Letters to the Editor: Beach parking crisis needs immediate attention from city officials

Watermain construction on Wheeler Avenue is causing an immediate parking crisis in the area, and residents are looking for help. Inset photo shows Wheeler Avenue and Juniper Avenue. Photos by Alan Shackleton.

We need help.

A community meeting hosted at the Beaches Recreation Centre on May 17 was attended by many residents of Ward 19 Beaches-East York Ward in the central part of 9c parking area. Many experienced anger and frustration as families are struggling to find parking and deal with parking fines. Most now have hundreds of dollars of fines with more to come.

The parking many families depend on has been removed and they have no legal parking available. There are solutions but they require Toronto and East York Community Council to recognize the problem and take immediate action to provide relief.

The discussion at the meeting was very productive, and residents voiced their concerns and agreed to solutions to the issue of parking within the impacted area. We will summarize the issue and potential solutions that were discussed and supported by constituents of Beaches-East York at the meeting.

Recently the supply of on-street overnight parking spaces within the area has been reduced to far fewer than the existing demand.

This is causing hardship for many who have relied on the 9c overnight parking program to ultimately take care of their families.

In a desperate attempt to find overnight parking, 9c permit holders primarily on Lee Avenue, Juniper Avenue, Wheeler Avenue and Kingston Road have had no choice but to park illegally on Glen Ames, Long Crescent, and Glen Stewart Crescent. To add further injury, those residents have been issued many tickets and fines from City of Toronto Parking Enforcement while on the aforementioned streets.

There are three main factors which have led up to this hardship:

1.) The decision taken by the Toronto and East York Community Council in November 2021 to pass a bylaw to remove all the permit parking spaces on Pine Crescent, Glen Ames, Long Crescent, Glen Oak Drive, Balsam Road, Pine Glen Road and Glen Stewart Crescent, removing more than 40 parking spaces.

2.) The water main and combined sewer replacement construction on Wheeler Avenue, making it impossible for residents of the street to use their driveways or park on their street, removing more than 18 parking spaces.

3.) The change to bylaw/TMC 918 in April 2022, preventing the use of the Committee of Adjustment for minor variances to obtain a legal front yard parking pad.

At the May 17 community meeting, residents attending proposed the following solutions, separated into immediate and longer term (i.e., one to two years).

• Immediate – Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford must meet with constituents in the impacted area, and visit the area with them to witness the issue firsthand and understand their frustration.

• Immediate – Permit parking on all streets in the area must be temporarily reinstated. This would reinstate all the street permit parking spaces removed by Community Council in November of 2021. • Immediate – Assist with allowing overnight parking in local public school lots. The principals of Glen Ames Senior Public School and Williamson Road Public School need to be approached to allow 9c permit holders to park in the schools’ parking lots outside of school hours (i.e. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Currently, the parking lot gates are locked after hours.

• Longer term – Allow polling of the entire area, including north and south sides of Kingston Road, for any proposed removal of street parking. To date, only residents of the streets where overnight parking was removed (i.e. e.g. Pine Crescent, Glen Ames, Long Crescent, Glen Oak Drive, Balsam Road, Pine Glen Road and Glen Stewart Crescent) were polled to allow or disallow overnight parking. Cars do not simply disappear from streets with removal of portions of permit parking but rather they are pushed into other remaining streets with paid permit parking causing further congestion. Polling the entire area would provide a more equitable approach to decision making while ensuring a greater number of impacted residents are considered.

• Longer term – Assist with amending bylaw/TMC 918 to remove the prohibition of front yard parking pads in Beaches-East York. These parking pads are a common sight in the area and proof that this set up yields many benefits with little drawbacks. Permeable pavers can be used to ensure proper water drainage with a tasteful landscaping plan accentuating the character of the neighbourhood. Better sightlines from the front yard help ensure no children or elderly residents are injured by cars. Lastly, front yard pads help increase the uptake of electric cars as they provide a space for chargers. However, there needs to be a proper review process in place for such proposals. For these reasons we ask that Council amend bylaw/TMC 918, and the prohibition of front yard parking pads in Beaches-East York be removed. We also ask that subsections to 918-6, added in April of 2022, preventing the use of the Committee of Adjustment for minor variances to bylaws, also be removed.

Immediate action by our councillor to temporarily reinstate parking on all the area streets will quickly relieve the problem we are experiencing. We need Toronto and East York Community Council to open up parking during construction on Wheeler Avenue on Glen Ames, Long Crescent, and Glen Stewart Crescent.


Concerned Beach Residents

Was this article informative? Become a Beach Metro Community News Supporter today! For 50 years, we have worked hard to be the eyes and ears in your community, inform you of upcoming events, and let you know what and who is making a difference. We cover the big stories as well as the little things that often matter the most. CLICK HERE to support your Beach Metro Community News!