Can you park in front of a fire hydrant if the curb isn’t red?

How Far Do You Need To Park From A Fire Hydrant?

You are not allowed to park within three metres (nine feet) of a fire hydrant, or you will be fined if caught. This is applicable in all municipalities across Ontario. You can also get a ticket if you are parked to load or unload near a fire hydrant.

The three metre rule exists so fire crews can see hydrants from the street and park as close as possible to access the hydrants when working on extinguishing a fire.

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Fire Hydrants

It is illegal to park within 15 feet of either side of a fire hydrant, including on floating parking lanes (next to protected bike lanes).

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Stopping, Standing and Parking

If there is more than one sign posted for the same area, the more restrictive one is the one in effect. If a sign is missing on a block, the remaining posted regulations are the ones that are in effect. Please check the entire block and read all signs carefully before you park.

Parking Sign Restrictions

FAQS No Stopping No Standing No Parking
Is waiting allowed? No No No
Can I stop to load or unload a package or merchandise at curbside? No No Yes
Can I stop to drop off or pick up passengers? No Yes Yes

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You’re cruising around in the mid-summer heat, and think you just stumbled onto the perfect parking spot. Instead, you pull up a little closer and see that smug little R2D2-looking bastard smiling right at you. 15 feet is the minimum distance you can park away from a fire hydrant in most municipal codes – which may seem excessively far, especially when every inch of curb in a dense city is so valuable. But there’s a good reason for this fire hydrant parking law. Safety.

Boom. You just got hosed!
Boom. You just got hosed!

Giving the fire hydrant ample room allows emergency crews to access the water in the event of a fire. The 15 feet allows enough room for firefighters to quickly identify the location of the hydrant, and maneuver the big stiff hose in the direction needed. And if your unattended car is parked in front of that hydrant? Expect to come back to a smashed window (yes, they can), a wet car, and a very hefty fine. As well as the lasting fact that you might have prevented someone’s cat from getting rescued sooner.

“How close can I park to a fire hydrant if the curb is grey, though?”

The color of the fire hydrant has nothing to do with the parking parameters. In general, the curb should be colored red, but sometimes the city has yet to get around to it. Don’t be fooled by what appears to be an open parking spot!

Exceptions to the rule

In most municipalities, it is generally OK to stop in front of a fire hydrant if you, as the driver, are staying in the car (running) and have the ability to quickly move the vehicle, or if you are loading/unloading passengers.

Park better. Pass it on.

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