Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In

Parking Strategy

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

The 2020 Parking Strategy includes steps that will move the parking reserve from a deficit to a self-sustaining model by 2030, and will provide more options, new technology and better balance for Barrie residents and visitors. 

More Sustainable, Easier, & Convenient Parking

Parking in Barrie will become more sustainable, easier, and convenient as the City will:

  • Provide more options to pay, including Smart Meters with credit card payment options, a parking app, and licence plate recognition technology (to allow for digital parking passes).
  • Alter parking pricing structure to better meet supply and demand by prioritizing on-street parking options for customers, adjusting parking lot pass options to help distribute parking demand, and lowering rates at underused facilities (e.g. Collier Street parkade) to encourage use​.
  • Simplify parking by aligning how the downtown Library and City Hall lots can be used, standardizing spillover parking controls in residential areas, and improving and standardizing parking signs across Barrie.
  • Improve waterfront parking by considering a pilot shuttle service on summer weekends, implementing seasonal on-street parking to Resident Waterfront Parking Pass holders, and adjusting seasonal on-street parking restrictions in surrounding neighbourhoods​.
  • Ensure parking rates remain financially sustainable by adjusting some rates downtown (increase of 25 cents per hour, $1.50 a day and 10% for monthly and annual passes), adjusting rates and extending paid parking on Gallie Court and Quarry Ridge Road, and investigating the implementation of paid evening parking in the downtown.

Desired Outcomes of the 2020 Parking Strategy

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.​

​​​​Impact to Waterfront Neighbourhoods

In response to COVID-19 pressures, City Council held an emergency meeting in summer 2020 to discuss waterfront operations. As a result, temporary restrictions were put in place to reduce spillover parking in residential neighbourhoods and curb overcrowding at municipal parks and beaches. On-street parking within 500 metres of a waterfront access point was prohibited, except for vehicles displaying a valid Resident Waterfront Parking Pass.

As part of the Parking Strategy consultation, residents shared feedback about the effectiveness of this change in our waterfront areas:

  • Johnsons Beach
  • Kempenfelt Park
  • Centennial Beach
  • Minets Point Park
  • Tyndale Park
  • Gables Park
  • Dock Road Park
  • Wilkins Park

Feedback showed public support for implementing on-street parking restrictions on a more permanent basis. As a result, and based on your feedback, staff developed a Waterfront Spillover Parking Policy to enable a flexible, targeted approach.


In August 2019, the Parking Strategy team started working with residents, community stakeholders and other City departments to develop the 2020 Parking Strategy. Recommendations were presented to General Committee on October 19, 2020, along with a staff report, and approved by City Council on October 26, 2020. The recommendations are now in the process of being implemented​​.​

The 2020 strategy addresses the many changes that took place since the 2012 Parking Strategy & Rate Review:

  • visitors started paying for waterfront parkin
  • surplus municipal parking lots were designated for redevelopment
  • the Transportation Master Plan set targets to increase walking, cycling and transit ridership
  • the Official Plan Project was launched to design policies that accommodate future growth

These changes could impact parking demand in the downtown and waterfront areas and the Parking Strategy needed to be refreshed to identify solutions for current parking challenges while developing a long term, financially sustainable plan that supports city growth over the next 20 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Did the Parking Strategy include the implementation of an 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. The HotSpot Parking App was launched in Barrie in February 2021.

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.

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.

Did the stategy implement changes to downtown parking passes?

Yes. In 2021, the City optimized 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 drives 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 was updated to reflect the latest trends in demand.

Why did the parking rates increase near the hospital?

There are 36​​​​ 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 increased 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 was anticipated to take place in 2022, however has been delayed. Please refer to the Sept. 2021 memo to Council re Evening Paid Parking Investigation Deferral.

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.


Looks like your screen is a bit too small

The page you are attempting to view is not currently compatible with the dimensions of your device. Please visit this page on a larger screen.