Toronto renters clash with wealthy neighbours over street parking

May 4 2023, 5:27 pm

Residents of a residential area in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood are outraged over the loss of on-street parking, and have taken to phone- and email-bombing their local city councillor in hopes of regaining their parking rights.

Letters have been posted to doors in the neighbourhood addressing “Duart Park, Crown Park and Queen Street residents,” blaming neighbours for a vote which removed permit parking from local blocks, depriving apartment residents of parking and causing spillover onto a pair of wealthy cul-de-sac streets with multimillion-dollar homes.

The letter says residents of these streets have “seen and felt the trickle-down effect of this decision,” claiming that “Duart Park and Crown Park are now overwhelmed with vehicles and those that live in the buildings at Queen and MacLean are affected as well.”

It calls the parking situation “not ideal for anyone who does not have the luxury of having parking on their property,” and informs locals that a petition to reinstate parking is being circulated, but urges residents to “email Brad Bradford expressing your frustrations and phone concerns.”

The letter — which is signed by “Heather, your friendly neighbour with 2 kids who needs access to parking” — takes that plea a step further, adding that “The more his office is overwhelmed, the better,” and encouraging “daily emails and calls.”

One area resident took to the neighbourhood Facebook group to share their anger over the parking situation, saying that it is “Super disheartening to find out that the reason you can no longer park on MacLean (north of Queen) is due to your neighbours.”

“I’ve lived on MacLean for 10 years now and deserve the right to be able to pay the city and park on my street,” says the user, who suggests that the elimination of on-street parking disproportionately affects residents of apartment buildings along Queen and MacLean that do not have the luxury of personal driveways or rear laneways.

The lengthy Facebook comment on the situation states that MacLean adjoins two of the only streets without overnight permit parking allowed in the neighbourhood, “leaving the overflow of newly displaced permit holders with only the option to go east… to Balsam? An already crowded, super narrow street only accessible from Queen.”

Residents of these blocks do have other options, as the intersection of Duart Park and MacLean is approximately 65 metres from Queen Street and a quick walk to the closest 501 streetcar stop.

Of course, public transit is not always a viable option for families juggling commitments or challenging commutes, and nearby parking is a crucial amenity for some.

Jack LandauJack Landau

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