Parking Space Less Important in Condos

January 2017

At one time condo buildings had at least as many parking spaces as there were condo suites. Without parking it was believed that condo suites would not be purchased.

This thinking has changed.

With more condo buildings being built in urban areas and along transit corridors, and fewer people owning vehicles, the need for parking space has diminished.

More important to condo buyers is condo suites located in walkable areas with easy access to transit, shopping, entertainment and services. Condo purchasers are less likely to require parking space.

Developers are responding. More condo buildings now include more suites than parking spaces. Space is being provided for car-sharing services which are growing in popularity. These allow individuals to spend less when buying their home while avoiding the costs of vehicle ownership at a savings of thousands of dollars each year.

Toronto’s second car-free condo building was approved in early 2016. The property will have no parking spots. There will be 30 bicycle parking spaces for this 14 unit condo building. Residents requiring parking space will be able to obtain it from nearby developments.

This approach recognizes that it is often faster to get around using transit or a bicycle than using a car and having to find parking. The residential property development was initially opposed by city planners who described the lack of parking as an “outstanding issue”.

In an interesting twist, the property was formerly the head office for Autoshare, a car sharing company.

The requirement for parking spaces in condo developments has been dropping from two or more parking spaces per unit. The requirement is now 0.6 cars per unit.

The need for fewer parking spaces is part of a shift away from the need for automobiles. It is consistent with the vision for downtown Toronto where people can live where they work.