Repurposing Excess Parking

July 2020

An increasing number of condo communities have an excess of parking space.

Transportation Tomorrow Survey, an annual reporting of how we travel throughout the region, offers insights used to guide long-term planning for transportation.  This same information can be helpful to condo communities.

The 2016 survey offers insights to vehicle ownership helping to explain the excess of parking spaces in many high-rise condo buildings.  In Toronto 28 percent of households do not have a vehicle, increasing to 55 percent in the downtown area.  In the Yonge St. and Finch Ave. area 19 percent of households don’t own a car.  In Markham the comparable figure is 4 percent.

Even in the suburbs and outside the city owning a vehicle is less necessary.  Wider streets and traffic lanes, and boulevards, make it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to navigate existing roadways.  Creating wider sidewalks and bicycle lanes is easier to support since it can be done without taking space from automobiles.

Bike paths make it easy to get downtown from east and west along the Lakeshore and Martin Goodman Trail, and the growing network of bicycle lanes throughout the downtown core, taking not much longer than relying on a car – faster in rush hour.

Public transit is convenient and economical.  Uber and car sharing services are popular.  All are more economical than owning, maintaining and insuring an automobile.  The growing array of electrically powered devices ranging from scooters and bicycles to chairs and skateboards make it easy to travel short and longer distances.

Increasingly, people in Toronto and GTA are finding fewer reasons to own an automobile.  For those who continue to own an automobile it has become easier to find parking.  Should this trend continue condo communities with excess parking facilities may want to consider other uses for their excess parking space.