Accessible Parking Permits both on-street and on private property. When non-permit holders park in these spaces, those with disabilities are often left with no other parking alternative.

4. Stay Away from Corners

The space at the end of the block is an inviting temptation to the frustrated driver looking for a parking space. Beware! The City of Toronto requires vehicles park at least 9 metres from the curb line of the intersecting street. The corner clearance is intended to provide pedestrians, cyclists and motorists with a clear field of vision and plenty of space when approaching intersections.

5. Leave Bus Stops for Buses

Motorists often pull into bus stops to wait for a friend, buy a cup of coffee or use a bank machine. Even a quick stop blocks the zone, forcing transit drivers to unload or load passengers on the street. This is a potential hazard for elderly and disabled passengers and an inconvenience for other motorists when the bus is unable to pull into the zone.

6. Use off-street Parking

Do your meetings run late? Does the doctor keep you waiting? Utilizing off-street parking options will avoid the hassle of worrying about an expired parking machine, moving your vehicle out of a time limit area, or your vehicle being subject to rush hour route provisions. The purpose of timed parking areas is to encourage the turnover of vehicles in places where there is a high demand for on-street parking.  If your appointment requires longer-term parking, save the cost of a ticket and use the parking lot.

7. Park Safely at Schools

It's 3:00 p.m. on a weekday afternoon, hundreds of elementary school children are heading home. Parents are waiting to pick them up. Where can these vehicles park safely? Most schools have signed areas that are designed to accommodate motorists dropping off or picking up children. Drivers should not use the no stopping or no parking zones in the vicinity of schools. These areas are usually located on either side of the street near schools and must be kept clear to provide clear visibility for motorists and students. Drivers should never double park to load or drop off children from their vehicles. This places children in a dangerous position of crossing a lane of traffic without seeing or being seen by other motorists.

8. Know the Difference Between No Parking, No Stopping and No Standing

The No Stopping Anytime and No Standing Anytime symbols are the most restrictive parking regulations in Toronto. Once a vehicle has ceased moving, even if occupied, it is deemed stopped or standing. If a driver chooses to stop or stand in any of these zones, they can be ticketed and towed. The No Parking Anytime symbol is less restrictive. Drivers are allowed to use these zones while actually engaged in loading or unloading goods or to pick up or discharge passengers. Remember, the key is “while actually engaged.”  Do not leave your vehicle unattended in these areas.

9. Respect Residential Parking Restrictions

In responding to neighbourhood concerns about parking pressures, the City of Toronto has established many residential permit parking zones. These areas are clearly posted and for the exclusive use of area residents during posted times. Other parking alternatives are available for visitors and service people.

10. Err on the Side of Caution

Have I parked too close to the corner? What do those signs mean? Am I blocking another vehicle? If you're not sure, find another spot. Parking Enforcement receives thousands of complaints each year from people inconvenienced by a poor parking decision.