Free parking lot prompts Toronto neighbourhood protest

Image copyright AP Image caption Drivers have been been snapping pictures of the signs Motorists in one Toronto neighbourhood believe they have found a secret parking spot – but it’s just a lottery ticket…

Free parking lot prompts Toronto neighbourhood protest

Image copyright AP Image caption Drivers have been been snapping pictures of the signs

Motorists in one Toronto neighbourhood believe they have found a secret parking spot – but it’s just a lottery ticket vending machine.

Some people have walked away with parking tickets, while others have had their SUV registrations scratched off.

There is now an impromptu protest in response to the parking spot, posting anti-parking signs and catcalling drivers with the words: “Imagine I can do the math and you can’t.”

It was first brought to the attention of the media by Shaun Mcknight, a life coach and father who has lived in Toronto for 10 years.

Mr Mcknight saw the “free” parking lot on a street corner and immediately reported it to the city’s traffic enforcement department.

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption There was a mannequin leaning against the wall

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption The parking lot is located off Innes Road in Toronto

“When I moved into this neighbourhood, the random parking lot parking spot was right outside our home,” he told the BBC.

“[I thought] OK, this looks like a spot, so I took a picture of it, and I just kept circling back, like, ‘This doesn’t look right’. The next thing I know, I get a ticket.”

Mr Mcknight, who has since given up going back, said he hoped the constant posting of the signs would get people to the point where they would no longer be able to give “free parking” to police officers.

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption Some of the signs have been mocked up in unusual ways

So far, he said the only thing his neighbours have done to help was turn off their lights at night.

The Toronto Star newspaper also reported on a similar protest by people in a neighbourhood about a kilometre away. They also complained about being ticketed, or not getting tickets.

A parked utility truck

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption There is a choice of directions for the drivers

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption Some drivers are worried their cars have been scratched off

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption Olly the cat has drawn sympathy from the neighbourhood

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption Innes Road was home to Ukrainian immigrants who arrived in the early 1900s, and the first neighbourhood in what is now Toronto to get street lighting

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption A sign reading “keep off the grass”

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption Neighbours who had experienced being ticketed or had their car scratched off had filed complaints with the city

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption Just over 300 parking tickets were issued on Innes Road in 2016 – the year of the 2017 census, the Toronto Star said

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption A number of streets in Toronto feature unusual parking lot machines in unusual places

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption Many Canadians and officials have been caught out by “free” parking spots

Image copyright Shaun Mcknight Image caption It may be the weirdest parking space in Canada. Perhaps not far from Canada’s capital, Ottawa

Have you experienced anything similar? Let us know about it below.

Leave a Comment