For parents at one Beaches daycare, getting a $150 parking ticket is a bit of a rite of passage.

A years-long battle over parking spaces near Lullaboo Nursery and Child Care Center means that parents are now used to the daily presence of parking enforcement officers at pick-up and drop-off times.

“I've watched plenty of parents every day getting ticketed,” said Shelby Black, who sends her two-year-old daughter to Lullaboo.

Black said the daycare’s entrance is located right on Queen Street East, just west of Victoria Park Avenue, and is in a rush hour “no-stopping” zone. She added that unlike many other daycares in the city, there are no designated parking spaces for drop-off or pick-up.

“Parents are left with no other choice because there's no parking," she said. 

She said there are a handful of spots on the other side of Queen Street but they are often occupied. She noted that that there is also no crosswalk in the area for parents to cross Queen Street safely.

“It’s a safety concern because I see parents, including myself, running across Queen trying to get their kids (to daycare),” she said. “Eventually someone's going to get hit.”

Lullaboo, a child care chain with multiple daycare facilities in Toronto, opened its Beaches location in 2019. The few parking spots that were available at the back of the property were repurposed to create a larger outdoor play area when the facility was expanded.

Black said a few months ago, she decided to reach out to the local city councillor, Brad Bradford, for help with the parking situation at the facility, where 221 children receive care.

She said she never heard back from the councillor’s office about her inquiry but later learned that the fight for parking at the daycare was a long-standing one.

“Another mom reached out to me and I guess they've been at this for a while and just nothing's happened,” Black said.


Meeting with neighbours ‘went really poorly’

Liz Lapensee, whose son also attends Lullaboo, said a tense meeting was held last spring with local residents, parents, the daycare operator, and a representative from Bradford’s office.

One of the solutions that was floated at the meeting was adding a couple of designated drop-off spots for parents on a nearby residential street.

“Basically the meeting went really poorly… The neighbours were just like super opposed to any type of change,” she told

“They had actually said that they would have preferred if the daycare was never built.”

On any given morning, Lapensee said it would not be unusual to see some residents standing on their lawns, telling parents where they can and can’t park.

“The neighbours have been complaining incessantly about this,” she said.


Police say they must enforce rules

Toronto police confirmed to that they have received “multiple complaints” about vehicles parked in the no-stopping zone during rush hour.

“Our officers are mandated to enforce the rush hour routes regardless of whether a complaint has been made. Ensuring these routes are clear is crucial for maintaining traffic flow and safety,” police said in an email.

Police advised parents to look for available spots on “immediate side streets, such as Kingswood Road and Scarborough Road.”

“This can help avoid any potential violations and ensure a smoother drop-off process,” the statement concluded.

But parents say there are often no parking spots available on those streets and the operator of the daycare told that staff have actually advised parents to avoid parking on Kingswood Road at the request of neighbours.

“We have sent multiple emails to parents to try not to park on that street. But it’s hard in the morning as they need to drop off,” Marteina Guirguis, a Lullaboo administrator, said in an email.

Guirguis said daycare staff regularly receive complaints from neighbours about not only parking, but noise from musical instruments and lighting at the facility.

“We were happy to pay for spots and work with the neighbours, but neighbours just told us to close and move to another property,” Guirguis added.


‘Discussions are ongoing’

In an email to, Coun. Bradford said he is aware of the ongoing issues around parking in the area.

“My office has been working with parents, neighbours, and city staff to find a solution that works for everyone. Despite our efforts to date, we have been unable to find common agreement around what actions to take,” Bradford said.

“Over my time in office, I’ve been firm in my belief that local residents should decide what to do about parking on their street.”

He said his office polled residents on Kingswood Road about the possibility of creating pick-up and drop-off spaces for parents at the daycare. The proposal was “overwhelmingly rejected” by residents, he said.

Bradford noted that multiple meetings have also been held with transportation staff at the city to look into creating pick-up and drop-off spots on Queen Street East.

He said staff have expressed concerns over the potential congestion impacts during rush hour and the “additional challenges presented by the Neville Park streetcar loop operations.”

“These discussions are ongoing,” he said. “I’m focused on trying to find a more acceptable solution that works for everyone involved.”

Lapensee said she understands the need to prevent congestion on busy streets but said she doesn’t believe traffic is a big issue in the immediate area surrounding the daycare.

“Why can't there be an exception in front of the daycare where you can stop for like five minutes?” she said.

With no resolution in sight, Lapensee said she’s managed to convince her husband to do the drop-offs from now on.

“I can't handle the stress of trying to find a spot and dealing with parking enforcement and all that stuff,” she said.