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The city releases secret to cancelling parking tickets: pretty much any excuse works

Even the Batmobile gets ticketed in Toronto (Image: Gary J. Wood)

After what sounds like years of conspiracies and cover-ups, drivers finally have a shot against the sneaky tactics of parking officials. Thanks to two plucky city councillors, a formerly confidential document that offers guidelines on when to cancel parking tickets was made public last night. In the Star, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong explains the adventure: “Myself and Councillor [Howard] Moscoe have been trying to get it released for a long time, and staff have constantly been saying ‘It’s confidential, it’s confidential, it’s confidential…’ Here a group of bureaucrats have set up these secret rules that nobody knows about.” Until now.

Turns out, the city is a lot more reasonable than one would assume—or at least it is supposed to be. According to the document, parking officials are encouraged to use “sound judgment” and “problem-solving skills,” and even to give motorists the benefit of the doubt.

These shocking details seem to imply that whenever parkers think they deserve to have their ticket cancelled, they probably do, so long as they can prove it and they don’t have a history of parking violations. Attendants are encouraged to extend grace to fast food delivery people, church worshippers, out-of-towners, sick people and those who are confused by “No Parking” signs (specifically if permissible parking switches from one side of the street to another). Also, thankfully, if one’s car is stolen and then parked illegally, the newly car-less victim usually does not have to pay.

It’s nice to know that under its gruff exterior, Toronto is really just a big softie. Except when it comes to cyclists. Cyclists are pissed. But what else is new?

• Ticket Cancelling manuel released [Toronto Star]
•  Parking Exemptions vs Bike Lanes [ibikeTO]
• How to beat parking tickets in Toronto [Globe and Mail]

  • Trudie

    “specifically if permissible parking switches from one side of the street to another” –seriously, tell this to the parking official in Little Italy who comes FIRST THING in the morning to ticket everyone who hasn’t woken up or chosen to move their car while in bathrobes on days the sides switch.

  • robert

    now lets see the list of suits,that used this nice loop hole.

  • alp

    Do you also believe in the tooth fairy???
    There’s a slight catch in this even if the law is on your side, you really cant win. i received a ticket at St Clair and Spadina – i had paid to park and was valid until 2.00pm – ticket was at 1.30pm and was on far side of car and quite visible – guy was too lazy to climb over a snowbank to have a look. decided to fight and went to metro hall – stood in line for half an hour and then got to window – was told they couldn’t cancel it and would have to go to court – where was court i asked – in scarboro – hmmm! to fight a $30 dollar ticket, i had sunk time, paid $10 to park downtown, would have to drive to scarboro – $10 for gas plus more time, stand in line (i am self employed)and even then no guarantee i would win. i just gave in and paid the ticked online through visa – well how about the $2.50 they charged me for ‘administration’ fee after i put in extra time again and the data – i should have paid at the window. Lose – lose situation! At least I wasn’t like the guy in front of me in the line up who has a handicapped sticker and quite regularly gets tickets which he has to go to court to get cancelled(so he says) and so much for the ‘policies’ book!!)