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City of Toronto, Toronto Police launch
Queen Street towing pilot, October 7

Starting Monday, October 7, the City of Toronto and the Toronto Police Service are launching the Queen Street towing pilot to help speed traffic and TTC streetcars along Queen Street Mondays to Fridays during afternoon rush hours.

The pilot is a data-driven measure continuing for about six to eight weeks

  • on Queen Streets East and West between Fallingbrook Road and Roncesvalles Avenue / King Street West (in other words: the entire street).

During the pilot, tow trucks relocate vehicles that drivers have illegally parked on Queen Street to certain side streets (Cameron Street, Ryerson Avenue, Michael Sweet Avenue and Stephanie Street, depending on the location of the vehicle) or move them to other “no parking” / open locations.

The Toronto Police Service have contracted with towing companies to remove illegally parked vehicles and tow them to one of several “pounds” or impound lots. In Toronto, these pounds are all well beyond the downtown area, requiring tow-truck drivers as long as to 90 minutes to move a single illegally parked vehicle and then return for others. The City expects that this pilot will result in shorter tow-truck response times and contribute to fewer delays along Queen Street.

Drivers of vehicles that the trucks have towed from Queen during the pilot period still receive a parking violation notice, but the City is waiving the towing fee.

In 2018, Toronto Police issued almost 11,000 parking / stopping violations and contractors towed about 2,400 vehicles on Queen during rush hours. Parking enforcement officers have identified the afternoon rush hours on Queen Street as particularly challenging, due to the large number of motorists parking or stopping their vehicles illegally. Each day, parking enforcement officers write as many as 45 tickets and tow-truck operators remove as many as 10 vehicles on Queen.

If the pilot is successful, City staff and police will explore opportunities to continue the program during morning and afternoon rush hours on other streets. Feedback and data from the pilot may also inform future congestion strategies, including updates to the City of Toronto’s congestion management plan.

More information about the Queen Street Towing Pilot is available here.

More information about the City’s congestion management plan is available here (.pdf).