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By-law enforcement - sidewalks

29-May-2010 [78]

• Description: violations of Municipal Code Chapter 918

November 10, 2009

Briefing Note:

Licensing and Enforcement Issues in the Grange Community Relating to the Transportation Right of Way Management Division
(Grange Community Association)

Transportation Right of Way Management Division of the City of Toronto is responsible for the management of our Ward 20 streets, streetscapes and portions of front and side yards due to the ROW setbacks.

They, principally, through Chapter 918 of the Municipal Code, decide if and where vehicles can be parked on the public boulevard, which runs 33 feet either side of the centre line of the street (thus forming part of most or all front and side yards). They also decide the type of paving and the specific location of the paving in relation to green space. These decisions have many ramifications, including:

PARKING TAGS: Transportation ultimately controls whether or not parking tickets are issued on the boulevard by informing TPS Parking Services on boulevard parking protocol and by the issuing of parking signage in the form of permit signs and roadway parking signs. TPS will not tag on boulevards unless informed by Transportation.

PLANTINGS: Transportation controls the process of planting and replacement of trees where there is hard paving, since they must open and close paved portions of the boulevard to allow Urban Forestry access to the ground.

YARDS: Transportation specifically deals with green space, fences and the prohibition on the paving of front and side yards.

FURNITURE AND SIGNS: Transportation controls street furniture and in cooperation with Urban Forestry, the location of green space, plant and tree areas. They decide when private interests can occupy the public space with A-frame sandwich boards and other signage.

SIDEWALKS: Transportation, on our wider streets which have commercial zoning, controls the borders of parking lots and sidewalk space to ensure that vehicles have sufficient setback from pedestrian pathways.

COMMERCIAL PARKING: They also administer another area that seems to be beyond reach through public channels. This is the ad hoc issuance of Commercial Parking Permits, regardless of the zoning of the immediate neighbourhood.

In other words Transportation administers the actual appearance of our streets and yard space or the way our neighbourhood looks. During the last two years many requests for enforcement as well as two site ( on street ) walkabouts dealing with critical and long term problems occurred but to no result.

Not a single enforcement request made to Transportation under the clearly worded Municipal Code has been dealt with in an effective manner to date. (The material on which this statement is based includes Municipal Code, Ch.918, Toronto Property Data Maps, and documented communication with City staff.)

Our complaints against Transportation Right of Way Management include:

  • The issuing of Commercial Parking Permits for residential front and side yards in R3 zoned areas where no business ( non- conforming ) use exists, contrary to specific decade-long bans on front yard parking. An illustration is the issuing of the Commercial Parking Permit for 43 Huron St. Detailed correspondence is available along with a twenty-seven year documented history of this permit.
  • The lack of enforcement on existing Commercial Parking Permit holders where chronic over- parking occurs and extra paving has occurred on R3 zoned residential properties.
  • The lack of enforcement against front and side yard parking where there is no legal boulevard parking pad and no permit issued !
  • Failure to require existing permit holders to display permit plates, thereby frustrating attempts to ticket vehicles illegally parked in direct contravention of written rules.
  • Failure to act on parking on the boulevard space in front of garages where there is not enough space to park a vehicle without it obstructing the sidewalk or having sufficient setback of .3 meter.
  • The lack of enforcement of parking on the boulevard in front of garages which have been permanently sealed, contrary to Ch.918
  • Treating a driveway which is defined as a route from the roadway over the public boulevard as a permanent parking pad, contrary to Ch. 918.
  • Allowing the hard paving of over forty front and side yards in Ward 20, a situation that is growing by about one per month.
  • Allowing the hard paving of all of the side and front yards of certain residential corner properties in multiple locations, contrary to zoning standards for R3.
  • Failing to administer setbacks for fences and licensed boulevard parking adjacent to sidewalk space in commercially zoned situations.
  • Failing to communicate with TPS Parking Services protocol to allow them to ticket vehicles not on the roadway as per City policy. TPS is currently waiting for protocol even though the City has given them the mandate to ticket on the boulevards already.
  • Failing to properly and in a timely manner handle requests from Urban Forestry for pavement opening for badly needed tree replacements thereby holding up two trees that we know of from being replaced.
  • Multiple attempts to deal with the issues referred to here have been made, including multiple email requests and on-site tours with Transportation officials.
  • Grange Community Association, based on this unacceptable community reality, has decided to make this issue a core priority for action over the next 2 years. To this end, we are asking Councillor Vaughan for assistance in devising a more effective strategy.


Nick Schefter
Grange Community Association
November 10, 2009