Declining Demand for Parking

July 2023

Demand for residential parking is on the decline.  Many communities will soon find they have excess parking spaces and a lack of space for what is replacing personal ownership of a car.

Living in the city, obtaining a driver’s licence isn’t the rite of passage it once used to be.  Many find it to be of no use.  They rely on pubic transit, ride hailing services and bicycles.  They avoid the cost of purchasing a car, insurance, gas and maintenance.

A fall 2019 survey of more than 18,500 students at 10 post-secondary institutions across the region, conducted by StudentMoveTO, found that over 22 per cent of survey respondents said they didn’t have a driver’s licence.  Of those who did, a majority didn’t own a car or drive regularly.

The city is adapting by improving public transit, building subways and creating transit-only corridors.  They are narrowing roadways, adding bicycle lanes, and creating more space for walking, sitting and outdoor eating.

How high-rise communities deal with this information is unclear.  Many will find they have excess parking that will become vast unused space unless repurposed for other uses.  There will be greater demand for secure bicycle storage and easy access.  More space may be needed for ride hailing service pick up and delivery.