Changes to On-Street Parking

Cambridge has had a late night parking prohibition and 3 hour parking limit since incorporation in 1973.  The late night parking prohibition was eliminated on most residential streets in 2015 except for 11 weeks in mid-winter.  This has created a parking system that is neither restrictive nor permissive.

As the City grows and matures needs change and it may be time for all new rules for on-street parking.  The City will soon be undertaking a review of residential on-street parking, complete the survey to help identify what residents need and want.

As a temporary measure, Council has added 2 additional hours of parking to the 3 hour parking limit allowing you to park for up to 5 continuous hours where no posted regulations are in place.   Additionally, enforcement of this time limit has been suspended between midnight and 6am (this does not impact other parking regulations including no parking 2:30-6 am when and where in effect).  These temporary changes create significantly more parking flexibility for residents and guests until the by-laws are reviewed.

What this means:

  • Unless otherwise signed you can park for up to 5 hours (on City Streets)
  • Additionally you can park continuously from 7pm to 11am, March 16th to December 31
  • Vehicles can still be ticketed between 7pm and midnight if they exceed the 5 hour limit
  • All other infractions will continue to be enforced 24/7
  • No grace period is in effect on Regional Roads, 3 hour enforcement continues
General parking rules

The following list identifies general parking rules that are applicable to all city streets. On-street signage is not required for enforcement.

No person shall park a motor vehicle on a City street:

  • For more than 3 consecutive hours
  • Between the hours of 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. from January 1 to March 15 on all streets
  • Between the hours of 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. in a downtown core area or on a regional road on any day of the year
  • On or overhanging any curb, boulevard, sidewalk or multi-use trail
  • Facing the wrong way
  • More than 15 cm from the curb
  • Within 3 m of a fire hydrant
  • Within 15 m of a railway crossing
  • Within 9 m of an intersection, including across the top of a T intersection
  • Within 15 m of an intersection controlled by traffic control signals or a roundabout
  • Within 1 m of a driveway
  • Within 15 m on either side of a bus stop
  • Within a bike lane
  • If the motor vehicle is a truck weighing more than 4,500 kg
  • If the motor vehicle is a trailer more than 10 m in length
  • If the motor vehicle is unlicensed
  • During a snow event

View the Traffic & Parking By-law for additional regulations.

Parking tickets

If your vehicle is found disobeying any of our parking by-laws, you may be issued a parking infraction notice (ticket) and your vehicle may be towed at your own expense.

Learn about paying or challenging parking tickets.

Parking enforcement

We enforce parking regulations 24 hours a day. We process complaints about parking violations Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Report a parking violation during regular business hours by calling (519) 621-0740 ext. 4217.

Email us to report non-urgent parking violations.

If you observe a parking violation that creates an immediate safety hazard outside of regular business hours, contact Waterloo Regional Police Service at (519) 653-7700.

Learn about our new parking enforcement technology that scans licence plates. 

Parking permits
You can apply for parking permits for some areas of the city. You can also apply for an accessible parking permit, if you qualify.
Parking exemptions

Exemptions are not available for Late Night 2:30-6 a.m. Parking Prohibitions.  On-street overnight visitor parking cannot be accommodated between January 1 and March 15.

On-street parking in Cambridge is only permitted for up to three hours at a time. You can request an exemption to this restriction for a maximum of 15 days per licence plate, per calendar year.

We only grant on-street parking exemptions for  the three-hour parking limit, all other parking restrictions still apply. We don't provide on-street parking exemptions in the downtown core areas where there is a two-hour or less parking limit. Instead, you can buy temporary parking permits for these spaces. 

We cancel all exemptions during snow events.

Call (519) 623-1340 ext. 4217 (Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.) to request a parking exemption in advance or submit a request online.

Need an exemption after regular business hours?

If you need a parking exemption after City Hall's regular business hours, call (519) 623-1340 ext. 4272 or submit a parking exemption request before 1:30 a.m. An after-hours exemption request is valid from the time of the submission until 8 a.m. the following morning.

Parking in downtown core areas

In general there is free 2-hour parking in Cambridge's three downtown core areas. Residents can park for more than 2 hours in paid parking lots or by parking in areas around the downtown cores with 3-hour on-street parking or 12-hour free lots. Parking in the downtown core areas is not permitted from 2:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Visit the Downtown Parking page for additional information and resources.

Changes to some downtown lots have recently been implemented as a result of last year's Core Area Parking Review.

On-street parking standards

To improve traffic operations, emergency response times and emergency access, the City has undertaken the proactive implementation of parking standards on priority streets.

Engineering Standards require a minimum road width of 10 m to support on-street parking on both sides of a road and a minimum of 8 m to support on-street parking on one side of the road. 

There are three phases for proactive implementation of these standards, with Phase 1 currently underway. View the following maps of the implementation phases:

  • Phase 1 (primary emergency response routes)
  • Phase 2 (secondary emergency response routes)
  • Phase 3 (collector and arterial roads)
  • Phase 4 will cover all remaining streets.
Can parking be removed from my street?
If restricted parking is planned for your street in a later phase of the implementation process or your street isn't scheduled for proactive implementation, email us your concerns about restricted parking on your street.
Which side of the road will have restricted parking?
We select which side of the road will have restricted parking based on maintaining the largest amount of parking space, while still protecting sightlines. For streets that are to be restricted on one side of the road, existing poles will be used where possible to limit the number of new posts required.
My street has very little traffic, shouldn't it be treated differently?
The Engineering Standards guide new development and do not allow for parking on streets less than 8 m wide, which (if implemented) would result in the removal of most on-street parking in the City's historic neighbourhoods. To balance traffic movement and parking the City adopted the On-Street Parking Standards Exemption Policy, which allows parking to be maintained on one side of existing streets with a road width greater than 6 m and traffic volumes below 500 vehicles per day.
Can I challenge the implementation of parking restrictions?

Residents have a 30-day window to submit an appeal from the time notification is sent of the upcoming restriction.

Residential Parking Programs (Boulevard, 24h, Cul-de-sac)

Residents may request changes to the parking regulations on their street through our three parking programs:

  • Lower Driveway Boulevard Parking (LDBP), permits residents to park vehicles on the paved or concrete portion of their driveway between the curb and sidewalk
  • Extended On-Street Parking (PE3), permits residents to park on-street for a maximum of 24 hours
  • Cul-de-sac Centre Parking (CCP), allows residents to park in the centre of a cul-de-sac bulb outside of the winter months

Residents can apply for these programs on a street-by-street basis and require the support of the majority of homeowners on the affected street. The roadway must also meet minimum geometric standards.

The application process includes the following steps:

1. Previous approval check

Your street may already be a part of one or more parking programs. 

View the map in full screen.

Check our current list of Registered Residential Parking Programs to confirm. If a program has been approved for your street, review one of the following program fact sheets for rules and conditions.

2. Application area

Applications are street specific and should include the full length of the street.

If you live on a long street and feel that the full length of the street exceeds the limits of your neighbourhood, email our parking operations staff or call (519) 621-0740 ext. 4766 to discuss an application for a shorter section of your street. Only extremely long roadways would be considered for smaller application areas between major intersections.

3. Eligibility

Check the rules and conditions for the program(s) you wish to apply for to ensure that your street meets the criteria.

Only City of Cambridge streets are eligible for Residential Parking Programs.  Regional Roads and streets in new developments that have yet to be assumed are not eligible.

4. Petition
 To apply for a Residential Parking Program, we require a parking petition identifying majority support of all property owners with frontage on the requested street in the application area. This includes corner lots where the driveway is on an intersecting street.
 5. Official questionnaire
Once we process a successful petition, we mail a questionnaire to the property owners to confirm their support of the parking program. This step confirms that residents understand the conditions of the program they are supporting and provides an opportunity to identify any of their concerns.
 6. Implementation
If there's sufficient support identified through the official questionnaire and the road meets the geometrical requirements, the parking program(s) will be implemented. A notice will be sent to residents confirming the start date for the program.

 

Winter parking

To reduce the impact of on-street parking on winter maintenance activities the City has two parking restrictions specific to winter parking.

Snow events

Parking is prohibited on any City street at any time (day or night) when the City of Cambridge declares a snow event. Vehicles parked on-street during a snow event can be ticketed and possibly towed. 

Snow events are not limited to certain months.

Declaring a snow event

Snow Events are in effect only when posted on the City website as such.  Not all snowfalls that result in plowing warrant a snow event.

Staff will give as much notice as possible of an impending snow event, attempting to make the declaration no later than 4 p.m. on the subject day whenever possible, providing time for the media outlets to broadcast the information on their 6 p.m. newscasts.

Snow Events remain in effect until the posted end time or until a cancellation is issued.

See the Snow Event Declarations page for event status and subscride for warnings, declarations and cancellations directly to your inbox.

Snow event enforcement 

Enforcement will done proactively overnight and in conjunction with clearing operations during the day.  Vehicles will not be tagged and/or towed based on calls from the public.  The fine amount for parking on-street during a snow event is $80.

Towing will only occur to the degree necessary to allow the snow clearing equipment access to the street to perform required duties. As such, it is possible that some cars will be towed from a street while others are not, even though all the cars are in violation of the by-law.  Vehicle owners are responsible for all fees associated with towing in addition to the fine amount.

Late night parking prohibition

Between January 1st and March 15th parking is not permitted on-street from 2:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. citywide. On-street parking is still permitted after 6 a.m. and before 2:30 am for up to three hours (unless otherwise posted) so long as a snow event is not in effect.

Idling rules

There are "no idling zones" in the city of Cambridge. Our Anti-Idling By-law enforces these zones at school sites and City Hall. Amendments to the by-law now include zones in the parking lots and adjacent streets of the following areas:

  • All Cambridge schools (public and Catholic school boards)
  • The "City Hall No Idling Zone" around buildings, adjacent streets and parking lots associated with City Hall
  • City-owned arenas, libraries, pools, seniors' centres and parks

The idling limit is one minute. The fine for violating the Anti-idling By-law is $40.

View our Anti-Idling Brochure for more information.