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Parking spots in the city, Are they worth the cost?

Apr 17, 2015

Due to the increase of car-sharing services and a greater emphasis on transit and walking or biking, parking spots are less popular to city dwellers.

Barbara Lawlor joined Baker Real Estate over two decades ago. The firm markets and sells new condo developments, and at that time it would have been very difficult to sell a unit without a parking space.

Today only about a quarter of their clients are looking to buy parking spots.

Barbara Lawlor, now President of Baker Real Estate notes that people don’t want parking as much as before. If they are on a good transit route and with a downtown parking spot costing around $50,000.00 you would certainly think twice about it.

Louie Santaguida of Stanton Renaissance, was planning up to four levels of underground parking at his On The GO Mimico project. He is now trying to get that reduced because most buyers don’t want parking spots because the GO station is right next to the development. He said lots of developers are now asking for leniency around no parking or minimal parking. He said the trend is moving away from vehicle ownership in urban centres because there’s adequate infrastructure to get to where you need to go and often quicker than using a vehicle.

Vancouver developer Jon Stovell, President of Reliance Properties says the city of Vancouver has been encouraging developers to reduce the amount of parking to reduce traffic congestion and encourage people to walk, bike and use the transit system. The parking ratios have been going down steadily and instead of building two parking spots per unit many are only building one per unit.

In Toronto, Tribute Communities has erected a 42-storey condo tower with no permanent resident parking – just nine spots reserved for car-share service.
Knightsbridge Homes is proposing a similar development in Calgary.

Most municipal governments are coming to terms with the change and relaxing parking minimums, but sometimes there is resistance.

Santaguida planned a 30 – storey condo rising out of the historic James Street Baptist Church. There would not have been a parking spot available for each unit because of the challenge of trying to build an underground garage without disturbing the foundations of the church.

The city finally agreed that Stanton Renaissance could build 122 parking spots for the buildings 259 units.

Adapted from Alexandra Posadzki of The Canadian Press: