Spinal Cord Injury Ontario


Accessible Parking Coalition’s Letter to Top Mayoral Candidates

Accessible parking continues to be a barrier across the GTA, making it difficult for people with disabilities to navigate public spaces. Together with the Accessible Parking Coalition, one of the grassroots initiatives that SCIO is involved in, we submitted a letter to the top mayoral candidates to address the community’s concerns around accessible parking.  

We brought to their attention the municipal boundaries imposed by the current accessible parking permit, fraudulent use of the permit, the need for more accessible parking spaces as a result of a rapidly growing aging population and the administrative practices that do not have a process for cancelling a permit once a holder passes away.  

Below is the letter sent to top candidates:

A fully inclusive Toronto is one that is mindful of those living with physical limitations, providing equitable access in all aspects of its functions and landscapes.  Unfortunately, accessibility barriers do exist within our city, impeding on the freedom felt by those living with physical disabilities.    

Accessible parking is an issue that is impacting the freedom of mobility of those living with a disability.  

We have formed a coalition made up of National and Provincial organizations who advocate on behalf of our members, all of whom live with some form of physical disability, to tackle accessible parking.   

It is our hope to see proper revisions made to the existing accessible parking made available here in the City of Toronto, enabling those living with a disability, their independence when driving or being driven, throughout our city. 

The concerning issues include: 

  1.  The Municipal Boundaries of the Accessible Parking Permit:  Currently, the permits are issued provincially yet governed municipally.  This means what is perfectly legal to do using the permit in the City of Toronto may be prohibited in City of Thornhill, resulting in a parking fine.  These Municipal parking laws make it very confusing for the permit holder.  Not knowing what is, or is not, permissible when outside of their city boundaries.
  1. Fraudulent Use of the Accessible Parking Permit:  The permits are very transferrable making it too easy for family, friends, or anyone able to access one, able to use it.
  1. The Aging Population’s Rapid Growth:  With this sector increasing in numbers at a rapid pace, the accessible parking permits are being issued at a forever- growing rate.  This increase is not being acknowledged by the accessible parking spaces being made available.
  1. Lack of Designated Parking Spaces Being Allotted:  With the continued demand, the accessible parking spaces being designated simply do not accommodate the demand.
  1. Administrative Practices:  This refers to the passing of a permit holder.  Currently, there is no process in cancelling the permit at the time of a permit holders passing.  This encourages the continued use of the permit, perhaps by extended family members.

With our coalition representing a large number of qualified voters in the City of Toronto, we hope to see you make this issue a part of your platform by way of “things needing to be addressed”.    


Peter Athanasopoulos  

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