Does Your Commercial Parking Lot Meet Ontario Requirements?
Thinking of installing a new commercial parking lot in Ontario, but aren’t sure of the standards and requirements? You’re not alone! Between municipal guidelines and all the other nuances, it can be hard to keep up with provincial standards for commercial parking lots. Although this is by no means an official guide, here are a few things to consider.
Parking Space Dimensions
Parking space dimension requirements vary from municipality to municipality, so you’ll have to check with your local board to make sure your spaces measure up. In the City of Toronto, for example, your parking space will need a length of at least 5.6 meters, a width of 2.6 meters, and a vertical clearance of 2.0 meters. You’ll also need to think about the size and layout of the entire parking lot. For cars to be able to pass each other, they’ll need a cushion of space in between- in Toronto the requirement is 6 feet, but again, this could differ in your municipality.
With the average car weighing 4,000 pounds, you’ll need to carefully consider what material to use when paving your parking lot in order for it to last a long time without cracking or breaking. Parking lot maintenance can be an expensive ordeal, but going without it can be dangerous- so the less of it you have to do the better. By switching to asphalt-alternative materials like Ecoraster, for example, you’ll be ensuring the surface can reliably support the heaviest of vehicles.
Mandated Number of Parking Spots
For commercial parking lots in Ontario, the number of mandatory parking spaces varies greatly. Own and operate a hotel? You’ll need at least one parking space per guest suite; run your own family daycare? The Ontario government requires you to have at least one space per employee, plus another for every five children that attend. You can see the full list of parking space requirements in Ontario here.
Accessible Parking Space Requirements Ontario
Under the Design of Public Spaces Standard of the AODA, cities and other organizations building or reconstructing on-street or off-street parking spaces in Ontario must make those spaces accessible to visitors with disabilities who hold accessible parking permits. As the population ages, more and more people will have accessible parking permits and need spaces to park in. Accessible (AODA-compliant) parking spaces allow all people to drive wherever they need to go, and therefore must be considered when laying out your Ontario commercial parking lot.
Permeability- Avoiding a Stormwater Charge
Stormwater management is increasingly becoming an issue, especially in larger cities like Toronto, Mississauga, and Ottawa. When rain levels are high, parking garages and parking lots with poor drainage can easily become flooded, causing pools of unwanted stormwater runoff that are costly to manage, harmful to the environment, and potentially dangerous for parking lot users. In response to these issues, municipalities like Mississauga are introducing a stormwater charge, while others like Toronto are considering adding one to commercial property owners’ bills in the near future.
These unnecessary expenses can easily be avoided by installing permeable pavement that helps with parking lot drainage and stormwater management. LID (Low Impact Development) products like Ecoraster allow water to pass through, without pooling on your hard surface- in this case, your parking lot.