Trouble finding free parking in downtown Toronto and around campus? Well, there’s an app for that.
Ryerson electrical engineering graduate Deyan Ilolov is one of the three developers who created the Toronto Parking Finder app that allows users to locate free parking in any given area based on address, landmarks and through the device’s GPS. It is currently available for free on Google Play.
The idea came to Ilolov one weekend afternoon when his girlfriend was having trouble finding affordable parking in the downtown area.
“It got me thinking, ‘yeah, there’s something we can do here.’ There are all these hidden spots in Toronto where you can park for free or for [a] cheaper [price].”
Ilolov got the help of Aydin Yuce and Demetri Mihalakakos, also Ryerson graduates. Together, they looked through endless bylaw PDFs to create a database of parking spots around the city.
“We have almost 5,000 spots so far, but there are more than that in Toronto,” said Yuce. “So the app is going to keep growing until it covers all the spots.”
ForageFox, the company that designed the app, released a premium version for $2.99. It includes unlimited searches, whereas the free app limits users to five searches per day. It also features a colour coding system representing the various parking prices.
Ilolov said there are similar apps available for other cities, but this is the first of its kind for Toronto. Based on user comments and the app’s four out of five-star rating, the traction is there.
“A lot of people comment that it is very easy to use, very user friendly,” said Yuce. “You’ve got to keep in mind this is still a fresh app. The app has been out for 3 weeks and we already broke the thousand mark. That’s a great success.”
The Toronto Parking Finder app is only available for Android users. Mihalakakos said the next step is to expand to other platforms like the Apple App Store.
“It’s just all about timing at this point,” he said. “If this picks up a lot of traction, the next phase is coding for iOS.”