Friday, September 14, 2007

the car shuffle

I live in Toronto. Toronto is crazy for lack of parking spaces. My apartment building has only a limited number of surface parking spots, and none of them are mine.

You can park on the street overnight in Toronto if you buy an overnight parking pass. You have to go to City Hall to get one, I've been told. And you need all sorts of documentation to prove that you need to park on the street. City Hall can't always guarantee you a permit. It depends on whether or not there's any available space left on your street.

I have a safe place to park overnight. I can't tell you where it is; the official proclamation from City Hall is that there is NO FREE OVERNIGHT STREET PARKING in Toronto. But I do have a safe place to park overnight.

The hassle comes in the morning, when I need to move my car to another spot. Toronto has a really Machiavellian street parking system (in case you hadn't already guessed). On some streets you can park on at certain times; other streets you have to leave clear at certain times.

Every morning before 8:30 a.m., I have to move my car to a street where there are no parking restrictions. I can't park on the street in front of my building between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. (It's a school zone.)

After 10:00 a.m., I can park further down my street—just not in front of my building. I can't stay in those areas after 10:00 p.m. without an overnight parking permit.

So the routine goes something like this:

First thing in the morning I move my car a block away, to a street where there are no overnight parking restrictions.* When I need to use my car later in the day, I have to walk a block to get to it.

When I come back to my apartment before 6:00 p.m., I have to park half a block away from my building. Sometime after 6:00 p.m.—but before 10:00 p.m.—I can move my car back in front of my building.

We won't talk about where I park my car overnight.

The most useful thing about this whole procedure is the hat that I wear on my head first thing in the morning when I go out to move my car. It covers my bed head.

*Why don’t I just park there all the time? That would be too easy, wouldn’t it? The fact is, there’s an uposted law that says you can’t park on any Toronto street between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. without an overnight parking permit. So I can't safely park there overnight.

1 comment:

Helena said...

i learned this the hard way today for $15 grrrrr