Honk does #CPABanff2017

Members of our Sales Squad flew to beautiful, serene Banff a couple of weeks ago to attend and exhibit at this year’s CPA Conference at The Fairmont Banff Springs. You really can’t beat a setting like Banff - definitely one of the most picturesque and stunning places in oh-Canada! What better place to talk all things parking?

It came as no surprise that the overarching main theme of the conference was the future of parking. Specifically: data, autonomous vehicles and smart cities.


Data has been parking’s ‘trendy’ best friend for a few years now. You can’t go a week without hearing something about ‘big data’ popping up in the parking news. (Well actually, this transcends to so many other industries.) Now more than ever, people are really honing in on using all this data to make smart decisions, and help push forward new policies around parking. **Shameless plug: Honk integrated with Smarking’s technology to give EasyPark a holistic view of their parking operations in Vancouver! Smarking gave a session on ‘Using Data to Inform Parking Policy Decisions’ at CPA.

Smart Cities

Closely intertwined with big data - first comes data, and then comes smart cities. At the highest level, smart cities use different types and sources of data to funnel back to manage assets and resources in the most efficient way possible. Quite the mouthful, coles notes: use data to make a city operate as efficiently as possible. Smart parking is one of the many different data collection points - and a crucial one! (Not biased, it’s a fact).

Autonomous Vehicles

And thirdly, we have autonomous vehicles. Which is really at the future of smart cities. We’ve all heard news stories on how Uber and the likes are working tirelessly to create autonomous vehicles. Where does this fit with smart cities and parking? Will likely find out sooner than later!

Pictured: Kacey rep’ing our Honk booth on the conference tradeshow floor.

Pictured: Kacey rep’ing our Honk booth on the conference tradeshow floor.

Pictured: Can we please take a minute to take in these hotel #views? Yep. Beautiful slice of Canada right there. You can’t have a #CPABanff2017 blog post without at least one picture of the beautiful landscape, duh!

Pictured: Can we please take a minute to take in these hotel #views? Yep. Beautiful slice of Canada right there. You can’t have a #CPABanff2017 blog post without at least one picture of the beautiful landscape, duh!

Well, there you have it. A quick 101 on #CPABanff2017 in case you couldn’t make it, or you love hearing about parking conferences (no judgment). And now.. back to that parking grind!

It’s Our Birthday and We’ll Self-Promote If We Want To!

Happy 4th birthday to us!

Birthdays are a time to reflect on the past, to see how far one’s come, and to plan out the next 365 days ahead. And boy, what a whirlwind of a year we’ve had at Honk! We could not be more proud. So many accomplishments over these past 12 months: from new hires, city and campus launches, feature updates, and partnerships to awards, it’s been one hell of a ride!

4th Birthday.jpg

Four years ago Honk was all but a dream. We wanted to make parking in Canada better - give it a digital makeover. Take out the hassle, and get drivers on their way faster and more efficiently. Fast forward 4 years, and look at us now! We’re quite literally coast to coast across Canada with hundreds of thousands of happy honkers using us - relying on us - for their parking.

Here’s a list of some of our proudest moments from the past year:


  • City of London

  • Off-street parking with EasyPark in the City of Vancouver

  • Campus parking at University of Alberta

  • Boat parking: Gananoque, Port Perry, McNab/Braeside

  • City of Oakville

  • City of Waterloo

Michael alongside Mayor Dave Jaworsky, BIA president Patti Brooks and Coun. Melissa Durrel at the official launch of Honk at City of Waterloo.

Michael alongside Mayor Dave Jaworsky, BIA president Patti Brooks and Coun. Melissa Durrel at the official launch of Honk at City of Waterloo.

Partnerships & Awards:

  • Ranked #6 on Canada’s Top Growth Companies

  • Huge collaboration with Masterpass

  • Zipcar partnership

  • Toronto Community Housing Partnership offering excess monthly spots at a discount

We’re blowing out these cyber candles, and then rolling up our sleeves to get back to work to make Honk even better, faster, smarter and cheaper!

- The Honk Team

Leafs Nation 2017/18 and Where to Park It (The Car, That Is).

With the 2017/2018 NHL season right around the corner, the loyal and die-hard Leafs Nation is gearing up for the final year their team plays in the Air Canada Centre, and hopefully brings home Lord Stanley before the arena takes on the ‘Scotiabank’ name. Which by the way, if you’re not in-the-know with the latest hockey-related news, Scotiabank is paying a whopping $800 million for a renaming deal. Read more about it here.


There’s lots the team (and its fanbase) has to look forward to this year -- seeing what the 2016 Rookie of The Year, Auston Matthews, has in store this season, and with the acquisition of Patrick Marleau, the younger Leafs will learn first-hand from a seasoned vet in the league.

Hosting the New York Rangers for the Home Opener on Saturday October 7th, there’s lots of rumblings in the Honk office as to projections for the Leafs this season. There are some Habs fans in the office too - so things can get a little bit.. heated?

One thing the office can fully agree on (not surprisingly): parking for home games, duh. To avoid the hectic nightmare that is trying to find a reasonably priced parking spot around the ACC - it’s a given that you should use Honk to pre-book parking at Brookfield Place for ease of mind and hassle-free parking. We’re honestly not biased, we swear. You just can’t beat the convenience, and the price tag - $10 FLAT for game-day parking!

Not-so-shameless-plug: Book your parking at the ACC in advance with Honk at an unbeatable price of $10! 

Not-so-shameless-plug: Book your parking at the ACC in advance with Honk at an unbeatable price of $10! 

Are you one of the lucky ones who snagged a pair of home game tickets? Pre-book your parking now so it’s out of the way, and all you have to worry about is that the Leafs bring their A Game on October 7th to kick off the season.

Let's go boys!

A (not-so-typical) Typical Summer Internship at Honk. Written by the Intern.

This past summer I was fortunate enough to intern at Honk. It was quite the journey, I had a great summer dabbling in all business functions at a tech startup, seeing firsthand how all the pieces work together. I met a lot of great people and was thoroughly impressed with positive workplace atmosphere, as I enjoyed coming to work each and every day.

First Day @ Honk |

7:00 AM - Still in bed. Didn’t have to start until 10:00 AM. (Winning!)

10:00 AM - Came into the office and met with CFO (Jordan). I am working under him for the summer in a variety of capacities, ranging from market reporting to preparing materials for decks. (No coffee runs!)

12:00 PM - First team lunch, this is where I formally met the entire team. No doubt a ton of moving parts in a fast paced startup, these monthly meetings are used to ensure all team members across all teams are in-the-know about updates and changes. Communication is KEY. Also, lunch is DEE-LICIOUS.

4:00 PM - I am finally added to the Honk Slack channel and thus officially feel like a part of the team.

Sales Exposure |

A large part of my summer consisted of working closely with the sales team - Eddie, Tyson & Kacey. I researched and established promotional material for pitching to new and existing clients in order to expand Honk’s operations.

9:00 AM - Tasked with acting as a translator on a call to a french speaking municipality. This is the first time I have used my French Immersion education in over 5 years. Whoever said you didn’t need French in Toronto...you wrong, friend.

11:30 AM - The sales team meets to discuss sales strategy and funnel planning. My job is to update Honk’s internal database or take notes to keep the team on track.

Sales & Customer Support/Operations reppin' the new Honk gear.

Sales & Customer Support/Operations reppin' the new Honk gear.

Operations / Marketing Exposure |

Another large aspect of my summer was working with the operations team and creating informational dashboards to keep clients informed and happy, as well as working closely with our marketing manager, Rachel, to help with our marketing efforts.

10:00 AM - Meet with Mia or Kacey to determine if any existing clients need reporting and to discuss deliverables.

10:15 AM - Annoy the dev. team about various SQL functions, which I learned over the summer.

11:00 AM - Rachel has me draft our varying press releases, and make edits. Honk is growing like crazy this summer - I have a huge funnel of releases to dabble at.

3:00 PM - Finish the dashboard and present the findings to either the sales team or Mia. Occasionally, this data is used for marketing purposes or for press releases.

Summer Social |

8:00 PM - Arrive at Rec Room. Food is abundant and we have received tokens to play arcade games as well as participate in a virtual reality game of Ghostbusters.

10:00 PM - Kacey is exhibiting considerable talent at live Karaoke, and I am very full from all the delicious appetizers.

11:00 PM - Jeremy is now evoking some inner Gord Downie on the mic and everyone at Honk is impressed with his hidden talent.

11:15 PM - I have just beaten Tyson, Eddie and Andre at the football oriented arcade game. Riding a high (this may have been the highlight of the internship, not gonna lie).

12:00 AM - I have been gifted the team’s tokens and was able to make a big purchase of Dots Candy and a flashlight. All in all - a great night!

Final Thoughts |

I now know more about the parking industry than I ever thought possible. My friends continually asked me throughout the summer “how is the parking space?”. Jokes aside, it’s been super interesting to get a deep dive into how an industry that is typically an afterthought in the day-to-day lives of most people, can be as complex as it is. And how technology can really transform such an old fashioned space.

Ghostbusters VR Game @ The Rec Centre.

Ghostbusters VR Game @ The Rec Centre.

We Coulda Saved George Costanza So Much Heartache & Stress (but then he wouldn’t be George Costanza)

Let's take a walk down memory lane shall we? Back to the '90s. Before smartphones, parking apps and Instagram came into our lives. The good ol’ days when Seinfeld was on TV (and when we watched tv shows live as they aired - crazy, right?).

We live and breathe parking here at Honk and we can't help but wonder: if times were different, could Honk have saved poor ol' Georgey boy from blowing a gasket when it came to parking? The answer: Hells YES!

Didja ever wonder why there were so many parking related episodes of Seinfeld? Parking (and its associated peeves) have been around since the Model T. Thank goodness we’re here - take a look back at some of the parking related episodes where Honk would have been deeply appreciated by George and his whiney friends:

1. The Parking Space.

A classic. The one where George fights over a parking space with another driver for an ENTIRE EPISODE.

Enter Honk: George could've booked the spot ahead of time and had WAY more time for a Festivus dinner.

2. No Tricks, Just Parking.

George and Kramer find a bargain parking lot where the rates are super cheap. A rarity in New York City. Some things are just too good to be true. They start to think the rates are so low because ladies of the night are servicing their clients inside the parked cars.

Enter Honk: One click can find you cheap parking spots without the tricks. Just cheap, unbeatable rates! The question remains...would George still be the master of his domain?

3. The Parking Garage.

A favourite amongst many at Honk HQ, this episode is a gem. The entire episode is based around the search for Kramer’s car in the multi-level parking garage of a shopping mall in New Jersey. Everyone has something pressing they need to be doing, and they can’t for the life of them find the car.

Enter Honk: Ok - we don’t have an app for finding your car, but we do have a hack now that everyone is armed with a mobile phone. Take a picture of your parking level before you leave (works for hotel rooms too!) and you’ll never be lost again. Or just avoid the garage altogether, open the app, find a more convenient lot near the mall. Not that there’s anything wrong with that...and Elaine’s goldfish could have survived.

4. … Just don’t get towed!

Not a George Costanza parking fiasco, but you get the picture.

Enter Honk: We send you a text reminder 15 minutes before your parking session is set to expire and we let you add more time from anywhere - doesn’t matter if you’re being verbally abused by the Soup Nazi or searching for the last babka in the city. Kiss those tickets and tow trucks goodbye - get out and GO!

To sum up... While Honk definitely could have saved George and the whole Seinfeld gang from getting upset in their parking ‘adventures’, where would we be without the laughs? We couldn’t imagine it any other way. But now that Honk is here and Jerry is in a car, getting coffee... Giddy up!

An open letter from Honk CEO on Canada’s 150th Birthday: The Future of Tech Belongs to the Great White North

As I travel the globe representing Honk; the innovative Canadian payment app transforming parking, 9 times out of 10 my introduction is immediately greeted by a joke about how difficult it must be to find parking near my igloo “eh?”. Original, I know.

Igloo jokes aside, I pride myself on being an ambassador abroad and can talk about my love for hockey with my boys, hiking the Rockies, and canoeing and portaging through our great country’s lakes and rivers. There’s never a dull moment living in the Great White North. 

When I reflect on the reasons I love this country (poutine offerings aside), I become even more thankful that Honk is Canadian. This past year, Honk has been able to expand from coast to coast - quite literally, from Victoria, BC to Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Partnering with municipalities, universities, real estate owners and parking operators to get Canadians to their destinations faster and more efficiently. This growth is largely driven by Canada’s increasingly favourable business environment for tech - “Silicon Valley North”. This label is no myth. Honk, like many other startups, are thriving in Canada’s innovative, diverse and rapidly growing tech hubs.

 Canada’s welcoming business environment leads the G20. We benefit from having access to one of the most highly educated workforces in the world, rapid growth in research and development, low business costs and flexible immigration. Venture capital is on the rise with investors from all around the world looking for a piece of the action. The message has never been clearer – Canada is open for business.

 But this isn’t simply a fleeting boom. I’ve been in the tech industry for over two decades and this is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The energy is different and most importantly, so are the results. Canadian tech companies are now emerging as leaders on the world stage and this success is contagious.

The Great White North is a startup nation. This is our moment.

Our 150th gives us an opportunity to not only reflect on the past but also plan for a brighter future. I believe the best is yet to come for our young nation. Success won’t come easy and Canadian tech entrepreneurs need to build quickly on this momentum.

 We must tell our story to get ahead, even if that means putting politeness and humility aside. Canadians must support our own businesses first and prioritize their success. Our tech leaders must be bold, embrace inevitable failures and continue to welcome the best and the brightest with open arms.

 Fellow Canadians, we have so much to be proud of this holiday. Happy Birthday to our beloved nation – now, if I could just park my truck in my igloo..

Michael Back

~Proud Canadian~

Founder and CEO of Honk


Just a Few of Our Favourite Apps

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. But what’s an app on the home-screen worth? Quite a lot we think. Here at Honk we definitely rely on apps to help us with, well, life. From finding parking (duh!), to finding that last minute hotel accommodation, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite apps that our team just can’t live without.

Jiffy: Leaky sink? Malfunctioning AC? Can’t do anything with your hands other than Instagram? Not all of us at Honk are what you'd call "handy". Thankfully there's Jiffy. This app connects us to a network of service providers, in real-time, based on proximity, availability and ratings. We're not going to give names, but one of our employees may have used Jiffy to drill a floating shelf on the wall.... 

Foodora: After a long day at Honk, our staff is sometimes far too exhausted to make dinner. For times like these, we mindlessly turn to Foodora. All our favourite restaurants delivered right to our front-door via bicycle delivery person. With the tap of a button, we can satisfy that 10pm pad thai craving. It's quite the time we live in. Thank you technology - sincerely, our stomachs.

Bandsintown: Concert season is upon us, and Bandsintown has us covered. This handy app syncs our favourite music app and get updates on tours, concert venues and ticket prices - all in one place. There’s a bunch of die-hard concert-goers here at Honk HQ - so you can trust that we rely on this app to make sure we’re in the know with all shows coming to town.

HotelTonight: Let us preface by saying that our team loves to travel. Whether it be a quick trip to Amsterdam, a weekend in San Francisco, or a two week stint in Morocco - Honkers love to get out there and travel. Life can sometimes make it hard to plan ahead for a trip; for times like these we’re so thankful for HotelTonight. This travel app gives us great deals at premium hotels for these last minute trips. We simply go into the app, select the city and dates, and can book straight from the app.

Honk: And finally, we had to include our very own app - it’s not a bias, it’s just plain ol’ common sense! People are busy - time is valuable. Honk helps avoid wasting time circling the block trying to find parking - and lets you search, find and pay for that parking spot before you even leave the front door. We have an iPhone and Android version - and for those without a smartphone, we have an eCommerce enabled website. 

Do you feel like we forgot to include a cannot-live-without-app? Hit us up - we love discovering new apps!

Honk Does New Orleans: Parking Professionals in the Big Easy

Every year 3,500+ parking professionals from 45 countries not-so-begrudgingly head to a conference center somewhere fabulous in the US for IPI Conference & Expo; the world’s largest educational and networking event for the parking and transportation industry. This year’s conference (read: party) brought everyone together in Creole Country - New Orleans, Louisiana.

Our Director of Sales (Kacey Siskind) and CEO (Michael Back) represented Honk at the event this year. There was lots of networking, meetings, educational sessions, and of course food, drink & music!

The biggest takeaways from the conference?

A couple of important themes really jumped out from Kacey and Michael’s time at IPI 2017: big data & connected vehicles.

Big Data

We’ve heard this buzzword for a while now, but the parking industry is really starting to hone in on big data. And why not? Never before has there been so much information pouring in from so many different outlets - why not be smart and take advantage of this info to decrease inefficiencies and increase revenue? Data is king after all.

Shameless plug!: Honk provides parking operators, municipalities and universities with a financial and data-driven back-office. This web-based portal sheds insight on parking behaviour like never before. This ensures they’re making the most out of their parking inventory and better serving customers.

Connected Vehicles

Another word of the moment that’s here to stay, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). There was a lot of focus on how connected vehicles affect the parking industry, and what proactive steps can be taken to leverage and prepare parking for the autonomous, connected vehicle revolution that is sure to be here before we know it.  

….and food (duh)!

We can’t visit New Orleans without a dinner at Cochon, muffalettas (our favourite is from Central Grocery & Deli) and juicy, delectable crawfish. Kacey was lucky enough to stumble on The Mid-City Bayoo Boogaloo - a New Orleans festival that features music, food, arts & handicrafts. (Needless to say, the office was a tad jealous of her Instagram feed while she was away!).

Next up on the conference circuit: CPA (Canadian Parking Association) Conference in Banff, AB. Team Honk is super excited to take in the fresh Rocky Mountain air, and spread some good old Honk love to our Canadian clients!