For the last year or so the City of Toronto has been doing a review of parking requirements for new developments. This would include things like how much car and bike parking needs to be provided for each residential unit in a new building. More information on this work can be found here.
City staff are now preparing to release their initial findings and, as I understand it, it is going to include the removal of most minimum parking standards across the city and the introduction of some maximum parking standards. What this should mean is that in most cases you can build as little parking as you want, but in some cases you’ll be stopped from building too much of it.
There are lots of examples of other cities doing this. Buffalo is one example and I recently wrote (over here) about what happened to new developments once its minimums were eliminated. Among other things, it revealed where the previous parking requirements were overshooting what the market was actually demanding.
Urban parking is heavily dilutive to new developments. It drives up the cost of new housing. It is also hypocritical to claim that we want to encourage alternative forms of mobility while at the same time mandating that we build a certain amount of car parking. Do we want people to drive or do we want people to do other things? Which is it?
Some will bemoan this inevitable loss of parking (though it was already happening). But I think this is a great thing. It is Toronto growing up and continuing to realize that it’s pretty damn hard to build a big and well-functioning global city if everyone is driving around everywhere. Maybe one day we’ll even allow e-scooters.