City of Toronto Says Shared Parking App ‘Rover’ for iPhone Violates Bylaws

Rover for iPhone helps drivers find unused parking spots in Toronto, posted by owners with spaces available. Essentially, it app is similar to Uber but for parking, says co-founder Tim Wootton, speaking to The Globe and Mail.


But it now looks like the app, launched in the App Store earlier this month, is now under fire from the City of Toronto. According to Klaus Lehmann, who works for the city’s zoning bylaws, “It’s not legal. So I don’t think we could enter a discussion about it,” after admitting the Rover team had contacted the city about collaborating.

Lehmann explained although homeowners without cars can rent out garages for parking, filling a driveway or similar space would be considered a commercial parking lot, with homeowners possibly facing a $5,000 fine if complaints are received:

“It’s creative, but unfortunately I think the situation is one where the developer isn’t the one who ultimately will take the brunt of the charge, or the fine being levied against them if they’re caught,” he said. “For them, it’s a very limited risk. But the homeowner is taking all the risk.”

Wooden believes with Rover “We’re just really looking for the help of the people who have spots and want to share them and want to make a few bucks, and make it easier for the people who are driving into Toronto.”

Rover caps its pricing at $2 per hour to compete with street parking and city lots. The app takes a 30 percent cut, which is evenly split between the developers and homeowners.

Below is how Rover works, as the developers say “finding parking has never been easier,” as it only take “3 taps and done”:

Rover parking

The developers note after a two month test in Toronto, they hope to expand the shared parking service across Canada.

Click here to download Rover for iPhone in the App Store. Anyone using this?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Jonny K

    Typical bureaucratic garbage…

  • johnnygoodface

    Again!!??? How about if I ask someone to scratch my back for 2$, will I receive a 5000$ fine for that too?

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    Too many bureaucratic nonsense rules in this country.

  • Zeke

    Canada: a free country where everything is controlled.

  • Tim

    Yeah why would we want to make efficient use of available parking spaces when we could just have build beautiful parking lots everywhere.

  • MrXax

    I’ve downloaded it but haven’t had the opportunity to use it yet.

  • Anthony ?

    It amazes me how Toronto can continue to be so hopelessly backward on such a regular basis. I don’t live in Toronto (thank God) but I do commute there each day for work and I find it absolutely amazing how backwards the City government can be in this day and age. I mean, these bozos need to wake up, smell the coffee, and realize that it’s not the 1900’s anymore and they need to get with the program.

    First the stupid nonsense with Uber and Toronto’s stubborn insistence that a forward-thinking business needs to step back in time 50 years in order to accommodate the stinking turd known as the Toronto taxi industry, something that is nothing more than an extortion racket disguised as a circa 1972 transportation service, complete with the type of service you’d expect from a government regulated industry (i.e. shit). Numerous other equally backward-thinking cities are attempting the same thing, no doubt because half of their city Councillors or their families own taxi plates and participate in the annual anal extortion of the poor plebs who wish to utilize them. Yes, there are some things about the Uber model that probably need to be looked at, specifically around insurance and liability, but making them into yet another Beck Taxi (the scummiest of the scummy) is not the solution.

    Now you have Rover, another business with an idea that’s actually good and useful, and happens to compete with the City’s Green P lots and what happens? The cranial rectal inversion machine known as the City of Toronto steps in, waving their prehistoric out of date playbook, and no doubt demanding that the innovative new business drop everything that’s new or innovative about their offering so as to comply with the mind boggling stupidity that issues from every orifice of virtually anyone involved with local City government.

    Personally I think they should take the entire Toronto city council, haul them up north in a non-unionized garbage scow, find a nice deep abandoned mine, coat them all in honey and toss them in along with a couple of angry badgers and a grizzly bear (imported from Alberta). Those Councillors who agree to have their heads surgically removed from their ass will be allowed to return, the remainder will get to spend the rest of their existence as pit fighters. Pretty sure we can get CBC to broadcast that.

  • einsteinbqat

    LOL! Gosh! This is so pathetic. Just because there is an app that makes it easier for people.

  • einsteinbqat

    Not just TO. Montreal as well.

  • Anthony ?

    How about a pit fight between Toronto and Montreal City council? Two council’s enter, one council leaves.

    I’d buy that for a dollar!

  • einsteinbqat


  • wuju

    This app sounds great and make sense. I just hope the government does not kill it. It would really help solve the never ending lack of parking spots anywhere in downtown Toronto during business hours, etc. No more circling around for a long time or even fight for parking spots when you see one!