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Canada - Parking

It is a good idea to check specific details in the province that you are moving to as parking regulations do vary across the country but there are some basic regulations which apply in all areas. Parking regulations are the responsibility of the local council and they will enforce penalties for any parking violations.

In the majority of towns you are only able to park in the direction of the traffic, so if you cannot cross to the other side of the street and park facing the wrong direction. If the road is narrow then it may be that you are only able to park on one side of the street. The side of the street may change on a regular basis, but notices regarding this are usually posted and parking areas are clearly marked. Busy areas will have restricted parking during winter months in order to allow for snow clearing.

Large urban areas have many car parks and the cost of parking will vary a great deal. Parking in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver can be difficult, particularly in the city centres. Many car parks operated on a ‘pay and display’ system and city centre streets often have parking meters. If you fail to pay then you may be fined. Penalty notices are issued by the local authorities and fines are paid to them, although you do not have to go in person to make a payment. You can pay a fine online, send a cheque through the mail or telephone and pay with a debit or credit card. Parking meters on most streets are only in operation during working hours, although some areas operate meters which run till 8 or 9 pm.

Parking in rural areas is not normally an issue and while there are regulations you may find that these are not enforced as strictly as they are in urban areas. Busy urban areas may require residents to have a permit, although this is not always the case. Residential permits are issued by the local authorities and proof of address is usually enough for a permit to be issued.

Disabled parking permits are issued in Canada by local authorities and these can often be used throughout the country providing that the permits are official. They must bear the wheelchair symbol and can only be used by the person that they are issued to. It is possible for a permit from another country to be used in Canada although if you are moving to the country then you should take steps as soon as possible to apply for a local permit.

Applying for a permit will differ in each province but you will be expected to have proof of a disability and for this you may need to provide some documentation from a medical professional. You will need to complete a form, provide proof of ID and address and in some areas there is a fee to be paid. This will need to be paid at the time of application in order for the permit to be issued. As already mentioned, some provinces will issue a temporary permit while you are waiting. Waiting is not normally an issue, although in some provinces the permits can take several weeks to be processed.

In some provinces you are able to purchase a temporary permit while you are waiting for a permanent permit to be issued, although if you have a pass that has been issued in another province it is acceptable to use it anywhere. It is advisable to check with local authorities if you intend to be in an area where there is limited parking, as parking attendants may then favour permits which have been issued locally.

Permits that have been issued in the US are usually recognised by local authorities in Canada. There is an agreement between Canada and the EU which states that permits that are issued in Canada are recognised across Europe and vice versa, although there may still be some limitations in some provinces. Permits should be hung from the rear view mirror and this will allow you to park in spaces which have been reserved for disabled drivers. Those from other countries will need to check in advance if their disabled permit can be accepted.

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