The odds of avoiding a parking ticket weren’t in your favour if you played fast and loose with Toronto’s bylaws at one address in the downtown core last year.
Just a block northwest of Yonge-Dundas Square lies 20 Edward St., where the highest number of Toronto parking tickets were issued in 2018, according to a CBC Toronto data analysis.
More than 4,850 tickets, worth $227,470 in fines, were issued to drivers at that address, which is likely best known as the home of the World’s Biggest Bookstore for 40 years. The store closed and the building was demolished five years ago to make way for a condo building that’s currently under construction.
So why all the parking tickets at 20 Edward St.?
For one, there’s no legal parking on that side of the street. The head of parking enforcement for Toronto police says all that empty space, off limits though it may be, is enticing to drivers headed to the Eaton Centre.
“You have a very high turnover of vehicles parked illegally there,” said Brian Moniz.
That’s why his staff frequently patrol that very street.
Although 20 Edward St. had the most tickets of any single address in the city, the number of tickets more than doubles to roughly 12,600 when you look at the entire street — which stretches about 600 metres between Yonge Street and University Avenue.
CBC Toronto spoke to a handful of people who often park on Edward Street and none of them were surprised by the high number of tickets — in some cases because they’d gotten a few tickets there themselves.
The drivers blamed the high number of tickets on a combination of confusing signs, not enough street parking in the area, and little leeway from enforcement officers when the money runs out on a metre.
But CBC Toronto also saw plenty of vehicles parked or idling in no-parking areas on Edward Street — including a Canada Post delivery truck that got ticketed.
2 million parking tickets last year
Overall more than two million parking tickets were issued in Toronto last year, with fines topping $100 million, according to data from the city. The average fine was $49, with fees ranging from $15 to $450.
Sunnybrook Hospital at 2075 Bayview Ave. and the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, at 1265 Military Trail, ranked second and third for the most parking tickets last year.
Both locations offer examples of the most common parking infraction across the city in 2018 — parking on private property without paying.
Moniz told CBC Toronto his team gets “a lot of calls for service for private property with all the development that’s going on in the city,” whether it be for visitor parking at condos, at shopping malls, hospitals or universities.
“It doesn’t surprise us at all that’s the highest offence for parking violations,” he said.
When it comes to Sunnybrook, about 4,430 parking tickets were issued there last year.
Moniz explained that the hospital has its own private parking enforcement officers, who are licensed and trained by the city to monitor and ticket vehicles, although the revenue from the fines still goes to the city.
At the University of Toronto Scarborough campus more than 3,560 tickets were issued by a combination of university staff and Toronto parking enforcement officers, according to Moniz.
“We get a large amount of calls for service from U of T,” he told CBC Toronto. “So our officers are there on a regular basis.”
Other addresses where a lot of tickets were issued include 273 Bloor St. W., next to the Royal Ontario Museum, 15 Marine Parade Dr. across from Humber Bay Shores Park in Etobicoke, and La Plante Avenue, a block east of Toronto General Hospital and Sick Kids.