"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday 13 May 2020


I just had a thought. What if...zoning was changed from a requirement of X number of parking spaces per unit of residential housing units to O parking spaces, starting with Wellington Towers and the condominiums already built at Yonge and Centre and those the on the west side of Yonge.

What would be the result? Well....for a start, only people who choose not to own a car would buy a unit. Would that be a good thing? Bear with me. I’m thinking this out as we go. I can’t see it as a bad thing. Maybe some units don’t use parking spaces now.

People buy condominiums in the city centre and rent apartments in the heart of things because they want to be a part of the new elite. People without cars.

Not having a car would encourage new and thriving retail in the vicinity of the buildings as was the original intent. There’s nothing intrinsically bad about not owning a car. Some might argue no car is better than a hybrid vehicle. There’s nothing uniquely sensible about requiring developers to include space for an owner’s car and a third of a space for a visitor.

Car rentals could become part of the mix in the retail section.

Highways are very expensive to build and maintain. During week days, a thick yellow blanket of pollution is clearly visible hanging over the highway routes from north, west, and east of Toronto. It can’t be good for people living in residential buildings that line the highways.

What if governments encouraged people to live without cars instead of imposing exorbitant taxes to reduce the carbon footprint. It couldn’t damage whats left of the auto industry any more than Brian Mulroney’s free trade deal did already.

What if government were to use the money no longer needed to build highways  to reduce the cost of public transit?

What if people didn't have to worry about buying space for two family cars and space for guests Cars to park when thinking about shelter for their families.

The more I pursue this argument the better I like it. Imagine if not having a car could keep a family out of debt. Allow Mum to stay at home and nurture her children. Allow children to be at home and receive the nurturing necessary for emotional development. Allow government to provide assistance to stay-at-home Mums or Dads at a fraction of the cost of child care centres.

Who knows, considering the short time it takes to raise a family and how precious it is, parents might actually discover it can be quite rewarding.

We might see kids playing in the playgrounds that cost so much to build and parents cheerfully engaging in pleasant chattery about this and that. Maybe about how the town is managed and who’s doing a good job. You know, stuff they don’t have time for when both parents are going out to work.

Now...I know everybody’s circumstances are not the same. I do not suggest a new zoning category reducing or eliminating requirement for parking in every circumstance.

But verily, I do believe it could make a difference. In even more ways than mentioned here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think its brilliant. I do know that there many people who live in condo buildings that have parking spaces that are trying to sell these spaces, but can't! They purchased them when they purchased their condo for $10,20,30,000+. Many are getting rid of their cars especially those that live on main corridors with public transit. New condos haven't been able to sell parking spaces either. Uber, taxi's, inexpensive rental vehicles and awful public transit is growing.