Waking up to a parking ticket to start your day is not generally something you'd want to happen. However, for some people who found Toronto parking tickets on their cars across the city, it wasn't at all what they probably expected when they saw the flash of yellow on their windshield. Instead of causing anger, the people behind the scheme at YourefineTO are hoping to bring a smile to Torontonians' faces.
Over 500 notes were printed and issued out on December 10 by a group of helpers behind YourefineTO, encouraging those who received one to share it on Instagram with the hashtag #yourefineTO.
Zohar Berlyand and Erica Bota, the brainpower behind the Instagram account, came up with the idea after getting a (real) fine themselves while on a hike.
"We were on a hike in Milton and we had parked illegally knowing that we would come back and get a ticket because all the other cars had tickets already," says Bota in an interview with Narcity.
"We went for a hike and we came back and sure enough, we saw a yellow ticket under our windshield wipers."
Bota says that they had hoped it was something other than a fine — a joke, preferably. And that's where the idea was born.
What ended up being a $40 fine ignited a desire to bring a smile to people's faces in the morning.
And it was a group effort, too.
"We initiated the project but we recruited 20 to 25 of our friends who enthusiastically administered the tickets at 11 o'clock on Tuesday," shares Bota.
These slips come with inspirational and motivational quotes that are sure to make you laugh and have a great start to your day.
They look almost identical to the city of Toronto parking tickets but instead, they compliment you on your parking skills.
"Doing a fantastic parking job. Probably the best I've seen on this entire street. Damn," reads one.
A note near the bottom adds: "Some days just suck, don't they? Some days suck, and then you get a parking ticket. Today is not one of those days. Today is a good day."
Bota acknowledges that the initiative may cause a bit of a scare to drivers at first as they walk to their car early in the morning.
"We did it knowing it might throw some people off, but we still thought this level of fun and play is kind of missing in this city sometimes," says Bota.
You could understand why many people might fear the papers are real at first. After all, Toronto issued some 2.8 million parking tickets in 2018.
In fact, between October 7 and November 15, 2019, Toronto Police ticketed 1,818 illegally-parked vehicles on a downtown stretch of Queen Street alone.
It's certainly a novel idea. We imagine the humorous notes, combined with many drivers' relief at finding out theirs is a joke, probably yielded quite a few laughs.
As we're nearing the holiday season, this little pick-me-up works as a friendly reminder to just be happy and to not let the stresses of life bring you down.