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Categories: Toronto Parking

The Complete Guide to Toronto Street Parking

Toronto offers travelers and residents alike a wide variety of activities to explore within its city limits and the local government makes parking tricky. When you’re looking for parking, expect to compete with a high volume of people who are also looking for the most popular spots and a variety of parking regulations.

Keep reading to find out about Toronto parking rules and discover tips and tricks to find the best parking spots near your destination.

How to Find the Best Cheap Parking in Toronto:

Pay attention to Toronto parking rules to make sure you don’t end up with a ticket on your windshield. Here is some useful knowledge to find the best parking near your destination:

  • Many street parking spots downtown are free after 9 PM, but some of them have parking restrictions between midnight and 7 AM, so always check the nearest parking sign.
  • Free street parking is only allowed for up to three hours unless you have a parking permit. Even city visitors can obtain one for use throughout their stay. Simply apply for a permit online, print it out, and display it on your dashboard.
  • If you already have a ticket, pay it before it gets more expensive! Information online is rare, but the city makes it extremely difficult to pay your ticket if you wait longer than 75 days.
  • If you get a ticket in a private lot, make sure it’s from the city of Toronto before you pay it. Third-party companies issue hefty fines but the city of Toronto calls them scams — don’t pay those!

Street Parking Regulations in Toronto:

Here’s how to read the parking signs you’ll come across while parking in the city:

No Parking – This spot is only for loading and unloading of passengers and merchandise. Stay in your vehicle while you’re in this spot.

No Standing – You may only pick up or drop off passengers here. No idling on the road.

No Stopping – No stopping her for any reason, not even to pick up or drop off passengers.

No Parking Except by Permit – This sign means you can park here outside the hours of midnight and 7 AM unless you have a permit, in which case you’re able to part even during restricted hours.

Time Restricted Parking – This sign tells you how long you’re able to park on the street during non-restricted hours.

If you aren’t having any luck with street parking, keep an eye out for circular green signs with a “P” in the middle. These indicate the Toronto Parking Authority’s 160 municipal parking lots.

How does overnight parking work?

Parking overnight in Toronto is illegal. You’re able to park for up to 3 hours, but after that, any street parking is liable for ticketing unless you have a parking permit. If you want to try your luck, the police only ticket vehicles overnight if they’ve been reported by passersby or businesses.

What’s the cost of a parking ticket*?

Parking at an expired meter$30
Obstructing a lane or driveway$40
Parking/standing in an authorized car-share vehicle parking area$60
Unauthorized parking on Boulevard$50
Parking within 3 meters of a fire hydrant$100
Stopping in a bicycle lane$150
Parking in a fire route$250
Parking in an accessible space without a valid permit$450

*Information from 2015

Towed or booted car? This is what to do!

If you think your car has been towed, call the Toronto Police Service non-emergency line at 406-808-2222. Make sure you have your license plate number and the location where you parked. If your car has been towed, the dispatcher will connect you with the towing company that has taken possession of your vehicle.

Expect to pay close to $150 for the tow and daily storage costs that can range from $50-80.

Toronto Parking Holidays

There are no citywide parking holidays, but if you see a street parking sign that says “No Parking Except Weekend and Holidays,” you can park on the following days:

New Year’s DayJanuary 1
Family DayFebruary 17
Good FridayApril 19
Victoria DayMay 20
Canada DayJuly 1
Labour DaySeptember 2
Thanksgiving DayOctober 14
Christmas DayDecember 25
Boxing DayDecember 26

It’s also possible that the Toronto police aren’t enforcing the payment requirement on a holiday, but it’s up to them to decide. Please check with the Toronto Police Service Parking Enforcement Unit, to determine if the payment requirement is being enforced on a holiday.

View Map of Toronto Parking