Yorkdale parking lot

The worst parking lots in Toronto

The worst parking lots in Toronto incite intrepid elevation of that feral middle finger. While some studies, such as a recent IBM global parking survey, conclude that Toronto is among the best when it comes to finding parking, a weekend trip to Ikea North York will dispel that myth in a hurry. The worst parking lots combine tight quarters, reckless pedestrians, and a general disregard for common courtesy among drivers, making a weekend trip for a couple of errands an exercise in physical and verbal anger management. Clench your teeth and think of Gandhi. Here is the list of the worst parking lots in Toronto according to me.

Yorkdale Mall (North Lot)
Yorkdale Mall's North Lot, especially the east end by the SilverCity and Parking Deck exit, is surely what hellish auto nightmares are made of. It's bad enough having to pause for gaggles of jaywalking teens loitering on Friday night, but the combination of hurried couples who are late for their bad rom-coms, and faithful husbands stalling to pick up mom make a trip to this lot almost worth taking the TTC. Which, of course, is never a decision made lightly.

Loblaw's at St. Clair and Bathurst
While the designated turn lanes off St. Clair are helpful, it's a free-for-all once you actually get inside the lot. The worst time to visit, obviously, is 30 or so minutes before the LCBO closes up for the night, where harried drivers fear traffic only slightly less than facing a sober night once they finally make it home. Beware of stray carts.

Sound Academy
You'd think parking would improve slightly when you get away from the core, but trying to get out of the Sound Academy lot after a concert is just as bad as a Bay Street Green "P" after 5 p.m. As you crawl single-file toward the exit, you're almost always confronted by rowdy sideways cap-sporters or sucking face couples, which only heighten your anxious inclination to step on the gas. Hey, at least there's a view.

Finch Station Kiss-N-Ride
The name of the lot is "Kiss-N-Ride," not "Kiss-N-Loiter-While-You-Touch-Up-Your-Makeup." Fools. TTC station lots are almost always tough to navigate, but this one is especially infuriating due to its consistent cab lineup and cars waiting to pick up passengers from the train. Of course, each driver thinks his or her commuter will be out in "Just a second," so feels no reservation in blocking parked cars or exits. Awful.

Ikea (North York)
That dinette set sure is lovely, Saturday afternoon shoppers, but no need to admire in the middle of the lot. Time and time again, Torontonians (myself included) reach the obtuse conclusion that a weekend afternoon trip to Ikea is a good idea, yet still find the nerve to be exasperated when we can't find a spot. Leslie shuttle next time?

Lawrence Plaza
This place always makes me fear for my life. And by "life," I mean "insurance premiums." Making it out of here without a ding is about as likely as getting a table right away at United Bakers on a Sunday afternoon, and the caution-to-the-wind pedestrians who decide to do away with "looking both ways" after they hit 75 only amplify the disorder. The real gems are those who park straight in the clearly angled spaces.

Pusateri's (Lawrence and Avenue)
Hummers are necessary to tackle that rough urban terrain, don't you know, and they all seem to land at Pusateri's at Lawrence and Avenue before heading home. The pint-sized lot is always packed with expensively priced cars, so God help the poor stock boy who's trying to direct traffic. Don't let go of your cart.

Allen Road
Ha ha ha. But seriously, Allen Road has to be the worst parking lot in all of Toronto. Whoever made the decision to put a stoplight at Eglinton should be shamed--or, at the very least, made to sit in a hot car at 5:25 p.m. on Tuesday. That'll learn him.

What did I miss? Please add your picks for the worst parking lots in Toronto to the comments below.

Photo by Joe Rayment in the blogTO Flickr pool

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