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Parking Strategy

The City's Parking Strategy outlines how parking will evolve as Barrie continu​​es to transform.

2020 Parking St​rategy

In August 2019, the Parking Strategy team started working with residents, community stakeholders and other City departments to develop the 2020 Parking Strategy.

Since January 2020 the team has been creating recommendations that were presented to General Committee on October 19, 2020, along with a staff report. If approved by City Council on October 26, 2020, the recommendations will be implemented over the next year.​

Desired Outcomes
ConvenienceLeverage technology (i.e. parking app) to make it easier to find and pay for parking
Waterfront ParkingReduce confusion with downtown and waterfront parking boundary.
Competitivenes​sIncrease the appeal of visiting downtown by improving the parking user experience.
​Long-Term Parking​Increase availability of short-term parking for customers by better managing long-term employee parking.
​Spillover ParkingMinimize parking spillover into residential neighbourhoods.
Parking InventoryMeet existing and future parking needs in the downtown and waterfront areas.
Financial SustainabilityAchieve parking operations where revenues are sufficient to fund expenses.​

Past Parking Studies and Reports

The 2011 Parking Study conducted by transportation consultant Genivar analyzed demand for parking in the downtown and on the waterfront. The results informed the recommendations of the 2012 Parking Strategy and Rate Review Report. The report includes proposed parking principles, methodology for the development of the parking model and long range financial planning assessments.

Draft Final Parking Study (December 2011)

  • Appendix A - Downtown Parking Survey Results
  • Appendix B - Waterfront Parking Survey Results
  • Appendix C - Parking Strategy Open House Consultation Materials

Parking Strategy & Rate Review Report (February 2012)​​

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the City of Barrie getting a Parking App?

Yes, a competitive bid process was completed to select a Parking App with robust capabilities, including remote top-up when your parking session runs out, promotional codes for discounted parking during events and in-app wayfinding to nearby parking. Planning for the soft launch of the Parking App is underway.

How will the Parking Strategy improve parking signage?

The Parking Strategy recommends the City complete a Wayfinding Master Plan. This is an opportunity to create consistent branding across the corporation and reduce confusion around the boundary of the downtown and waterfront.

How will the Parking Strategy improve access for Marina patrons?
The Parking Strategy recommends expanding Marina Pass eligibility to include Spirit Catcher and Lakeshore lots and removing eligibility for downtown parking passes to reduce competition for spaces. If these changes do not improve access, the City can consider reserving parking for Marina patrons.
Are parking rates in the downtown going to change?

Yes, the Parking Strategy recommends a $0.25 increase to the hourly rate, a $1.50 increase to the daily rate and a 10% increase to monthly and annual passes. The last rate increase was in 2014, so these changes will bring Barrie in line with peer municipalities and the inflation rate. Currently, the Parking Reserve is a user-funded program (not supported by property taxes). This model is most fair because it does not charge taxpayers who do not use the parking system (i.e. those that do not drive or do not own vehicle). Parking rate increases are necessary to get the Parking Reserve to a sustainable position by 2031. To reach a sustainable position sooner, more drastic rate increases would be necessary.

Will parking lots in the downtown be redeveloped?

​Parking lots should only be redeveloped in strategic situations where the project will act as a catalyst for growth in the downtown because demand is projected to exceed effective supply in the year 2041. Maintaining municipal parking supply in central locations such as the Collier Street Parkade is essential to avoid future parking issues. The 'Parking Equilibrium Policy' was included in the draft of the new Official Plan to secure the ability to negotiate the replacement of municipal parking during redevelopment.

Is the City going to build more parking on the waterfront?

A costly parking expansion project is not considered a good use of funds at this time, because it requires sacrificing valuable green space on the waterfront and the additional capacity is not needed outside of the summer season. Future demand projections confirm that parking issues will remain limited to summer weekends on the waterfront. Instead, the Parking Strategy recommends a Shuttle Pilot Project that connects underutilized downtown parking lots with Centennial Beach. The intent is to shift demand for parking away from the waterfront and encourage visitors to support local businesses.

Will there be changes to where I can use my Downtown parking passes?

Yes. In 2021, the City will optimize the pricing structure by assigning green parking passes to parking lots with high utilization and yellow parking passes to parking lots with low utilization. Green parking passes cost more than yellow parking passes. The price difference will drive behaviour change, easing congestion at busy lots and making underutilized lots such as the Collier Street Parkade more appealing. This was the original intent of the existing pricing structure, but it needs to be updated to reflect the latest trends in demand.

Why are the parking rates increasing near the hospital?

There are 29 on-street parking spaces on Gallie Court and Quarry Ride Road near RVH. These parking spaces are extremely well used because they cost $2/hr, while the hospital parking lots charge $6.50/hr. The City is increasing rates to $5/hr to better align with the hospital rates while still providing a discounted parking opportunity.

Why does the Parking Strategy recommend extending paid parking into the evening in the downtown?

This change is estimated to take place in 2022. Engagement with business owners showed this was the preferred approach to addressing the deficit, as opposed to introducing Saturday paid parking, because it impacts all businesses equally. Currently, the patrons of daytime businesses such as retailers must pay for parking, while the patrons of evening businesses such as bars do not. Currently, the Parking Reserve is a user-funded program (not supported by property taxes). This model is most fair because it does not charge taxpayers who do not use the parking system (i.e. those that do not drive or do not own vehicle). Parking rate increases are necessary to get the Parking Reserve to a sustainable position by 2031.

How will the Parking Strategy address spillover parking near waterfront parks and beaches?

Staff developed a Waterfront Spillover Parking Policy to enable a flexible, targeted approach. During the summer season, on-street parking restrictions will be applied within a 500-metre walking distance of a waterfront access point. Staff will have the discretion to extend or reduce the 500 metres based on feedback from residents and approval from the ward councillor.


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