Parking enforcement has become excessive at Cherry Beach, frustrated residents say

Some frustrated Toronto residents say there’s not enough parking at Cherry Beach and they believe parking enforcement at the lots is now excessive.

A ticket for parking illegally at Cherry Beach, at the foot of Cherry Street, is a cool $100.

Many people who visit Cherry Beach find what they consider to be alternative places to park, including along the side of the road, or in the middle of the lot, or around the curb near the dog park. Then they end up getting ticketed. 

Residents say the city should immediately call off the excessive parking patrol, rezone spaces that could be parking spots, put up signs to warn residents of the $100 fine, and give people a break during a hot summer. They say there’s enough space to create many more designated spots.

At least one city councillor agrees that parking is a problem there and it’s time for the city to do something.

Matthew Mohan, a resident, said his father Selwin Mohan got a $100 ticket for parking on the grass on Saturday.

“It sucks,” Matthew Mohan told CBC Toronto. 

“Ten minutes ago, we just got the ticket. A hundred bucks is hefty. It’s nuts. It’s pretty crazy, ” he said.

“We got here at 9 in the morning and it was just completely just packed. This was just the only spot. Everybody else was on the grass so we just pulled up here. It seemed like a good spot.”

His dad, Selwin Mohan, added: “I didn’t think today’s trip was going to be this expensive.”

Parking lots ‘jammed’ during heat wave, resident says

John Peat, another resident, said Cherry Beach has become a popular place to visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said it’s difficult to find a spot after 10 a.m. He said there is a petition to get the centre of the lots lined.

“During that heat wave, it was just jammed, they were parked on the grass, the whole bit,” Peat said.

Coun. Paula Fletcher, who represents Ward 14, said parking enforcement should be eased and the city should take a look at the demand for parking at Cherry Beach. She said she is not aware of any plans by the city to add parking spaces, even though finding a spot for a vehicle is clearly a problem.

“I understand it is a nightmare,” she said.

Fletcher said the demand is part of the transformation of the city’s waterfront. She noted that Cherry Beach was once a “forgotten beach,” but it’s now a destination, especially for families who do not have cottages.

Constituents have begun to complain, councillor says

People want to be near the water when the weather is hot and humid, but going to a city beach should not cost $100, she added. Her constituents have begun to complain about the tickets, she said.

“Sometimes when parking enforcement knows that they’re going to be able to give out a lot of tickets to make their quota, they’ll spend a lot of time there. For them, it’s a honey hole,” Fletcher said.

“For the rest of the people getting them, it’s a nightmare for your day out on the beach. And I think we have to lighten up for these places. If it’s not dangerous, if you’re not parking in the middle of the road, for goodness sakes, let that family have a day at Cherry Beach.”

Const. Alex Li, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said in an email on Saturday that the service’s Parking Enforcement Unit oversees enforcement at Cherry Beach. But he said there has been no recent increase in enforcement there.

“There are no enforcement plans/stepping up enforcement as per the Unit, they enforce as per complaints issued and/or during daily patrols throughout the city,” Li said.

The city of Toronto has not yet responded to emails for comment.

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