Press release

Eco-responsible parking: Saint-Laurent Goes One Step Further!

Published June 7, 2023 - 8:30 am

Saint-Laurent, June 7, 2023 – At its June 6 general meeting, Saint-Laurent Council updated its sustainable parking bylaw, which dates back to 2009 and had already been improved in 2015. This new version includes more stringent requirements to achieve several objectives of Saint-Laurent’s 2021-2030 Climate Emergency Plan: to increase green spaces, contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases, provide for the electrification of transportation and reduce urban heat islands, particularly in industrial environments. This revision also includes specific adaptations for Transit-oriented development (TOD) areas around the five stations of the Réseau express métropolitain, (REM) planned on Saint-Laurent territory, in order to optimize land use there and encourage the use of active and public transit.

Our sustainable parking bylaw, launched nearly 15 years ago, has been recognized a number of times by experts as being a front-runner. With this update, we remain at the forefront of innovation in the fight against urban heat islands in the context of climate change. We have also adopted a global approach that makes it possible to reconcile economic issues and construction or renovation projects, with the essential reduction of greenhouse gases, while respecting the realities facing our residents and businesses. This is another step towards accelerating the ecological transition.

With the amendment of Zoning bylaw RCA08-08-0001, by means of Bylaw RCA08-08-0001-161, Saint-Laurent is once again raising the bar on the quality of parking facilities and reducing the number of spaces provided, in keeping with the realities of life in Saint-Laurent.

Changes for industrial firms, commercial establishments and services

Landscaping and greening standards will now apply to parking lots with 15 or more spaces, whereas they previously applied to parking lots with 20 or more. 

In addition, the amount of shade required has been increased from 40% to 50%, and the minimum solar reflectance index has been extended to new surfaces, such as loading and unloading areas. Adequate planting pits in proportion to the size of the trees, to enable the best possible growth, are provided for as well. 

Other objectives and criteria relating to ecological transition, such as water management and biodiversity protection, have been introduced through the addition of a site planning and architectural integration program (SPAIP). 

Parking space ratios have been reduced according to the specific context of each use. The number of zones authorizing the main "outdoor parking" use is restricted and better circumscribed.

Businesses and services will be able to choose to green their parking lots rather than setting up their parking facilities with the minimum number of spaces required, in order to offer greater flexibility to businesses while increasing the "green" surface areas on the territory.

And lastly, a commuting management plan is now required where there are 50 parking spaces or more, instead of the previous threshold of 100. This will enable a greater number of businesses to develop other means of transportation than single occupancy vehicle use and will accelerate the modal shift to active transportation and public transit.

In line with the standards already in effect near metro stations, the requirement goes even further in TOD areas around the five REM stations planned for the borough: a 40% reduction in the number of permitted parking spaces has been introduced. Indoor parking will also be required in the industrial and commercial sectors of TOD areas, where the majority of spaces will be located underground. 

Innovations for the residential sector

Parking will no longer be allowed in backyards for single-family homes, in order to reduce paved areas, among other reasons. 

In addition, to help improve traffic flow, particularly on public transit routes, the bylaw reserves one or two outdoor parking spaces for deliveries to multi-family dwellings, and provides for the integration of all other parking spaces inside buildings, including parking spaces for visitors. 

More parking spaces for bicycles

Bicycle parking ratios have been increased throughout the territory, notably by 40% in TOD areas, based on Vélo Québec’s standards. A new option for outdoor bicycle shelters has also been incorporated into the bylaw. For industrial firms and commercial establishments, related facilities such as changing rooms and lockers will be required as well.

To support electric vehicles

The new bylaw provides for a minimum percentage of charging stations for electric or hybrid vehicles in all new projects and parking lot redevelopments.

The ratio will vary according to use: for residential parking, 25% of spaces reserved for visitors and 10% of spaces reserved for residents will have to be equipped with charging stations, while for businesses and commercial establishments, 10% of the total number of their parking spaces will have to be equipped with charging stations for a parking lot with less than 100 spaces and then 5% for any lot with more spaces than that.

To pursue ecological transition objectives

This revision is in line with the 2021-2030 Climate Emergency Plan adopted by Saint-Laurent in 2021, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% between now and 2030, protect biodiversity and prepare for climate change. It also comes at a time when Saint-Laurent is undertaking an extensive revision of on-street parking, particularly to promote alternatives to single-occupancy vehicle use, given the upcoming arrival of the REM in Saint-Laurent.

And lastly, it meets the objectives of Ville de Montréal's 2020 Climate Plan, which targets carbon neutrality by 2050.

Useful links

Relevant Documents


The Eco-responsible parking lot at the Bibliothèque du Boisé