Top Ten Rules of Street Parking, learned by experience

(For link to Toronto parking regulations, see bottom of this post.)

Absolutely, while the wisdom of keeping a car downtown is questionable, on-street parking is one area of social interaction which can be smoothed by congenial neighbours or can be a continual source of aggravation by ones who are not. Street parking is a reflection of how we live together.

  1. If you circle the block looking for a parking spot, one will open up in front of your house as soon as you walk up the pathway to your front door.
  2. Parking switchovers (staying up late or rising early to move the car to the opposite side of the street) occur every two weeks on downtown residential streets for the ostensible purpose of clearing the dust and debris off the street; however, throughout course of the entire spring, summer and fall, you will only see a street sweeper twice. Corollary: Parking switchovers will not occur in the winter even though several feet of snow accumulate on both sides of the street and snow plows pass by more frequently.
  3. Switchover days almost always fall on a week-end, when most local residents are sleeping in.
  4. The day you forget to move your car for the switchover will be the same day your neighbour forgets to warn you.
  5. Leaving room between cars in the summer is anti-social, ensuring fewer cars are able to park on the block; leaving room between cars in the winter is essential, to get enough traction to break out of the snowbanks.
  6. In the winter, your neighbours who do not have a car will feel free take a parking space in front of their house to put their snow.
  7. If your neighbours go on vacation, they will have left the car awkwardly parked to take up two spaces. If they haven’t left their keys with anyone, they will be parked so as to block three spaces.
  8. If a new neighbour moves onto your block, they will have at least one more car than your former neighbour did.
  9. Down-towners can be distinguished from Suburban-ites by their swiftness and skill in parallel parking. Corollary: If there is nothing on TV, spending an evening on the front porch can provide good entertainment value.
  10. Cars are an essential signal to your neighbours, providing vital information such as whether you are home.(I’ve had neighbours come check on me because my car hasn’t moved in long time.) Corollary: If you need help (parking your car, getting a jump, or a push), stand by your car and look forlorn. Good people will come to you.
  • For a more interesting foray, see the Map of the Week from the Toronto Star’s FOI request, looking at parking ticket locations in the city.

Report to City on Alternate side parking, 2008 – Grace period, 9 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Parking signs, parking tickets, pah!

Are hospital visitors targeted for violations, or are we just negligent roadhogs?

3 Comments to “Top Ten Rules of Street Parking, learned by experience”

  1. I knew about a by-law prohibiting to park on a residential street more tha three hours after midnight. But is there a rule prohibiting parking more than three hours after 6:00PM to midnight? If there is such a stupid rule, how can anybody entertain at home??? You will be forced to throw your guests out after three hours.

    Can somebody enlightened me on the necessity of such a bizarre rule.


    • Unless otherwise indicated, the three-hour parking rule is in force 24 hours a day on any city street in Toronto. It’s very frustrating!


  2. If you are having people over to your residence or a party of some sort all you have to do is contact the city parking and they will give you consent for that night or day or time period that is needed. The city will contact parking and let them know not to tag that address or street for the day or night.


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