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Street Parking Rules - A Veritable Potpourri Across Canada

Street parking

Street parking in our neighbourhood in Vancouver is quite tight. We're near a major intersection and Skytrain hub as well as one of the community colleges, so a lot of commuters and students park there. Consequently, we see a lot of creative parking jobs, including pushing the boundaries of what falls within the by-law allowed limits. Though sometimes it isn't always self-evident as to what falls into those boundaries, particularly on streets where there are no parking regulations.

We witnessed a rash of towings in our 'hood last summer and we couldn't understand why. First, it was always on one particular corner in front of one specific low-rise residential building. So it seemed like someone was calling in these "violations". But what WAS the violation?

Well we found out when our friends' car was towed one evening when they were visiting. We drove them down to the tow truck office and saw that they had been given a ticket for a by-law violation of parking less than 6 metres from a sidewalk.

Parking Regulations

As I angrily shook my fist at our fastidious neighbour, I was struck by two other thoughts: first, 6 metres (18+ feet) seems like a LOT - is that much room really necessary? Second, is that the same everywhere? Being a curious person, I looked it up (what would we have done before the internet?!).

Street parking bylaws are regulated by municipalities (in Montreal, they are even more granularly regulated by its different boroughs). There are similarities and differences from city to city in Canada - in terms of the regulation, the penalty and the helpfulness of the website.

Here's a sampling of street parking regulations:

Vancouver - can't be within 6 metres of a sidewalk or 9 meters of a corner. 

Calgary - can't be within 5 metres of a corner, intersection, or marked crosswalk. 

Toronto - can't be within 9 metres of an intersecting highway.  

Moncton - regulates each street individually. For fun reading, check out Schedule R of their 110 page Traffic Bylaw - every street in Moncton is listed. For example: "Price Street: Both sides, commencing at a point 182.88 meters east of Elmwood Drive and extending easterly." 

Charlottetown - can't be within 12 meters of the designated intersection. 

Regina - must be less than 10 meters from an intersection or crosswalk; less than 3 metres from an alley intersection. 

Ottawa - can't be within 9 metres of an intersection

So, quite a variety across the country. If you're traveling via car to a new city or relocating, it is definitely worth the time to look up key bylaws like street parking regulations. Some municipalities can be forgiving towards visitors or new residents. Others, not as much.

Oh, and if you're moving to Charlottetown be aware that in addition to requiring the substantial 12 metre parking buffer, you can also not operate or cause to be operated a sleigh on any street unless a sufficient warning bell is provided (Traffic Bylaw, Part 8, Section 8.2). The more you know.

Are there any other street parking rules or bylaws that have caused you to shake your fist in frustration? Share 'em in the comments! 

- Rose R.


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In Fort McMurray they have a similar bylaw, however recently they added a bylaw about the distance how far away from the edge of a driveway you can park ( I think it is 1m away). This has helped with some street congestion, but also improved visablity when backing out of your driveway.

Donald Bodnar

I am sending this email as it seems that this is the only recourse I have to share my concern about the absurd gas prices. Last I checked the well head price of crude is around $60 a barrel. The oil companies pay their royalties on this amount. They have layed off many of their employees cutting down their overhead so how is it that they can charge $106/liter in Edmonton and much more in other cities. By their price you would thing the benchmark crude price is $90 a barrel.I would like someone to please explain to me your pricing system. I would appreciate hearing from someone so I can better understand how you come about your pricing.

PumpTalk blog

Hi Donald - thanks for your email. For some posts to help you better understand how gas pricing works, please visit

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