Toronto front-yard parking pad ban mulled by council – Jan. 14, 2015 CBC article

A Jan. 14, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Toronto front-yard parking pad ban mulled by council: Moratorium on parking spot permits could extend to Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke.”

Some years ago, a local family went to the Committee of Adjustment and got approval to install a slightly wider driveway at their house than had been in place earlier.

The family put together a vast collection of photos of houses all around the neighbourhood that featured illegal parking pads in front of houses. They video recorded and photographed hundreds of streetscapes in the neighbourhood by driving a car slowly up and down the streets, recording as they went. As it turns out, the recordings now serve as a great record of a slice of time in a particular neighbourhood.

In the end, the family got the approval. There was extensive debate at the Committee of Adjustment before the approval was granted. The sense was that the sight of illegal parking pads across the neighbourhood had some influence on the vote, which was a very close one.

I marvelled at the time at the anomaly that I was witnessing. Illegal parking pads were the order of the day throughout the neighbourhood. From the committee’s standpoint, their presence was intriguing or at least worthy of a brief notice, but the matter of hand was that some family was seeking to find a legal means to do what was being done illegally, and much more extensively. I thought: “This must be a major challenge. Which aspect of reality matters, when you make a decision of this nature?”

The bottom line, as I see it, is that illegal parking pads offer a great avenue for basement flooding during an era of extreme weather events associated with climate change.

Well, that brings to mind another local story. For many years, a cavity, a hole of substantial proportions, would appear on the street not far from our front door. From time to time, as I recall, the hole would get filled in. After some years, It was noted that the hole was getting bigger and bigger. Finally, it was noted that a municipal water pipe was broken and would need to be repaired. In time, recently, the repair was made. At once, the sump pump in the basement of our house decided to take a break, rather than running pretty close to nonstop day and night.

Here’s to the spending of tax dollars on infrastructure repairs. I pay my taxes, and I have no objection to paying them.


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