Just How "Short" of Parking Spaces is McMaster University? We Now Have the Answer

By Joey Coleman // @JoeyColeman
Published: Nov 23 2016 (8 months ago) // Last Updated: Nov 23 2016 (8 months ago)

An interesting statistic that could be added to your next McMaster University trivia night - what is the exact number for the 'McMaster parking shortage'?

The answer?

1173 spaces according to City of Hamilton zoning bylaws.

McMaster needs a parking variance to obtain a City building permit for its proposed Living and Learning Centre building on the 1280 Main Street West main campus.

McMaster Parking Chart

McMaster's parking requirement under Hamilton's zoning bylaws is calculated in the chart graphic above. For each small classroom, the university is required to have 5 parking spaces, for the big lecture theatres (over 100 seats) "the greater of 1 space per 7 seats OR 1 seat space per SM GFA", and in addition 1 parking space for every three beds in residences.

The 'parking shortages' on university campuses across Canada generate a lot of discussion, but the reality is that campus parking is complex - universities are (with the odd exceptions) well served by public transit, generally in walkable communities, and adding parking spaces usually induces more driving.

That last paragraph aside, don't hesitant to use this parking trivia fact next time you have to make small talk on campus - especially because you can't make the smart-ass remark about Temporary Buildings 28 and 29 not being so-temporary.

For the more curious, here's the full Hamilton Committee of Adjustment notice for the variances. The hearing is Thursday, December 1, 2:10 at City Hall.

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