street parking toronto

Viral tweet about making less per hour than a Toronto parking space really hits home

What has two thumbs — as well as a brain and an entire body, actually — but still earns less per hour through their labour than a parking space in downtown Toronto? This guy, and a whole lot of other people in the city, too, according to the viral success of a new tweet.

The post from two weeks ago is still making its rounds on social media, apparently resonating with tens of thousands of residents who have come to the stunning realization that they, too, make around or even less at their job than a small chunk of asphalt with lines drawn on it.

"A parking space in downtown Toronto makes $27/hr," the poster pointed out, defeated. "I, a real person with thoughts and feelings, capable of suffering, makes less than a goddamn parking space."

The simple statement really hits home in a city where the minimum wage is $15 but the lowest wage a person needs to actually be able to afford to live here is $22.08, the highest in the province.

And it's no wonder, given that the average T.O. home is now $1.2 millionover $2 mill for a detached house, making us the most expensive city in Canada and pricier than New York, L.A. and countless other major metropolises — and the market is only slated to keep jumping to new record highs.

Housing stock for the population is also lower in Ontario than any other province and at its worst in the GTA, and available affordable housing? Forget about it.

Even tiny shoeboxes in the sky are selling for about $740,000, and those hoping to escape to a cheaper nearby suburb will find that they're likely priced out of those quickly-rising markets, too.

Toronto tenants, too, are SOL, needing to work more than full-time (180 hours a month) to be able to earn the over $110,00o it takes to afford to rent a typical apartment here — one-bedrooms have now hit an average of more than $2,000 while two bedrooms are nearly $2,800.

You could totally swing that if you had a downtown parking spot to sell, as some of those are going for upwards of $120,000, while even outdoor spaces are renting for many hundreds a month.

The purchase price of these spots may have been where this tweeter got their $27/hr figure from, though one can assume they're also being hyperbolic to prove their point.

As many have discussed on both Twitter and Reddit (where the tweet was reposted), parking in Toronto can definitely be expensive, but is more in the range of $5 an hour in most areas, which can still add up to more than $40 during a typical workday.

Some lots, such as Royal Bank Plaza, Bay Adelaide Centre and Scotia Plaza, charge as much as $15 an hour, which equates to minimum wage before taxes. Many more have daily rates of around or over $30. And parking for major events can be a flat fee of far more for just a few hours.

Even if the numbers aren't completely accurate, the message of how unaffordable the city is and how little its resident workers are generally paid still clearly rings true for many, with the tweet garnering 88,200 likes, 11,000 retweets and hundreds of quote tweets.

And there is indeed a huge swath of people in minimum-wage positions who are literally making the same per hour as many downtown parking spaces — and even less after taxes.

Lead photo by

Grant D


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