Wychwood Park is labelled a private road. What does this mean?
Wychwood Park is labelled a private road. What does this mean? Could I get arrested for driving around? —Sally MacRae, Midtown
Don’t worry: interlopers are permitted, if not exactly encouraged.A private road is simply one that falls on private property. That means the city doesn’t have to provide any of its usual services, including lighting, repairs, snow removal and parking enforcement. Wychwood residents organize themselves into committees and pay into a fund for road maintenance, plowing and hiring a part-time groundskeeper to ensure the hood remains trim and tidy.
There are approximately 250 private roads in Toronto; many are old mews or alley_ways, while newer ones are usually access roads to new developments. Because of strict guidelines to which public streets must adhere—including rules on dimensions, sidewalks, trees and streetlights—developers occasionally save money by building roads that don’t meet city standards, forgoing some city services. If, eventually, the residents want the city to take over, the request goes to a council vote to decide whether to buy it at market price.