City-Wide Parking Standards Review

As per Council direction of June 11, 2007 Council a Parking Standards Review study was undertaken.  It concluded that the “Parking Requirements” contained within By-law 1-88 demonstrated an auto-oriented approach which ensured that each destination can accommodate peak parking demand on site.  The existing requirements did not give consideration to the availability of alternative forms of transportation, urban context, or development forms. Large tracts of dispersed development patterns in Vaughan strengthen automobile dependence and discourage alternative forms of transportation, such as cycling and walking.

The study assesses the overall approach for parking standards throughout the City under the mandate that parking policies should be responsible, implementable, and promote more sustainable forms of development.  Multiple approaches for assessing and developing parking standards were used. The following principles were promoted:


“Responsible” Parking Requirements – balancing the need to require appropriate levels of parking without contributing to extensive oversupply and inefficient land use;


  • Sensitivity to Urban Context – The proposed standards specify alternative minimum (and maximum in certain instances) parking requirements for four different urban categories, reflecting alternative transportation conditions and planning objectives for these areas;

  • Reducing Number of Land Uses – to simplify the standards and improve their accuracy, the proposed standards consolidate uses, where appropriate, particularly for retail, restaurant and industrial/employment uses;

  •  Sensitivity to Parking Demand and Existing Supply – adjustment factors are also specified to tailor parking requirements to local conditions (e.g. reduction of parking for sites with close proximity to public transit);

  • Cash-in-lieu and Public Parking – Cash-in-lieu is recommended as one strategy to help fund for the provision of parking spaces as well as improvements to public parking (e.g. signage, site access, pedestrian realm);

  • Improved Parking Design – parking space access and dimensions, and potential by-law requirements for design aspects such as landscaping, location, layout and stormwater management;

  • Bicycle Parking – bicycle parking requirements are specified for development with both short-term and long-term spaces;

  • Accessible Parking – Vaughan will conform to the Province’s Accessible Built Environment Standards, currently being developed as part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act; 

  • "Draft Parking Design Guidelines" were developed to address matters not covered in a zoning by-law such as appropriate organization, relationship to the public realm, landscaping etc.

  • To view the draft document entitled "Review of Parking Standards Contained within the City of Vaughan's Comprehensive Zoning By-Law" dated March 2010, a draft report which has not been approved by Council to-date click here.


On March 9, 2009 a Committee of the Whole Working Session was held to introduce the concept and approach to the study.  On June 28, 2010 a Committee of the Whole (Working Session) meeting was held to update Committee members of the progress to-date as it related to the policies in the new Official Plan.  Next steps include a revised parking by-law and the creation of a Working Group consisting of Enforcement Services, Building Standards, Fire & Safety, Engineering, Planning, Finance, Legal Services Departments, and any other Departments necessary to address the issues of on-street parking, priced parking and the management and enforcement of public parking, including consideration of the development of a Parking Strategy and Parking Management Business Plan or Parking Authority.

Additional Resources


Contact Information


Policy Planning Department


For more information on the City-Wide Parking Standards Review, contact:

City Hall
Level 200
2141 Major Mackenzie Drive
Vaughan, Ontario L6A 1T1