Photo by Thomas Hawk.
Although we know that every resident of Toronto is a huge fan of the “betterer way,” and that not a single one of you has a complaint about the TTC’s long wait times, we recognize that it is sometimes necessary to invest in your own personal motorized vehicle. Aside from the costs of car payments, gas, insurance, winter tires, summer tires, oil changes, floor mats and chrome spinners (slammin’!), eventually you also have to think about where you’re going to keep the damn thing when you’re not using it.
First, let’s have a look at the recent Colliers International 2007 Parking Survey [.PDF], which is a treasure trove of parking cost-related facts (you can thank us later). The good news arising from the survey is that Toronto’s parkers pay significantly less than their criminally overcharged counterparts in Big London, who are paying a typical parking fee of $1,198 (USD) per month. Compared to that, midtown Manhattan’s prices look downright reasonable at an average of $630 per month, and Toronto’s seemingly insignificant monthly average of $301.85 makes us wonder if parking lot manufacturers are saving all the best spaces for the “cool” cities and dumping their outlet-store irregulars on us.
Having positively convinced you that parking in Toronto is a bargain, we’re happy to advise you that there are now two new websites available to help you find the best spot in town. The more established of the two services (at a stately age of about 6 months), is ParkingHunter.com (below, at top), and its brand-new competitor is known colloquially (well, just known) as ParkingSpots.com (below, at bottom).
We were gonna give you a long-winded explanation of how the sites work but, hell, it’s pretty easy. You’re familiar with Google Maps, yes? Good. And the “search” function? Excellent. You’re good to go. If you get stuck they’ve got FAQs that are actually pretty useful, and you can email them if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. Just to reassure you, ParkingHunter advises us that the average cost of a Toronto spot on their site is about $140/month (CDN), and ParkingSpots related that the most expensive spot on their site so far topped out at $165/month. Cheap!
Both sites are based in Toronto, and the Toronto market––at this point at least––seems to be their bread and butter, although ParkingHunter informs us they’re also making some headway in Boston. In fact, both sites are planning to expand their reach throughout North America, so if you like their work and are moving around the U.S. or Canada, you could do worse than to check with either site for a spot in your new ‘hood.
There are a couple of differences between the two sites, however. ParkingSpots charges a fee for spot owners who have decided to make a little extra cash by renting out their space. ParkingHunter doesn’t charge a fee for any residential spaces, but they do charge for commercial ones. Also, since ParkingSpots is a relatively new site, you’re probably not going to find as many matching hits as you will with ParkingHunter, which has been around a bit longer. The good news is that you have both sites at your disposal now, and isn’t the main thing finding a place to put your Benz, Richie Rich?