A Toronto councillor says the city should have the power to impound the vehicles of men caught soliciting street prostitutes.

Frances Nunziata (Ward 11, York South-Weston) persuaded Toronto's licensing and standards committee on Friday to ask the province to give the city the new power, the Toronto Star reports.

Nunziata's proposal also calls for the city to charge a fee before johns would have their vehicles returned.

"You're walking home and have to explain to your wife where's the car," she told the newspaper.

"The whole idea is to discourage these men coming into communities -- half of them don't even live in the city -- where they know there's a lot of street prostitution and just taking over the community."

Nunziata said street prostitution is a large problem in some parts of her ward, with prostitutes hanging around some street corners at all hours of the day.

Councillor Howard Moscoe, who heads the licensing and standards committee, said he has doubts that Nunziata's idea would be effective. He also said he didn't know if the city has the power to impound the vehicle of someone charged but not convicted of an offence.

Nunziata's proposal comes after plainclothes police officers arrested 40 men and laid 63 charges following a four-day 'john' sweep downtown last week.

The accused were arrested on charges of communicating for the purpose of obtaining the sexual services of a prostitute.

The arrests followed community complaints of prostitution.

Police say they will continue to reduce prostitution activities in these areas.