Years of growth from the Toronto-wide building boom, happening on ever-tighter lots, has been forcing developers to rethink their approach to parking provisions in their buildings. By-laws require new developments to include a minimum rate of parking spaces—the number determined by the building type—per each 100 square metres of gross floor area. With limited space available, new approaches are being taken to meet parking requirements to minimize the floor area required to house cars, and various types of stacker systems have become the primary means of doing that.

Notable local examples incorporating innovative parking systems are the Massey Tower, which uses a fully-automated system, and The One, which will use parking stackers accessed via a valet service. Large-scale, mixed-use buildings like these are best suited to "cart" style parking systems, while medium and smaller-scaled buildings are better suited to multi-layer circulation systems, which accommodate multiple floors with a lift on both ends elevating a pallet vertically while circulating it horizontally to park the vehicle.

The One, image courtesy of Mizrahi Developments

Parking stackers and elevator systems also offer builders green advantages right out of the gate, like reduced excavation waste from minimized footprints. The environmental benefits continue once the system is installed, eliminating vehicle emissions during storage and retrieval, as engines are turned off. A reduced need for lighting balances energy costs for the systems' electrical needs.

Cart (top) and multi-layer circulation (bottom) parking systems, image courtesy of GLParking

Growing demand for unconventional parking systems is drawing new players into the Greater Toronto Area market. One of these newcomers hoping to address the changing demands of the building boom is GLParking, who are offering the types of parking systems that service large-scale multi-unit buildings as well as a variety of other options catering to buildings ranging from large sporting facilities to small single-family homes.

Tower automated parking system, image courtesy of GLParking

These fully-automated systems—designed in partnership with the top two automated parking manufacturers globally—include advanced features like 24-hour monitoring, ensuring that the complex technical aspects of the assembly can be troubleshot quickly. GLParking's systems, along with those from other such companies, are poised to become important players in the emerging automated parking landscape.

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