Today, the five councillors representing the inner urban wards sent the letter below to several landlord and realtor organizations in Ottawa offering our help to ensure everyone knows the local parking rules before tenants and buyers make decisions about buying or renting a home.

November 10, 2020

Dear Landlords and Realtors,

Ottawa is growing fast. It’s exciting times for many as we feel the impact of big city-building projects, a building boom, intensification and the impact of new urban thinking.

In the midst of all this change, we the undersigned urban councillors need your help.

The transformations we’re seeing are helping to make Ottawa a more sustainable, prosperous city. Along with the changes, though, come challenges. We are making progress on achieving the vision of our Official Plan and Transportation Master Plan to emphasize public transit and active transportation as the only way to grow, but many of our policies are still a work in progress.

One of the key challenges we face as councillors in intensifying neighbourhoods is parking. There’s often not enough to satisfy demand, and not everyone who moves into our communities is going to be able to secure private parking for their vehicle.

We recognize that Council’s policies are built on a regulatory foundation that puts the onus for parking private vehicles on those who own them. The City provides parking for things like shopping and supporting commercial activity, visiting family and friends, and accommodating tradespeople and caregivers. But, it doesn’t provide for private vehicle storage.

Some of our communities will accommodate lots of private parking, but that will be a challenge in some, particularly where our investment in light rail and cycling infrastructure is heaviest. Prospective renters and buyers need to know where they’ll be able to arrange to park their private vehicles, particularly before they make important rental and buying decisions.

Each of our offices receives frequent phone calls and emails from new neighbours asking for our assistance to find private vehicle storage. Given the rapid rate of intensification in our communities, we’re often unable to help.

Landlords and realtors can be part of the solution. Permit parking rules are complex, and the pressures on our inventory of street parking will only grow in future years. Explaining clearly and transparently to prospective buyers and tenants whether off-site parking is available and on what terms would be a critical way to ensure those you’re helping avoid disappointment or even significant disruption and stress.

On-street parking rules can be daunting and initiatives like daytime winter on-street parking bans will only make it more complex. We’re here to help. When showing a property or unit to a client, if you’re uncertain as to what the parking rules are, we’d be pleased to help you navigate the regulations. Feel free to call our offices or connect with Parking Services through 3-1-1. We can help you and your clients understand parking permit rules, time limits and temporary parking bans.

Moving into a new home and neighbourhood should be an exciting time for renters and buyers. Let’s work together to ensure that it is.

Respectfully,

Councillors

Mathieu Fleury (Ward 12)

Rawlson King (Ward 13)

Jeff Leiper (Ward 15)

Catherine McKenney (Ward 14)

Shawn Menard (Ward 17)

Copied

Building Owners and Managers Association Ottawa

Greater Ottawa Homebuilders’ Association

Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization

Ottawa Real Estate Board

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