Toronto to increase fines for 125 parking violations

Toronto city councillors voted in favour of raising parking fines as of August 1 at a council meeting on Wednesday after approving a city staff report on the issue.

The report, conducted by the Transportation Services committee, which analyzed several other Canadian municipalities to compare similar parking offences and their penalty amounts to those of the City of Toronto. It proposes increasing the penalty amounts for 125 offences associated with ‘parking’, ‘stopping’, and ‘standing’.

“The recommended increase in penalty amounts will ensure better alignment with penalty amounts in other jurisdictions, encourage compliance, ensure certain offences are set at levels commensurate with the the seriousness of the offence, and ensure that offences within the same categories are set at the same penalty amount for consistency,” the March 2024 report states.

Still, at least one councillor thinks some of the fines might be too high. Jennifer McKelvie, chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, introduced a motion to revise some of the penalty amounts.

“I think we quickly realized in discussions with council colleagues that maybe we need to go with more of a Goldilocks approach, as we had some bears that thought that the fines were too high, and we had some bears that thought that the fines were too low, and I think in the end city staff have come back with fines that are really just right,” McKelvie told her fellow councillors in the council chambers.

McKelvie’s motion shows that fines for parking in a bike lane will be $200 (an increase from $150), while not paying the required fee at a parking machine will be $50, an increase from $30, and not paying the fee at a parking machine will cost you $50 (an increase from $30).

“We will have some push back that the fines are too high, or the fines are too low, but the thing that we really want is that if we didn’t collect any money on parking offences in the City of Toronto, it would be a good day, because everybody was following the rules of the road,” McKelvie said. “Everybody was doing their part to keep people safe, everybody was doing their part to make sure that we’re easing congestion on the roads.”

Looking at the 2023 level of offence volumes, the City notes that they could collect an added $62 million in revenue, although it is expected that the actual revenue increase would be $40 to $50 million.

The new measures come after fines increased from $30 to $75 for drivers caught illegally parking on municipal and private property late last year.

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