The Cost of Parking – Yes Parking Really Does Cost Money

The Cost of Parking – Yes Parking Really Does Cost Money

Parking and parking spaces are almost always a hot topic.  Or should I say contraversial one.

Whether you’re talking about having to pay for parking or how many parking spaces a new development (small, medium or large) has – it tends to bring out extreme passion in people.

Despite the passion that many people have for parking – we need to have an honest conversation about the cost of parking and how that costs increases substantially the cost of apartment buildings and condominiums.

In 2021, the average cost for developers to build a single parking spot in Toronto was: $48,000 — $160,000.  The report was co-authored by the City of Toronto’s planning and transportation departments.  With the increase in building materials and labour, it is safe to say that the costs have increased substantially.

Now I can hear people already saying – “But that’s Toronto, not here!”  Construction costs are construction costs.  Those costs don’t get cheaper when you pass the Welcome to Niagara sign on the QEW.

What does this mean for those renters or buyers?  It means that when you’re purchasing a unit in a condominium or renting an apartment the cost of building parking spaces is being passed on to the buyer or renter – there is a direct link to the affordability of these units.  Does it make sense that potentially $100,000 is added to the purchase price of a condo because of a parking spot?

Now before some start to explain to me ‘everyone’ living in St. Catharines and Niagara needs to have a car and that we are a car city and region. I’m not suggesting that we eliminate parking garages or parking spaces all together.  There will, for the forseeable future, the need to drive a car.  What I am saying is that not everyone needs, wants or can afford to own a car.

The cost of owning a car has increased substantially over the last 5 years.  Purchase prices, intrest rates, gas, insurance and maintenace costs are all on the rise.  According to the average annual cost of owning a car is around $12,000 per year.  This for many is unaffordable.

Along with the financial aspects of owning a car – there are environmental reasons people have for not owning a car or choosing to leave your car at home and choose alternative modes of transportation.

So what’s the point of all this information?  Good question.

We have to think differently about parking spaces and be honest that when we require developments to have 1.5 parking spaces per unit – there is a very large cost that will be passed along to the buyer or the renter.

So if we’re going to have an honest conversation about parking and parking spaces – we have to acknowledge that the requirements we have comes with a cost and that cost is going to be paid by those new owners or renters.