News Toronto

Temporary ban on new parking pads spiked

Shawn Jeffords, Political Bureau Chief

By Shawn Jeffords, Political Bureau Chief

Councillor Jaye Robinson. (Toronto Sun files)

Councillor Jaye Robinson. (Toronto Sun files)

Toronto - 

A bid to temporarily ban new parking pads across Toronto hit a red light Tuesday.

Councillors on Toronto’s public works committee spiked the call to impose a temporary ban, which was proposed to give the city time to standardize rules for allowing people to create the popular features on their properties.

“It is the wild, wild west,” complained committee chair Jaye Robinson, who supported the ban. “Every community council is dealing with them differently. I think that’s very unfair to residents.”

She said council hasn’t reviewed parking pad rules for a decade and the committee just “voted to kick something to the curb” without having needed information about the issue.

“I think democracy was not served today on the parking pad front,” she added.

But Councillor Stephen Holyday countered a city-wide ban isn’t the answer for fixing the existing system.

Holyday stressed he is not opposed to standardizing parking pad rules across Toronto.

“We’ll have to re-start it,” he said of a move to change the system. “My concern was that the very fine wording of the motion before us was aiming to put a halt on them and I wasn’t satisfied with that. One size doesn’t fit all.”

New parking pads are already banned in the downtown and central parts of the city — the area that used to make up the old city of Toronto prior to amalgamation. However, a new pad can be added to a property by permit across the rest of the city.

Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon argued a review could provide the city with an opportunity to impose a tax on the illegal parking pads that have sprung up.

“I’m almost positive that the owners of those homes, if they knew that they were at risk of losing their parking pad, they would be more than happy to pay the rate the rest of us pay for parking,” she said. “There’s one of your revenue tools right there.”