I came to Montreal to visit my father this week. I arrived Tuesday evening and picked my father up at his apartment in the Cote Saint Luc section of town. After dinner we drove around looking for a place to park. I found two spots that looked good, but my father found the signs (well hidden as they were) prohibiting parking there. Oh well… we kept looking, until finally one opened up right in front of his building. Perfect!
Of course, we had to look at the signs again… I was parked right in front of a sign that read (in French and English): No parking Wednesday mornings from 10am-2pm between April 1st and December 1st. As we were February 11th we agreed we were fine. Just to be safe, we looked up and down the street, and did not find anything else marked. Good, we went upstairs.
As we were sitting and talking throughout the evening I told him that it was such a good parking spot that I was considering driving him to work in the morning in his own car rather than in mine… so that I wouldn’t have to relinquish the spot! I decided against it though… I like my car, and he is a nervous passenger when someone else is driving his car.
This morning we walked up to my car, and sure enough there was a parking ticket on it. As we sat in the car examining it I noticed that the agent writing the ticket must check one of three boxes:
- Parked illegally
- Parked in a spot marked as illegal
- Visiting from Ontario so likely won’t appear to contest the fine.
Okay, the third box doesn’t exactly say that… it says ‘Parked on the street between 3:00am and 6:00am. But really, there were hundreds of cars parked on the street, so who could have imagined there was anything wrong with it?
As we drove downtown we joked about it, and my father told me I should fight the ticket. I couldn’t imagine taking two days off of my life to drive 550km each way to fight a $38 ticket? In other words, pay $75 in gas… you get the picture. It was a ridiculous idea. However I was still a bit miffed about the ticket.
Later in the day my father called me and told me that if I called Cote St. Luc Public Security they could give me a temporary permit for the duration of my visit. I called, they took my information, and thanked me for paying the ‘Visiting Residents of Ontario’ tax. Okay that isn’t exactly what they called it, but let’s call it like it is… how is a visitor supposed to know that overnight parking requires a temporary permit when the resident himself doesn’t know?!
Once I had spoken with Security they suggested I speak with the City Secretary about last night’s
tax ticket. The secretary, every time I added something new, repeated the same phrase that signs are posted at every entrance to the city. I am reasonably sure she was a robot or a repurposed robo-caller machine.
Okay, I will pay my tax… I am big enough to admit that they have me beat. Apparently it was an initiative of the new mayor. I almost asked what he was smoking but then I realized as a resident of the Greater Toronto Area (or the Rob Ford Bong Show) it would be like throwing stones.
Thanks Montreal… at least I was able to get myself a decent smoked meat sandwich while I was here!