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
  • 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

 * As of July 2019 a 2 hour grace period on top of the 3 hour limit is in effect for City street and time limits will only be enforced between 6am and midnight. These enforcement modifications do not apply to Regional roads.


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) 623-1340 ext. 7907.

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) 570-9777.

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

Parking permits

Daytime and residential parking permits are available for the City's downtown core areas.

For accessible parking permits visit Service Ontario.

Parking exemptions

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. As of July 2019, a 2 hour grace period on top of the 3 hour limit is in effect for City streets and time limits will only be enforced between 6am and midnight. These enforcement modifications do not apply to Regional roads.

We only grant on-street parking exemptions for the timed parking limit and for overnight parking between January 1 - March 15, 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.

Email or call (519) 623-1340 ext. 7907 (Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.) to request a parking exemption in advance. You can also 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. 7907 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.

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) 740-4680 ext. 4502 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.

Petitioning during a pandemic - the requirement for physical signatures on petitions has been suspended to facilitate physical distancing.  The petition coordinator is responsible to read the Petition Statement to "signees", outline the program and receive consent before filling in the residents full name, address and phone number.  If going door-to-door please wear a mask and stand back from the door after knocking, alternatively use the handout templates below as a no contact option to collect required information.

Lower Driveway Boulevard Parking Handout

Extended On-Street Parking Handout

 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.

 School Zones
Parking in school areas

Dropping off and picking students up in school areas can cause a lot of extra traffic congestion. Illegally stopped or parked cars are a safety risk as they make it hard for other drivers to see pedestrians, particularly children, crossing the street. For these reasons, streets around our schools have “No Stopping” and “No Parking” signs installed.

Please learn the difference between No Stopping and No Parking and help keep our school areas safe for children.

To help reduce the number of cars on the road in your school area, students are encouraged to consider other active ways to get to school such as a bike riding or walking. These alternatives not only promote physical activity but help reduce pollution and traffic congestion, and increase safety around the school. Please visit the Region of Waterloo’s website for information on the Active and Safe Routes to School initiative.

Parking in School Zones chart