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Pending closure of Islington parking lot puts the squeeze on commuters

On an average work day, there aren't many spots available at the soon-to-be-closed Cordova parking lot. PHOTO: CITYNEWS

Coffee, check. Metropass, check. Parking, check.

That’s likely the morning triplet of priorities for many Toronto commuters who don’t live close enough to a subway station and have to slog it out to a commuter lot before riding the rocket downtown to work or school. And since Mayor John Tory set his platform with the ethos that “a more liveable Toronto starts with improving transit and tackling congestion,” one would think that for drivers, accessing transit should be as easy as: coffee, metropass, parking.

Not so much, according to one CityNews viewer who alerted us to a parking predicament at Islington station, which will soon shut down one of its larger parking lots: the Cordova lot. The viewer says that parking is always packed during working hours, and competition for empty spots is high.

The numbers illustrate just that. According to the TTC’s website, the Cordova lot is Islington station’s second-largest parking lot, with 473 spots. Islington subway currently has 1,450 spots for vehicles at four separate lots. The removal of Cordova, however, means that number shrinks to a mere 977.

Current parking available for Islington station. GRAPHIC: CITYNEWS
ABOVE: current parking available for Islington station. BELOW: What will be left once Cordova is closed.

Parking for Islington station, after Cordova is shut down. GRAPHIC: CITYNEWS

Today CityNews Reporter Shauna Hunt took a drive through the Cordova lot to find the majority of parking spaces were taken up.

(To view video on mobile, click here)

Which begs the question: Where will these commuters park once this lot is no longer available?

In an email to CityNews, TTC Spokesperson Brad Ross said the demand at Islington station seems to be diminishing.

“When the TTC started charging for parking in 2009, the use of this lot dropped by 50 per cent,” he said. “Based on that drop, the city transferred title to Build Toronto for possible development opportunities.”

Indeed, the lot has been sold to a condominium developer, according to the commuter memo posted at the subway station.

Ross tells CityNews there are currently no plans for additional parking spaces at Islington Station.

Cordova is slated to close at the end of February. In lieu of this lot, commuters are advised to either use one of the other three lots at Islington, or take a drive to nearby Kipling station and park at one of its 1,465 spaces.