Dear Urban Diplomat: Can I stop my neighbours from renting out their front yards as parking spots?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Can I stop my neighbours from renting out their front yards as parking spots?

Urban Diplomat: NIMFY (Image: Lee J Haywood)
 

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I moved near the Gay Village last year and noticed many of my neighbours renting out their front yards as parking spots—for exorbitant rates—during Pride Week. I doubt this is legal, and gouging visitors is certainly not ethical. Plus, it makes my neighbourhood look like a hick town. How can I dissuade my neighbours from repeating the scam this year and sullying the area’s image?
—NIMFY, Upper Jarvis

I love that you’re okay with Pride’s endless stream of free-swinging boobs, butts and genitalia but incensed at the sight of a car on a lawn. In fact, I share your cosmo­politan discernment. As you suspected, city bylaws prohibit parking anywhere that’s not licensed, and the practice of renting out licensed spots is likewise verboten. There’s no cop assigned to the yard rental beat, however—it’s based on a complaint system—so call it in if you must, but don’t be disappointed if the SWAT team isn’t dispatched with haste. As for the ethics of overcharging: honestly, why do you care? It’s once a year. If Pride-happy revellers are willing to pay through the nose, let them. They want to party, not fret over a few bucks. You might benefit from following their lead.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com