Parking

Photo of Pay by Plate Machine in Lot

How Can We Help You?

 About Our Officers

 They do not...
  • Have a monthly quota to meet
  • Receive bonuses for ticket amounts
  • Wait in bushes, behind trees or other locations watching and waiting to issue tickets
  • Follow residents around (i.e. pick on individuals)
  • Remember your vehicle and if you have a permit or not
  • Wait for meters to expire
  • Have the ability to determine if a licence plate belongs to a person residing in the City of Stratford or a person who is visiting the City

 They are not...

  • To take handouts/tips/gifts in lieu of issuing a penalty notice (parking tickets)
  • To look through driver and passenger windows in detail to try and find a permit/time ticket (i.e. on floor of vehicle) Driver must assure that these are visible
  • Able to look up a permit number to see if an Accessible Parking Permit is current or not
  • Allowed to cancel tickets after they have been issued.

They do...

  • Have a job, they are to enforce the Traffic and Parking By-law 159-2008
  • Take photos of the vehicle in violation if they issue a ticket.

They are...

  • To look for permits clearly displayed on dash/mirror/visors
  • To look through driver and passenger windows to try and see a permit/time ticket (i.e. on flipped up visor or car seats)
  • To look up licence plate to ensure payment has been made
  • To look and see if meters are expired.

 Accessible Parking

The City of Stratford has adopted an Accessible Parking Permit Policy which allows persons holding a valid accessible parking permit to park for free in the City.  The accessible permit must be displayed on the dash/visor of the vehicle when parking.

Blue on-street meters will remain at each accessible parking space should persons using these spaces wish to pay, although it is not required. For pay by licence plate lots, signs have been installed at each space advising payment is not mandatory.

Additional information is available under Frequently Asked Questions – Accessible Parking and Permits.

Accessible Parking Space Pavement Marking

 

 Bus Parking

Bus parking is available free of charge in the Downie Parking Lot.  This lot is a maximum of 24 hours free parking and buses must be parked in the designated area.
 Common Misconceptions About Parking
Common Misconception: I can park for free at 15 and 30 minute parking spaces.

FACT: No. Payment is still required at 15 and 30 minute parking spaces.  The time limit simply means you can only park in that space for 15 or 30 minutes.  This information can be found in Section 33 & 34 of Parking and Traffic By-law 159-2008.

 

Common Misconception: I am only running into a bank or the pharmacy for 2-3 minutes and therefore do not need to pay the parking meter or machine.

FACT: Payment is required at all meters and machines during enforcement hours (Monday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.).

 

Common Misconception: The Parking Enforcement Officers know how long a parking meter has been expired for.

FACT: The Parking Enforcement Officers are unable to determine how long a parking meter has been expired for.

 

Common Misconception: The Parking Enforcement Officers follow people around.

FACT: The Parking Enforcement Officers walk pre-determined routes and issue tickets for infractions when observed. The Officers do not follow people around.

 

Common Misconception: If a parking meter or machine is not working I can simply leave and will not get a ticket.

FACT: If a parking meter or machine is not working you must report the issue to the Clerk’s Office at 519-271-0250, Ext 230. This number is listed on all meters and machines. Failure to report the problem could result in a ticket being issued. If you are unable to report the issue you should move your vehicle to a space where you are able to complete payment in order to avoid a ticket.

 

Common Misconception: The City has a quota system for parking tickets.

FACT: The City does not have a quota system for parking. The City enforces in order to ensure compliance with the Traffic and Parking By-law 159-2008.

 

Common Misconception: The City is required to provide dedicated motorcycle parking.

FACT The City is not required to provide dedicated motorcycle parking but has added motorcycle spaces in the downtown as a customer service gesture.

 

Common Misconception: A parking space with a ‘No Parking City of Stratford Parking Division’ cone in it is free to park in as long as I move the cone.

FACT: No. A cone in a parking space with the following written on it ‘No Parking City of Stratford Parking Division” means the space has either been rented through the City’s Meter Hood Policy or has been blocked for City use. These spaces are not to be parked in unless you are the individual who has rented the space.

 

Common Misconception: A parking space with a red or blue meter bag over the meter is free to park in.

FACT: No. A parking space with a meter bag over the meter means the space has been rented through the City’s Meter Hood Policy. If you are not the individual who rented the meter bag you are not to park in this space and will be ticketed.  This information can be found in Section 49(4) of Parking and Traffic By-law 159-2008.

 

Common Misconception: There are no long term parking spaces in the downtown.

FACT: The City offers a variety of options for parking including:

  • 24 hour free parking at the Cooper and Downie Lots
  • 12 hour paid parking in the Kalbfleisch, George and St. Patrick Lots
  • 4 hour paid parking in the Market Place, Lower and Upper Erie, Albert, and York Lots
  • 15 minute, 30 minute, 4 hour and 12 hour on-street parking

 

Common Misconception: The pay by licence plate machines are hard to use and take a long time for payment to register.

FACT: The pay by licence plate machines are really easy and quick to use once you have become accustomed to them. The hardest part is remembering your licence plate. To learn how to use the machines, follow along the screen, refer to the instructions taped to the machine, watch the demonstration videos on the City’s website or call the Clerk’s Office at 519-271-0250, Ext 230 to book a demonstration.

 

Common Misconception: Once I complete payment at the Pay by Licence Plate machine I have to place the receipt on the dashboard of my car.

FACT: As the payment at pay by licence plate machines is linked to your licence plate you do not have to return to your vehicle and place the receipt on your dash. Receipt is optional!

 

Common Misconception: Can I use my accessible parking permit in an area signed as No Parking or No Stopping?

FACT: No. The accessible parking permit does not allow parking in a restricted area such as No Parking / No Stopping or No Standing.

 

Common Misconception: If I have an accessible parking permit I have to pay at non-accessible parking spaces.

FACT: No. The City of Stratford allows the holder of a valid accessible parking permit to park at meters without payment of the meter for the maximum time of the meter. The valid permit MUST be displayed. If it is not displayed, a parking ticket will be issued.  This information can be found in Section 42(6) of Parking and Traffic By-law 159-2008.

 

Common Misconception: I parked outside the lines because it was necessary and therefore will not be issued a ticket.

FACT No. Vehicles must be parked inside the lines. Failure to do so could result in a ticket being issued.

 

Common Misconception: There were no parking spaces so I parked in an area where I would not obstruct traffic and therefore should not get a ticket.

FACT: All vehicles must be parked in legally marked parking spaces. Failure to do so could result in a parking ticket being issued.

 

Common Misconception: I have a parking permit and will not be issued a ticket even if it is not displayed or has expired.

FACT: Parking permits must be valid and be displayed on the dash of your car. Failure to do so could result in a ticket being issued.  This information can be found in Section 59(1)(b) of Parking and Traffic By-law 159-2008.

 

Common Misconception: If I feed the meter or machine I can continue to park in the space I am in.

FACT: No. Stated maximum parking time limits must be followed. Failure to do so could result in a ticket for exceeding the maximum parking time limit being issued.  This information can be found in Section 45 of Parking and Traffic By-law 159-2008.

 

Common Misconception: I got a ticket when I had my hazard lights flashing and I was only going to be there two minutes. Getting a parking ticket is ridiculous.

FACT: The use of flashers does not give permission to park illegally.  You must be parked in a legally marked parking space.

 

Common Misconception: Parking is not enforced on weekends.

FACT: Parking is enforced Monday – Saturday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, excluding Sundays and Holidays.

 

Common Misconception: I can park my motorcycle on sidewalks or in Market Square.

FACT: No, motorcycles must be parked in legal parking spaces. Up to 3 motorcycles can be parked in a regular parking space as long as payment is made by one motorcycle. Motorcycles can also use the dedicated motorcycle parking if it is available.

 Contesting a Parking Ticket

To dispute a City of Stratford parking ticket, you or your representative, must visit the Clerk’s Office, Ground Floor, 1 Wellington Street and complete a Request for Review form.  If you have any supporting documents they must be provided when attending the Clerk’s Office.  If you are unable to attend the office, you may call the First Attendance Administrator to discuss your ticket at 519-271-0250, Ext. 230 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Each disputed ticket is reviewed by the Parking Review Committee.  The review may include but is not limited to:

  • Review of any evidence provided by the person disputing the ticket
  • Examining the licence plate history to identify past infractions and cancellation reasons, if applicable
  • Full maintenance check of the meter or machine in question performed at the time of request by a Parking Enforcement Officer
  • Review of previous maintenance on the machine or meter in question
  • Verification of proper signage in the vicinity of the infraction location
  • Verification that an accessible parking permit is valid

A ticket issued where the vehicle was blocking vehicular or pedestrian traffic, parked in a No Parking area or parked in an area where the offence poses a risk to safety (fire lanes, hospitals, etc.) will not be cancelled.

 

Once all information has been reviewed and a decision made, the person disputing the ticket will be contacted by the method provided on the Request for Review form.
 Hours of Enforcement

Payment for parking is required Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., excluding holidays.  Maximum stated time limits are in effect during these times.

From December 1 to April 30 four hours of free parking is offered on Saturdays as a joint initiative between the City of Stratford and the Stratford City Centre BIA.

 Meter Hoods

The purpose of a “Meter Hood Rental” is to provide a controlled system for trades people to park at metered or pay by licence plate parking spaces in the downtown core when engaged in repairs, or renovations, etc., and no other parking is available to them.  Meter hoods may also be rented for persons moving in or out of a downtown residence.

Meter hoods can be rented from the City Clerk’s Office located on the Ground Floor of City Hall, 1 Wellington Street.

“Meter hoods” refers to a cover placed over a meter or a Stratford Parking Division cone to be placed in a parking space to identify the space as reserved.

Photo of Meter Hoods and Parking Cone

 The following outlines the practice to be followed for meter hood rentals:

  1. A meter hood rental agreement must be completed by the rental party prior to issuance.
  2. The rental fees for meter hoods are as follows:
    • Single Meter Hood $6.75 per day plus HST
    • Double Meter Hood $13.50 per day plus HST
    • Administration Fee $10.00 plus HST per rental
  3. A $50.00 deposit is required at the time of the issuing of the meter hood, and is refunded, unless the hood is damaged, or not returned. A credit card number, expiry date and cardholder name can be provided as a deposit with the understanding that $50.00 will be charged for each meter hood/cone and/or locking device that is not returned or is damaged.
  4. A maximum of four parking spaces (two (2) double or four (4) single meter hoods) can be rented at any given time by any one business or individual.
  5. Meter hoods are to be returned immediately upon completion of work, failure to do so will result in continued daily charges until returned.  All fees must be paid in full when the meter hood(s) or cone(s) are returned.
  6. A summary of the total outstanding fees will be forwarded to the renter every sixty (60) days for long term rentals and payment must be remitted within ten (10) business days.
  7. Meter hoods cannot be left on the meter overnight.  They must be placed on the meter or in the space after 6:00 a.m. each day and removed by 11:59 p.m.
  8. A Street Permit (issued by Infrastructure and Development Services) is required for all rentals where materials are to be placed upon or over streets/sidewalks during construction.   When a street permit is required, a meter hood will not be rented without a copy of the permit being provided.
  9. In the event a meter hood is not being used properly or in the location indicated, the renter will be required to return the meter hood immediately.
  10. A meter hood permit must be placed in the driver’s side windshield of all vehicles parking at the meter hood or parking cone.  The permit must be returned with the meter hood or parking cone.
 Monthly Permits

The public may purchase parking permits for the Lower Erie Lot (day use only) and downtown residents may purchase parking permits for the York Parking Lot (day and overnight use) on a monthly basis.  There are a limited number of permits available for each lot and you may be required to place your name on a waitlist.

Permits are $113.75 per month (HST included) and be purchased for up to six (6) months at a time.  Please note prices are subject to change upon approval from City Council.

 Metered Parking

The majority of on-street spaces in the downtown core are 4 hour meters, however, there are areas throughout the downtown core offering 12 hour meters to those requiring longer term parking.

Parking in No Parking areas, over sidewalks and on boulevards adjacent to driveways is prohibited and may result in a ticket being issued.

For more information on parking in the downtown and available options please see our Downtown Parking Guide.  For a map of the downtown core please see our Parking Map.

 Overnight Parking

The City’s Traffic and Parking By-law 159-2008 prohibits overnight parking on any City street or pay parking lot between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. year round.  Signs advising the public of this restriction are posted at major entrances to the City of Stratford rather than on each street.  Stratford Police Services enforce this restriction and should be contacted if there is a parking situation at the non-emergency line of 519-271-4141.

 Parking Guide
The Downtown Parking Guide includes detailed information regarding parking locations, hours of operation, hourly rates and permit rates and availability.
 Parking Map

The Downtown Parking Map includes information such as locations of accessible parking spaces, number of spaces in specific areas and parking maximums.

 Parking Reports and Studies
 
Topic Document
Accessible Parking Accessible Parking Activity Study - September 2016
  Information from the City of Toronto Accessibility Parking Permit Page
Parking Studies Action Plan - October 2016
  Executive Summary - October 2016
  Market Square Development - Parking Strategy Options - September 2016 
  Downtown Parking Committee Final Report - 2008 
  City of Stratford Downtown Parking Study and Management Strategy 2001 
  City of Stratford Assessment of Structured Parking on Erie Street Lot 1988 
Parking Surveys Transit Service and Downtown Terminal Needs Review - December 2015 
  Parking Survey - March 2015 
Technical Reports Technical Report A - Parking Study - September 2016
  Technical Report B - Parking Supply Reponse - September 2016 
 Pay by Licence Plate Parking Areas

Pay by Licence Plate machines have been installed in the Albert, Erie, George, St. Patrick and Kalbfleish Lots and on Market Place.

These machines allow the user to pay by coin(s) or credit card and do not require a receipt to be placed in the vehicle as payment is linked to your licence plate. 

For more information please visit Frequently Asked Questions About Pay by Licence Plate.

Pay by Plate Terminal Coin Instructions and Video

 

Pay by Plate Terminal Credit Card Instructions and Video

 

 Paying a Parking Ticket
 

Parking tickets can be paid by the following options:

  1. Telephone via Visa or Mastercard at 519-271-0250, ext. 230 during regular business hours (Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
  2. In person at the Clerk’s Office, Ground Floor, 1 Wellington Street via cash, cheque, debit, Visa or Mastercard
  3. Deposit an envelope with a cheque in the mail slot at the rear entrance to City Hall
  4. Pay by mail by sending a cheque to the following address:

City of Stratford

Clerk’s Office

PO Box 818

Stratford ON  N5A 6W1

 

If you have lost or misplaced your parking ticket you may call the Clerk's Office at 519-271-0250, Ext. 230 during business hours.  You will be required to provide your licence plate number.

 Private Parking Officer

A private parking lot enforcement officer is authorized by Council in accordance with By-law 159-2008, to issue parking tickets to vehicles that are illegally parked on their private property as well as in designated fire routes and accessible parking spaces in their lots. It is the responsibility of the property owner to select an individual and apply to the City to appoint a private parking lot enforcement officer for their property and to make application to the City for approval. It is also the owner of the building's responsibility to obtain, install and maintain proper signage for by-law enforcement purposes.

If you would like to make an application to enforce parking in your private parking lot, please follow the steps below:

  1. Provide the legal name, phone number and current address of the person who wants to be responsible for enforcing parking in your lot. Also state whether this person is the owner or employee of the property owner. The property owner is required to obtain liability insurance coverage that specifically names the City as an additional insured.
  2. The person responsible for enforcing parking in your lot will need to get a Records Check from the Police Department in Stratford.
  3. Once a decision has been made regarding this request, Agreements will be sent to for signature by the signing officers of the property owner as well as the enforcement officer.
  4. The private parking lot enforcement officer will be required to attend a mandatory training session before he or she can issue parking tickets and follow provided guidelines regarding issuance of tickets. Please note that parking officers may need to attend court and provide testimony should a parking ticket be challenged.

Please submit all information above to:

Corporate Services Department, Clerks Office
City of Stratford
City Hall, P.O. Box 818
Stratford, ON N5A 6W1

 Tips to Avoid Parking Tickets
  1. Watch for Signs – please check signage and time restrictions downtown carefully. In addition, please watch for temporary parking restriction signs. 
  2. Pay for Parking – most tickets issues in the City of Stratford are for expired meters. You can put in $0.05, $0.10 and $0.25 in meters and machines.
  3. Bus Stops - Leave bus stops for bus stops. Drivers often pull into bus stops to wait for a friend, buy a cup of coffee or use a bank machine. Even a quick stop blocks the zone, forcing Stratford Transit drivers to unload or load passengers on the street. This is a potential hazard for elderly and disabled passengers and an inconvenience for other motorists when the bus is unable to pull into the zone.
  4. Commercial Loading and Unloading Zones - Leave commercial loading and unloading zones for commercial vehicle loading and unloading.
  5. Know the different between “no parking” and “no stopping” - The "No Stopping" symbol is the most restrictive parking regulation. Once a vehicle has ceased moving, even if it is occupied, it is deemed stopped. Bus, Tour Bus, Taxi, Commercial and No Stopping zones are all off limits to unauthorized vehicles. If you choose to stop in any of these zones, you can be ticketed. The "No Parking" symbol is less restrictive. Drivers are allowed to use these zones (e.g. Passenger, Loading, and No Parking Anytime) to load or unload goods or to pick up or discharge passengers while actively engaging in loading and unloading the vehicle.
  6. Accessible Parking Spaces - Leave accessible parking spaces for persons with accessible parking permits. Accessible parking spaces have the accessible icon painted on the ground, signage indicating it is an accessible space and if metered will have a blue meter.
  7. Overnight Parking – Parking is not permitted on any City street or in any municipal pay parking lot between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. year round. 
  8. Time Limit – abide by the stated time limits. Ensure you are moving your vehicle after the maximum parking time limit has been reached.
 Traffic and Parking By-law 159-2008
 The City’s Traffic and Parking By-law 159-2008 regulates traffic and parking in the City of Stratford and is available for review.  If you require an alternate format please contact the Clerk’s Office.
"Unassumed Roads" in New Subdivisions

Parking and Traffic By-law 159-2008 applies to all new subdivisions regardless of whether or not “Unassumed Road” signs are posted and are subject to enforcement by the police or municipal bylaw officers.