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Toronto is looking to more than double parking lot tickets. Here's why

The City of Toronto is looking at more than doubling the fines for parking lot violations, noting it currently costs drivers less to pay the penalty than to pay for parking.

The current fine sets drivers back $30, and transportation services is seeking to boost that to $75, adding this increase will fall in line for similar parking violations within Green P lots. The city’s recommendation is set to go in front of the general government committee next Monday, on Oct. 2.

Coun. Paul Ainslie, who chairs the general government committee and sits on the board of directors at Exhibition Place, told CTV News Toronto parking costs $45 during special events like the Honda Indy and Caribbean Carnival (which is currently $15 cheaper than the current fines).

“If you’re not paying for a $45 fee to go to an event, you should be appropriately penalized, which is why we raised it to $75,” Ainslie said.

“I was at an Argos game this past Saturday, walking to the stadium, and actually heard somebody say, ‘You know, I’m not paying for parking because if I get a ticket, it’s cheaper, and what are the odds that somebody’s going to come along and get me a ticket?’”

Parking violations jumped by over 11,000, from 2021 to 2022, to a whopping 106,250 for illegal parking in city-run parking lots, while private parking lots saw an over 56,000 jump in violations to a total just shy of 377,300, the report found.

“Although, there have been many (parking violation notices) issued to those vehicle owners not complying there are still many who manage to avoid a PVN,” the report reads.

If the proposed fines get approved by council, the increased penalties will be seen at all parking lots – from city-run to private lots – and could come into effect as soon as Dec. 1.

On top of increasing the fines at parking lots across the city, one city councillor is looking to bump the fees for curbside spots – which also currently cost drivers $30.

On Sept. 20, at the city’s infrastructure and environment committee meeting, Coun. Dianne Saxe for University-Rosedale, carried the motion to revise the current penalty amounts for on-street parking violations – something that hasn’t been revised within the last decade.

During the meeting, Saxe contrasted the “gross disproportion” between parking violation fines and how much it costs for someone to get caught without paying their fare on the TTC (which can amount to a $425 ticket).

“The TTC fines are more than 10 times what we charge people who break the law with their cars in the parking,” Saxe said. Per the carried motion, transportation services is set to review on-street parking penalty amounts and provide a report in January 2024.

With files from Natalie Johnson 

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