Friday, December 14, 2007

TORONTO THE MEAN - Parking Tickets

In my preCanadian life, I had never gotten a parking ticket. Fourteen years of parking cars in several major metropolitan areas in North America and Europe = 0 tickets. Now that I live in Toronto and hardly ever drive, I have received six tickets in the span of three months. Two of them were just me forgetting to move the car, but the other four have had to do with Toronto's HORRIBLE parking signage. It's almost as if they want people to get parking tickets. I wonder why a city mired in millions of dollars of debt would want that?

In the past, I cursed and paid, but today I fight back. I parked on Eaton Ave after turning right off of the Danforth. Here are the signs that were posted within my vision and 200 metres of where I parked:I parked to the right of the sign on top, so I was not in the CLEARLY marked no parking zone. It was 9:40 AM. Note there are no signs saying anything about no parking between 6 PM and 10 AM. Because of Toronto's love of giving me tickets, I even drove around and rechecked. The only other sign I could see was about trucks not parking. I left the car confident that I was in a place I could park safely until 11 AM. Then I got back to the car at 10:20 and some guy was saying something about his Christmas gift from Toronto. Turns out, they gave me one too. I got a $30 ticket for parking without a valid permit.

And here's a sign on a DIFFERENT street with the no parking except permits for comparison:In this case, the time when not to park is clearly noted. I would never have parked here at 9:40 AM, because it is clear this is a permit only zone before 10 AM.

Hey Toronto, if you need money this bad, do it honestly by bilking all of your taxpayers. This kind of thing is why, when people ask me how I like Toronto, I pause and say it's just okay. Other reasons: too few bike lanes, expensive monthly public transit costs, poor lakefront urban planning, no good Mexican restaurants and the fact you can't get hamburgers cooked less than medium well. Look for these subjects and more in future Toronto the Mean posts.


CdnGMan said...

Ok... based on the top photo, you're not 'allowed' to park on the street until AFTER 10am. You admit that you parked there at 9:40am - 20min BEFORE the allowed time. What's the issue?

What time was the ticket written for? If it was for 9:55am for example, then it's a valid ticket. If it's after 10am, fight it by all means.

Johnada said...

Thanks for the comment. Maybe I wasn't clear in my description. Notice the arrow pointing left on the top sign for no parking, while there is an arrow pointing right in the other sign? I was on the right.

If you are in implying that because they have one hour parking after 10, I should assume there is no parking before 10 I disagree. To me the sign implies that there is no time limit on parking before 10.

beaverboosh said...

Johnada mate,
You are a foreigner. Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law.
On the top picture, you are allowed to park to the right for 1 hour between 10 am and 6 pm.
Canadians take the law very seriously. Do not make a mockery of it.
I would like you to reflect on this message.
Deputy BB

Zhu said...

Ottawa is the same... sometimes, it's hard to tell whether you can park or no. Gotta double check:

- The time
- The day of the week
- The side of the street you're parking on
- Whether there's snow removal planned (sometimes, the little poles they put on the side are... well, buried in the snow)

I got a couple of tickets when I first came too. And I truly didn't know why...

Bo said...

sorry conigliman, beaver, and zhu, i have to agree with johnada here. there is absolutely no question that the sign on the top photo does not put any restrictions on parking before 10am. on the street i live on in chicago, a sign posts 2 hour parking from 9am-4pm. thus, it is perfectly fine to park there overnight as long as you move b4 11am. chicago is as mean as can be with their parking ticket racket. they may post a no parking sign on a tree AFTER you've parked there and give you a ticket the next day. however, parking signs explicitly state the rules and restrictions that can be enforced and nothing more. nobody can be expected to infer something beyond what is stated just because that's the way it is on some other street. logic is logic whether you're in america, canada, norway or wherever. don't take this crap johnada. fight the canadian man.

rachel said...

Spot on, Bo. If Johnada were still a resident of the North Star State, where logic is the bedrock of efficient civic infrastructure, he would find it simple to challenge such a law-enforcement blunder. As Johnneapolis, Johnnesota, he might have taken his ticket and his photographic evidence to the local government service center and had it rendered null and void. As Bo makes abundantly clear, by Cdngman’s reasoning, any un-signed street (of which there are many in residential North America) would be off-limits all of the time, which is patently ridiculous. However, if Cdngman’s comment is any indication, Johnada is not going to get a rational hearing from his Torontonian persecutors and will probably end up paying the ticket.

And, for the record, if we all resided in the North Star State, I can tell you that 24 hours after the “storm of the decade” ended, there would no longer be a tundra of foot-deep snow 6 feet out from the curb on a major thoroughfare, as there is on my stretch of Bloor.

30 cm? Please.

Johnada said...

I have reflected on your message and come to the conclusion that your parents must work for the Ministry of Transportation (if such a thing exists). However, I do think that my Minnesota plates to put a big target on the car.

I'll keep the Ottawa parking restrictions in mind as the Wife and will probably want to check out the nation's capitol at some point.

Bo and Rachel,
Thanks for your support. I will definitely fight this with all of my might, as long as it doesn't cost me any money.

I'll keep everyone updated if this goes to some sort of Canadian court.

Anonymous said...


Bring you ticket in and choose to fight it. It will get thrown off the books. The city of Toronto does not want you to know this but they are not setting court dates for parking tickets!!! Your ticket will get thrown out!!! Trust on this... Ask anyone who has fought a parking ticket in the last two years. Look into it!!! I got another one today even though I paid to park!!! They don't care!!!

From the Toronto Sun... "This year, some 37,000 trials for $30 parking tickets have already been requested but, according to the report, not a single court date has yet been assigned."

Anonymous said...

I would kind of have to agree with you here john. Picture #1 - No parking on the left of the sign ANYTIME. Unlimited parking on the right side between 6pm and 10am. 1HR Parking between 10am-6pm on the right side. Thats what id infer from the signs :S

Anonymous said...

and picture #3 no parking 12am-10am without a permit, 1hr parking from 10am-6pm, unlimited parking from 6pm-12am really have to agree with you, in picture #1 there should have been a no parking sign from X time to 11am.

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Anonymous said...

do you know any website that shows the parking options in a certain street Lets say thet you are going to queensway 1235 how i can see which are the current parking options there.

As for fighting it is easy but it would be much difficult canceling a fight and winning the game before even beginning it. So lets prevent having such tickets in toronto by having a governmental document of what the signs so around toronto

as for all day parking option somewhere in toronto it does not exist. There is a three hour limit of parking even if there is no parking regulation posted You can call the Parking Enfrocement Unit for this 4168086600. This is sth showed when entering toronto from other cities.

If such a site exist than all of us would be very well organised before going and parking somewhere

have a nice day

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