Repeal of Minimum Parking Ratios in Downtown Montréal

Authors: Anthony Arquin and Agnès Pignoly

Given the substantial increase in real estate development costs in large Canadian cities over the past few years, developers will welcome with some relief the proposed repeal of minimum parking ratios in downtown Montréal (Ville-Marie Borough).

On September 11, 2018, the council for the City of Montréal’s Ville-Marie Borough (Borough) introduced for first reading the draft Règlement modifiant le Règlement d’urbanisme de l’arrondissement de Ville-Marie (01-282), le Règlement sur les dérogations mineures (CA-24-008) et le Règlement sur les certificats d’autorisation et d’occupation (CA-24-224) afin de promouvoir la mobilité durable (Draft Bylaw).

The Draft Bylaw will eliminate the obligation to provide a minimum number of parking units for automobiles, regardless of the type of use (residential, commercial, etc.), for the entire Borough. The maximum number of parking units for automobiles will remain unchanged.

The Draft Bylaw will also make it mandatory to install parking units equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles in buildings for commercial, industrial and institutional use. One parking unit out of 20 will have to be equipped with a charging station.

Lastly, the Draft Bylaw will increase the minimum number of parking places for bicycles, regardless of the type of use (residential, commercial, etc.), for the entire Borough. The requirements will be as follows:

  • for buildings with fewer than eight dwellings: one bicycle stall per dwelling
  • for buildings with eight or more dwellings: eight bicycle stalls + one stall for every three additional dwellings
  • for commercial, industrial and institutional uses (only when the surface area of the building is greater than 500 m²): five bicycle stalls + one stall for every 300 m² of additional floor space.

These new bicycle stall requirements will apply upon the construction, enlargement or change of use of a building.

Furthermore, any indoor area with 20 or more parking places for bicycles in commercial, industrial and institutional buildings will be required to have a shower and change room (i.e., a closed cubicle with a facility for taking a shower and a space to change and hang clothes) for every 20 bicycle stalls as well as a locker for every 2 bicycle stalls.

Public consultations are expected to take place on September 26, 2018. It may need to be approved by referendum and could still be amended before its final adoption.

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