As the City of Toronto considers new revenue opportunities, the Scarborough Business Association would like to provide its opposition to the suggestions of a parking tax or levy.

This is a challenging business environment and we believe a parking levy or tax would negatively impact – and in many cases cripple – businesses both small and large who provide paid and non-paid parking.

As you know, the KPMG report to council, in article 6.3.3 says “Charging for parking where it was previously free could decrease economic activity in the area, making shopping outside Toronto more desirable. The absorption of costs by businesses could potentially decrease employment or increase the cost of goods sold as they attempt to maintain their bottom line.”

Scarborough mainstreet merchants already face incredible pressure from outside enterprise. This is being exacerbated every day with the emergence of online shopping. This, in turn, limits any merchant option as was suggested to pass added costs along to the customer.

Scarborough’s mall and industrial properties would also take a tremendous hit.

The parking levy would cost the average mall tenant $10,000 a year meaning the store would have to generate another $167,000 in sales, according to the International Council of Shopping Centres.

Scarborough is predominantly populated by small individually owned enterprise and the business climate is a challenge for the Scarborough merchants as is.

A tax on parking in Scarborough would put at risk low margin businesses and would become one more impediment to larger operation entry into the very challenging marketplace.


Marg Middleton

President, Scarborough Business Association