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Since parking rules change from road to road and place to place, always watch for and obey signs that say you may not stop or limit stopping, standing or parking. Be aware that not all parking by-laws are posted on signs.

Here are some basic parking rules:

After parking your vehicle, always turn off the ignition and the lights, remove the key and lock the door to stop theft. Do not leave children or animals in the vehicle.

Before moving from a parked position, always signal and check for traffic, pulling out only when it is safe to do so.

Parking for people with disabilities

IIllustration of Accessible Parking Permit

The Accessible Parking Permit, formally known as the Disabled Person Parking Permit, is issued to individuals, to entitle the vehicle, in which it is displayed, to park in a designated disabled parking space. The individual to whom the permit was issued must be with the vehicle and the permit must be displayed on the dashboard or sun visor. The permit holder can use the permit in any vehicle they are travelling in. There is no fee for an Accessible Parking Permit.

The name "Accessible Parking Permit" was adopted to focus on the functionality and benefits of the permit to the holder, versus the holder's disability.

Holders of valid "Disabled Person Parking Permit" may continue to use their existing permit until it expires.

To qualify for an Accessible Parking Permit, the individual must be medically certified by their health practitioner as having one or more of the following conditions:

  • Cannot walk without assistance of another person or a brace, cane, crutch, a lower limb prosthetic device or similar assistive device or who requires the assistance of a wheelchair.
  • Suffers from lung disease to such an extent that forced expiratory volume in one second is less than 1 litre.
  • Portable oxygen is a medical necessity.
  • Cardiovascular disease impairment classified as Class III or Class IV to standards accepted by the American Heart Association or Class III or IV according to the Canadian Cardiovascular Standard.
  • Severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, musculoskeletal or orthopedic condition.
  • Visual acuity is 20/200 or poorer in the better eye with or without corrective lenses or whose greatest diameter of the field of vision in both eyes is 20 degrees or less.
  • Condition(s) or functional impairment that severely limits his or her mobility.

A licensed physician, chiropractor, nurse practitioner (extended class), physiotherapist or occupational therapist must certify the applicant's condition on the permit application.

A Regular permit (blue) is valid for five years. If certified under the criteria mentioned above as having a permanent disability, medical re-certification will not be required as a condition of renewal. If certified as having a condition that may improve (subject to change), medical re-certification will be required as a condition of renewal.

A Temporary permit (red) is valid for up to two years. Temporary permits are issued when the disability is expected to last more than two months, but is not considered a permanent disability. This permit is not renewable.

A Traveller permit (purple) is valid for up to one year and is issued upon request. These permits are displayed on the dashboard or sun visor of a vehicle at any Ontario airport. The regular permit travels with the permit holder. Only people who currently hold a valid permit can apply for a Traveller permit by following the process described below.

A Company permit (green) is valid up to 5 years and is issued to companies/non-profit organizations that own/lease vehicles for the purpose of transporting people with physical disabilities.

Misuse of the permit will result in fines and revoked privileges. Misuse or abuse of an APP should be reported to the police. For information on local bylaws concerning disabled parking privileges, please contact the municipality.

Parallel parking

Parallel parking means parking vehicles in a line, front to rear, next to the curb or side of the road. Park parallel to the curb on roads where parking is allowed unless there are signs saying that vehicles should be parked at an angle. Park on the right side of the road in the direction of traffic. Unless there are signs saying otherwise, you can parallel park on both sides of a one-way road.

Illustration of parallel parking

To parallel park on the right-hand side of the road, find a space that is about one and half times longer than your vehicle. Check the traffic beside and behind and signal your wish to pull over and stop. Drive alongside — or parallel to — the vehicle ahead of the empty space, leaving about a metre between the vehicles. Stop when your rear bumper is in line with the other vehicle.

  1. Slowly and carefully reverse into the space, turning the steering wheel fully towards the curb.
  2. When you can see the outside rear corner of the vehicle in front of your space, straighten your wheels as you continue to reverse.
  3. Then turn the steering wheel fully toward the road to bring your vehicle in line with the curb.
  4. If your vehicle is not parallel to the curb, drive forward to straighten.
  5. When you are properly parked, set the parking brake and move the gear selector into park, or shift into first or reverse gear if your vehicle has a manual transmission. Turn off the engine. Remember to remove the key from the ignition. Check traffic before opening your door. Lock your vehicle.

Parking on a hill

Illustration of vehicle parked facing downhill with a curb llustration of vehicle parked facing uphill with a curb IIllustration of vehicle parked facing uphill without a curb Diagram 2-40 A Diagram 2-40 B Diagram 2-40 C

When parking facing downhill, turn your front wheels towards the curb or right shoulder. This will keep the vehicle from rolling into traffic if the brakes become disengaged (Diagram 2-40 A).

Turn the steering wheel to the left so the wheels are turned towards the road if you are facing uphill with a curb. The tires will catch the curb if it rolls backward (Diagram 2-40 B).

Facing uphill without a curb, turn the wheels sharply to the right. If the vehicle rolls, it will go off the road rather than into traffic (Diagram 2-40 C).

When parking on a hill, always set the parking brake and move the gear selector into park, or shift into first or reverse gear if your vehicle has a manual transmission. Turn off the engine and remove the key. Check for traffic before opening the door and remember to lock your vehicle.

Roadside stop

When you need to stop by the side of the road for a short time — to check something outside your vehicle or to look for directions on a map, for example — follow these directions.

Signal that you want to pull over and check your mirrors and blind spot to see when the way is clear. Steer to the side of the road, stopping close to the curb or edge of the road.

If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, put the gear selector in park and set the parking brake. If your vehicle has a manual transmission, set the parking brake and shift into neutral if not turning off the engine, or shift into low or reverse if turning off the engine. Turn on your four-way emergency flashers. When parking on a hill, turn your wheels in the appropriate direction to keep your vehicle from rolling.

When pulling out from a roadside stop, turn off your flashers, release the parking brake and move the gear selector to drive or shift into first gear. Signal and check your mirrors and blind spot to make sure the way is clear of vehicles and cyclists before driving back onto the road.

© 2003 Queen's Printer for Ontario

* Attention New Drivers - Find out How to get the lowest auto Insurance rates

Changing positions Freeway driving