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Pilot Project

​Automated Licence Plate Recognition

The 2020 Parking Strategy identified technology as the solution for creating a user-friendly and modern parking experience. A pilot project is underway to explore automated licence plate recognition (ALPR) technology.

The City is working with a team of leading technology vendors to explore ALPR as a tool to collect parking utilization data and enforce parking regulations. The ALPR pilot project will allow staff to confirm that the technology can be used to increase efficiency and convenience for parkers within Barrie. Project overview:

  • The ALPR system is installed on a marked City of Barrie vehicle. The ALPR system includes external vehicle-mounted cameras, in-vehicle tablet, in-vehicle processing unit and management platform. There is only one ALPR-equipped vehicle in the municipal law enforcement fleet at this time.
  • Testing will be focused on municipally owned and operated paid parking areas, such as the downtown core, as well as on-street parking within walking distance of the downtown core, Gallie Court and Quarry Ridge Road.
  • Testing will be focused on collecting utilization data and promoting compliance with parking regulations.
  • Live testing began on March 26, 2021. Staff will report back to City Council with findings from the pilot project.

About ALPR Technology

ALPR technology uses cameras to take pictures of parked vehicles and licence plates. The ALPR system can compare images of the parked vehicles over time to determine length of stay and identify potential violations of the maximum time limit. The system can also quickly search through a list of licence plate numbers belonging to vehicles with valid proof of payment and identify vehicles that have not paid for further inspection.

Privacy Principles

The City is committed to protecting privacy, and has completed a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) and developed procedures that incorporate best practices from the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC). The procedures will be validated during the course of the pilot project and adjusted as necessary to ensure the City continues to uphold privacy standards.

Targeted Collection
  • The LPR system will only be used to collect information that is already publicly available. For example, when you park your car on the street, the licence plate number, tire valve stem position, date, time and location is readily available to the general public.
  • The LPR system will only be used in areas with municipally owned and operated parking.
Focused Use
  • The LPR system will only be used to enforce parking regulations and collect parking utilization data.
  • Operators are prohibited from using the LPR system for any other purpose except for the active investigations and inspections of parking regulations.
  • Operators of the LPR system will be required to use unique login identification that makes their activity fully auditable and creates direct accountability.
 Consistent Retention & Disposal   
  • Information will only be stored as long as necessary to fulfil municipal duties and obligations. For example, images that are associated with parking infractions will be stored according to the City of Barrie’s Retention By-law. Images not associated with a parking infraction will be automatically purged after 24 hours.
  • Utilization data will be focused on understanding the total number of vehicles using a specific parking area, not analyzing individual licence plate numbers. Utilization data will be automatically purged after completing quarterly reporting.
Proactive Security
  • Training on privacy will be provided to all operators of the LPR system.
  • The LPR system will be stored at a secure municipal facility overnight and locked when not in use by the operator.
  • The cameras are intentionally positioned to capture images at vehicle level and they will not be moved. In the rare event an image is captured that includes a person, facial features will be redacted if the image is used for further prosecution of the offence or requested as part of a Freedom of Information Request.
Continuous Transparency
  • The LPR system will only be operated using a marked City of Barrie vehicle.
  • Open communication channels will be maintained with the public throughout the pilot project by providing information on this webpage and memos to council. Any inquiries can be directed to Tessa Williams at or 705-739-4220 x 5169.
Adapted from Stanford’s Licence Plate Recognition Data Management Principles (June 2018)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is LPR technology used in other places?   

LPR technology has been used by police services, municipalities and post-secondary institutions for years, including by Georgian College, City of Guelph and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

Where is the information collected by the LPR system stored?

All information is stored in Canada and subject to Canadian Privacy Laws.

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