Toronto's Dufferin Mall wants to charge visitors for something that's always been free

Jan 31 2023, 9:28 pm

Days of freeloading at one of Toronto’s most-loved downtown shopping plexes, Dufferin Mall, are numbered.

That’s right. If you look forward to a Saturday afternoon of driving down to the Duff, ordering two soft tacos at the Taco Bell drive-thru and heading inside for a Cinnabon, we’ve got some bad news for you.

In the very, very near future, you’ll¬†have to start paying to park your car at the mall, ending a streak some 70 years long of free parking, dating back to the mall’s¬†opening in the 1950s.

On Saturday, a reader pointed our attention to some newly installed signs indicating that paid parking will soon be enforced, saying that security guards confirmed ticket machines will be arriving shortly.

Reaching out to Dufferin Mall property manager, Primaris,¬†general manager Amanda Campbell confirmed that drivers will indeed have to pay up before they start dropping cash in the mall’s shops and restaurants.

“While we do not have a start date for this initiative, we can confirm Dufferin Mall will begin charging for parking in the parking garage,” said Campbell.

She could not confirm if parking would include the above-ground lots, around the No Frills, LCBO, and Walmart entrances.

Campbell indicated that this is a similar move already initiated by “other malls in the GTA,”¬†though¬†larger and busier shopping centres¬†like Sherway Gardens and Yorkdale continue to¬†offer their patrons free parking.

The main reason why paid parking will soon be enforced is that mall owners want to prioritize drivers that are actually visiting the Duff rather than non-shoppers looking for convenient local parking.

“We have taken this decision to ensure parking is made available for the shoppers of Dufferin Mall and avoid spots being consumed by non-shoppers,”¬†said Campbell.

It is unknown how much exactly it’ll cost to park at Dufferin Mall, but¬†I’m hoping that the in-store savings will be passed along to the lot.

Sabrina GamrotSabrina Gamrot

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