VAUGHAN, ONT. — The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is lauding the recent decision of Toronto City Council to remove parking minimum requirements for new residential developments and add limits on the maximum number of parking spaces that can be built, stating it will permit developers to build spaces based on market demand.
According to data on new condo projects, an average of 33 per cent of parking stalls were left unsold, states a release issued Dec. 15, adding one builder had 90 per cent of parking still available for sale as a building neared construction. The market price for parking stalls has also increased as high as $165,000 in certain new residential building, compared to $80,000 to $100,000 three years ago.
RESCON president Richard Lyall said the city’s parking requirements date back to 2013 and needed to be updated. The policy change is long overdue since many younger people don’t own a car and with the increasing use of alternatives like ride-sharing and public transit. It can also contribute to reducing GHG emissions by reducing automobile use.
“Building underground parking spaces in Toronto is expensive and drives up the price of new housing developments because the cost is eventually passed on to buyers,” explained Lyall in the release. “The deeper in the ground you go, the more expensive it gets to build parking spaces.”
Forcing developers to provide parking that might not be used doesn’t make sense, he added.
“Mandating developers to build parking spaces that are not needed only prolongs construction, burdens city sewers and infrastructure with groundwater, and results in vast quantities of soil having to be excavated and disposed of at another location,” Lyall said.