Parking requires good control of the vehicle, accurate judgment and steering skill. The next three sections will explain different types of parking.

Parallel parking

This type of parking may seem difficult at first and will require practice. To park in a space between two vehicles at the right-side curb, follow the steps illustrated. Note the position of the front tires (in red).

Parallel parking - Step 1

Parallel parking - step 1

When approaching your intended parallel parking space, check behind you for traffic. Gradually apply your brakes well in advance of the parking space to begin slowing. Your brake lights alert other drivers of your intent to stop. Determine if the parking space is large enough for your vehicle.

Stop when the rear bumper of your vehicle (vehicle A) is in line with the rear bumper of vehicle B. Your vehicle should be parallel with vehicle B, with about one metre (3 feet) of space between the two vehicles. Place your vehicle in reverse gear. Look over your right shoulder and behind you to make sure nothing is there and the space is still available.

Parallel parking - Step 2

Parallel parking - step 2

Reverse straight very slowly (crawl speed) about one-half metre (1.5 feet). While still moving slowly, steer sharply to the right until your vehicle is at about a 45-degree angle to the curb. Continue to look in the direction you are moving while glancing to the front. Your steering wheel should now be in line with the rear bumper of vehicle B.

Parallel parking - Step 3

Parallel parking - step 3

While reversing very slowly, straighten your front wheels and continue reversing until the right corner of your front bumper is in line with the rear bumper of vehicle B. Be careful not to make contact with this vehicle.

Parallel parking - Step 4

Parallel parking - step 4

Turn the wheel sharply to the left. Continue to look in the direction you are moving while glancing to the front. Reverse until your vehicle is parallel with the curb. Be careful not to make contact with the bumper of the vehicle behind you. The law requires that the wheels of the parked vehicle not be more than 50 centimetres from the curb.

Parallel parking - Step 5: Vehicle is successfully parked

Parallel parking - step 5

When leaving a parallel park position

When you are leaving a parallel park position with a vehicle parked in front of you, do the following:

  • Check all mirrors to see if it is safe to leave the parking location.
  • Reverse while looking over your right shoulder through your rear window, until you are close to the vehicle parked behind you, without making contact.
  • Turn on the left turn signal.
  • Before moving forward, look over your left shoulder for traffic and cyclists not visible in the mirrors.
  • Move forward slowly about one metre (three feet) while steering sharply all the way to the left. When it is safe, drive into the nearest travel lane taking care not to make contact with the vehicle parked in front.
  • Be alert for traffic approaching from the rear.

Entering and exiting a vehicle parked parallel to the curb on a two-way street

When leaving a vehicle parked parallel to the curb, check all mirrors carefully for any traffic or cyclists approaching from behind. Do a shoulder check to your blind spots to the left. When it is safe, open the door no wider than necessary to get out and leave the vehicle quickly. Walk to the rear of the vehicle facing traffic to get to the curb.

When entering a vehicle parked parallel to the curb, always approach from the front of the vehicle. Look for traffic passing in the nearest lane before you open the door. Open the door no wider than necessary to get in and close the door quickly behind you.

Angle parking

Angle parking is most often used in parking lots. The spaces may be on an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the traffic lane.

The following steps should be used to enter an angle parking space on the right:

  • Turn on your right turn signal and reduce your speed.
  • Drive parallel to the curb and remain about 1.5 metres (five feet) away from the rear of the parked vehicle.
  • When you can see along the left side of the vehicle parked to the right of the vacant parking space, steer sharply to the right. Look through the centre of your stall while moving your vehicle slowly ahead. Your vehicle should be centred in the space.
  • At about the mid-point of the parking space, straighten your wheels and continue to move forward slowly. Check the left front bumper and the right rear bumper of your vehicle, making sure they are not too close to the parked vehicles on either side.
  • Keep moving slowly forward until the front wheel makes light contact with the curb or is within 50 centimetres (20 inches) of the curb.
Entering angle parking on the right
Entering angle parking space on the right.

When leaving an angle parking space

Reverse carefully and slowly. Be sure there is nothing behind your vehicle. Reversing can be hazardous because it is difficult to see traffic as you move out of the space. Yield the right-of-way as you back out and look carefully behind your vehicle.

Move slowly and be prepared to stop if necessary. If the vehicle on your right is longer than your vehicle, stop when the rear of your vehicle is even with the rear of the longer vehicle. Check for traffic and pedestrians. Continue reversing straight until you can see past the parked vehicle.

When your front bumper clears the rear of the vehicle to your left, turn the steering wheel sharply to the right. Continue reversing into the first lane behind the parked vehicle. Stop when your vehicle is parallel with the curb.

Drive ahead in your present lane. Watch for other vehicles moving out of angle parking stalls in front of you.

Perpendicular parking

Perpendicular parking (spaces at a 90 degree angle to the curb) to the right can be difficult. As you approach your parking space, keep about two metres (six feet) between your vehicle and the rear of the vehicle parked to your right. Travel very slowly. When your front bumper is even with the left side of the vehicle parked to the right of your intended space, look through the vacant space. While you are driving very slowly, turn your wheels quickly all the way to the right. Check the left front corner and the right side of your vehicle as you enter the parking space to be sure you do not contact any parked vehicles. Look through the vacant space, and drive in slowly. Be sure your vehicle is centred and completely in the stall.

Entering a 90-degree angle parking stall in a parking lot on the left is easier than on the right because you have more room to achieve the proper angle. Be sure to check for oncoming traffic before you cross the oncoming traffic lane. Look through the centre of your stall as you turn and enter it. This is similar to turning left onto another roadway.

Only enter a perpendicular or angle parking stall to your left when you are in a parking lot.

Entering a perpendicular parking space on the left

Entering a perpendicular parking space on the left

Entering a perpendicular parking space on the right

Entering a perpendicular parking space on the right

Hill parking

The following information applies to parking on the right side of the road.

When parking facing uphill on a street with a curb, turn the front wheels to the left (toward the centre of the road). With the wheels turned, allow your vehicle to roll back slowly until the right front tire is touching the curb. This helps to prevent the vehicle from rolling into traffic if it starts to move.

Parking uphill with curb
Uphill with curb

When parking facing uphill on a street without a curb, turn your front wheels to the right (toward the edge of the road). By doing this, if the vehicle starts to move it will go off the road and not into traffic.

Parking uphill without curb
Uphill without curb

When parking facing downhill, always turn your front wheels to the right. If there is a curb, allow your vehicle to roll to the point where your right front tire is making contact with it. With the tires turned to the right, if the vehicle starts moving it will go off the road and not into traffic.

Parking downhill
Downhill

To prevent a parked vehicle from rolling down a hill, always set your park brake and place your transmission in park (for an automatic transmission) or low gear (for a manual transmission).

When parking on the left side of the road, turn the front wheels in the opposite direction.

Do not park here

Do not park your vehicle:

  • on a sidewalk or boulevard
  • on a crosswalk or on any part of a crosswalk
  • within an intersection
  • within 1.5 metres (5 feet) of access to a garage, private roadway or driveway
  • alongside or opposite any street construction or obstruction when stopping or parking would obstruct traffic
  • on a bridge or underpass or the approaches to a bridge or underpass
  • where a traffic control device prohibits stopping or parking
  • within five metres of a stop sign or yield sign
  • within five metres (16 feet) of the nearest side of a marked crosswalk
  • within five metres (16 feet) of a fire hydrant. When the hydrant is not located at the curb, do not park within five metres of the point on the curb nearest the hydrant.
  • beside other vehicles where you may be double-parked
  • closer than five metres (16 feet) of the edge of the intersecting roadway, except where there is an indication that parking is permitted, such as with a parking meter
  • at or near the site of a fire, explosion, motor vehicle crash or other incident, where parking would obstruct traffic or emergency response personnel and equipment

No parking within 5 metres (16 feet) of a stop or yield sign

No parking within 5 metres (16 feet) of a stop or yield sign.

No parking within 5 metres (16 feet) of a marked crosswalk

No parking within 5 metres (16 feet) of a marked crosswalk.

No parking within 5 metres (16 feet) of a fire hydrant

No parking within 5 metres (16 feet) of a fire hydrant.

On a roadway outside an urban area, do not park:

  • on the roadway, parking lane or shoulder of a primary highway except where:
    • your vehicle is incapable of moving under its own power,
    • an emergency arises, or
    • it is permitted by law
  • unless there is a clear passage for other motor vehicles, and
  • your vehicle can be seen for 60 metres (200 feet) along the roadway in both directions
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