Payment-In-Lieu of Parking Policy

With the new Parking Regulations approved by City Council on Dec 15, 2021, we expect that Payment-in-Lieu of Parking will no longer be applicable, as there are no minimum parking spaces defined for new development.  

Payment-in-Lieu of Parking (PIL) Review of Policy

Recently as part of the OMB Appeal of 1912-1914 Avenue Road, we had to review the City policy for Payment-in-Lieu of Parking. The ruling document appears to be the ‘Harmonization of the Fee Schedules for Payment-in-Lieu of Parking’ document dated June 14, 2004. In that document, the Fee Schedule was set to be used by all Wards based on a Category 1, 2 or 3 definition (Page 5). For example, Category 2 and 3 set a fee of $5,000 for ‘the current estimated construction cost of a parking space in a typical above-grade garage or a typical underground garage”.

This fee schedule was defined in 2004.  Although Recommendation (4) states “the fee structure for payment-in-lieu of parking be reviewed every four years in order to reflect up-to-date costs for the provisions of parking”, we cannot find any record of such a review being done/implemented.

The City’s Official Plan calls for a significant portion of future growth along the Avenues. Accordingly we must find parking solutions to deal with this growth. The collection of Payment-in-Lieu of Parking would be a source of funding for these solutions.  Therefore, the City needs to define the appropriate current fee structure and ensure collection of the monies when the property is unable to provide the required parking spaces.

SAHRA submitted a formal request on March 10, 2016 to Councillor Carmichael Greb to put a Motion forward to City Council as soon as possible asking that the appropriate City deparments review the current legislation controlling Payment-in-Lieu of Parking to provide a Report including recommendations for updates in Q4.  We asked that the review consider the feasibility of introducing a formula for increasing the fees from year to year within the legislation to keep up with increasing costs.

SAHRA has reviewed this issue with other Ward 16 Residents’ Associations and the Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (FoNTRA) as this is a City-wide request and they have also submitted supporting letters.

On March 29, 2016 Councillor Carmichael Greb stated that City staff have been tasked with investigating the current situation; this is a city-wide issue so she wants to explore what standards are being applied across the City before approaching Council with a Motion.

SAHRA submitted a follow-up letter on April 14, 2016 asking if a Motion will be tabled at the June 15, 2016 Planning and Growth Management Committee asking for the review and Staff Report by Quarter 4, 2016.

SAHRA’s request letter: SAHRA Request for updating the Payment in Lieu of Parking Policy letter
Current Policy:  Payment In Lieu of Parking Policy 
PIL of Parking Calculation:  PIL of Parking policy Attachment 2
SAHRA’s April 14, 2018 follow-up letter:  SAHRA Request Apr 14 2016 for updating the Payment in Lieu of Parking Policy letter follow-up


Request for designating Payment-in-Lieu of Parking Monies

At the Jan 20, 2016 Community Meeting regarding 1912-1914 Avenue Road, in response to the great concern expressed by the store owners and residents, Councillor Carmichael Greb committed to submit a Motion to request that the monies collected on Upper Avenue be designated to be used for parking solutions with that area and that the City would undertake reviews to define and then implement parking solutions for Upper Avenue.

SAHRA submitted a request to the Councillor and the City on April 27, 2016 on behalf of Ward 16 Residents’ Associations as well as a specific request regarding Avenue Road (between Lawrence to Wilson) to now ask that the ‘designation’ be expanded to include all Payment-in-Lieu of Parking assessments within Ward 16 or Upper Avenue.
SAHRA Request for designating Payment in Lieu of Parking monies letter

Read below for the outcome…


The Councillor’s Office advised on May 2, 2016 that City Transportation Services would be reporting to the Planning and Growth Management Committee with a review and recommendations for the policy in the Fall of 2016.

We received an update from the Councillor’s Office on Sep 7, 2016:

With respect to the policy being reviewed every four years, Transportation Services has continued to consider, on a regular basis, whether the policy requires any new updates. Until this year, there was no specific concern that required a policy change.

This year there are some new issues that have been identified, and as a result, Transportation Services has initiated a review of the current Payment-in-Lieu (PIL) of Parking Policy which has been in place since 2004. As part of their review they will need to consult a number of stakeholders, which include City Planning, the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) and Legal staff as well as the Traffic Planning staff of Transportation Services who administer the policy and collect the PIL funds. As part of their review some of the elements being examined include, whether the policy should be extended to the residential component of a development (currently only the commercial component is considered), expanding the policy to consider bicycle parking and revising costs associated the current fee structure (including whether an inflationary factor could be built in).  This review will continue through the balance of 2016, with a report expected to be submitted to the Planning and Growth Committee in Q2 of 2017 by Transportation Services.

I’ve also been told that any changes to the existing policy will not consider limiting the spending of funds collected from a specific area to that area alone.   Currently, funds collected under PIL are placed in a reserve account to be used by the TPA to offset some of the capital cost associated with the construction of new parking facilities. It is preferred that the funds collected continue to be pooled and applied where the need arises – a much more efficient way of collecting and spending the funds on projects.   In fact, the funds collected from PIL represent only a small fraction of the funds the TPA requires in order to build the necessary facilities to meet community needs.  To address those parking facility needs and priorities the TPA frequently consults with the local councillor, BIAs and other associations and frequently does a scan of areas in the City where growth is anticipated. This approach ensures that any parking shortfall and community needs are being addressed.”

SAHRA submitted a letter on Sep 11, 2016 responding to this disappointing news!  The initial request in March, 2016 was to be reported on in Q4, 2016. Now the report will be prepared in Q2 of 2017.  An entire year before the City considers updating the PIL of Parking Policy and the 2004-based fee structure.  A major loss of revenue for parking solutions!

We also questioned the Councillor’s commitment at the Community Consultation Meeting for 1912-1914 Avenue Road on Jan 20, 2016 to arrange that the monies collected on Upper Avenue (Lawrence to Wilson) be designated to be used for parking solutions within that area.

SAHRA dealt with the time and cost of the OMB hearing for 1912-1914 Avenue Road and obtained a Settlement with one of the prime objectives being to secure the Payment-in-Lieu of Parking monies which were estimated to be between $40K to $600K (the actual assessed value was $498K).  We were successful in obtaining OMB, Developer and City Legal agreements that these monies would be assessed and paid.  Without our efforts, we believe that these monies would not have been realized, for the intended benefit of Upper Avenue.

The end result was that the $498K was NOT designated for Upper Avenue, rather the money went into the City-wide TPA revenue account.

SAHRA sent a follow-up letter to the Councillor in Nov, 2017 asking when the report would be published that is scheduled to be submitted to the Planning Growth and Management Committee in Q2 of 2017 – no response has been received.

We are waiting…


PIL of Parking Recommendations to Committee of Adjustment

On Nov 13, 2017 SAHRA wrote to officials at the City and specifically Transportation Services and the Committee of Adjustment advising that the PIL of Parking Policy conditions were NOT being made a condition of CofA approvals when so recommended by Transportation Services.  If a Staff Report by Transportation Services recommends PIL of Parking, the Committee SHOULD make this a Condition of the approval.  It is revenue for the City to apply to parking solutions. If, for some reason, the recommendation is NOT accepted by the CofA, the Panel should be required to state in their Decision their rationale for not accepting the Recommendation/for denying the City the revenue. No response has been received…
SAHRA PIL of Parking Condition Nov 2017


Interpretation of PIL of Parking Formula

On Nov 13, 2017 SAHRA also wrote to the City asking for a review and clarification of interpretation of the PIL of Parking Policy formula for assessment of fees as it is not well-defined and/or is not being applied consistently across various applications.  No response has been received…
SAHRA PIL of Parking Interpretation Nov 2017


Parking Space Costs

The 2004 PIL of Parking Policy sets the Per Space cost at $2,500 to $5,000.  There appears to be a huge disparity between below grade parking space construction costs and Toronto’s current PIL of Parking schedule.

Comparative information (compliments of H. Smith)”

“Will That Be A Parking Space For The New Condo, or Something More Useful?” in the Canadian Parking issue SEPTEMBER 11, 2015|3RD QUARTER 2015,

It states: “Underground parking spaces in downtown Toronto condo developments are typically offered for sale at $45,000 to $60,000 per space while they typically cost at least $50,000 and up to $100,000 per space to provide.”

The City has stated “At 400 sq. ft. per space, the average cost per underground parking space is $35,000.”!