Skip to content

Proposed parking strategy calls for paid parking in Elora and Fergus

Proposed Parking Master Plan includes paid monthly parking permits for downtown Elora residents who park on the street
Parking in downtown Elora.

CENTRE WELLINGTON – Fergus and Elora residents could soon find themselves paying close to $10 for three hours of on-street parking downtown. 

To be discussed in council on Monday, the township's finalized Municipal Downtown Parking Strategy Report recommends paid parking as a key component to funding the township's proposed parking infrastructure as it will allow tourists to fund a portion of the cost rather than property taxation. 

If approved as presented, paid parking would be implemented in three-hour limits in Fergus and Elora between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and the recommended pricing structure would see drivers pay an average of $2.75 an hour for on-street parking, $2.25 an hour for off-street parking and 75 cents an hour at the west Bissell Lot. 15-minute parking spaces would be free. 

In Fergus, the road segments recommended for paid parking implementation include:

• St. Andrew Street, between Breadalbane Street to Cameron Street

• St. David Street, between St. Andrew Street and St. Patrick Street

• Menzies Lot, behind the Fergus Public Library

• St. Patrick Lot at Provost Lane

Paid parking implementation is recommended for 19 road segments in Elora including: 

• East Mill Street, between Metcalfe Street and Princess Street

• Carlton Place, between Victoria Street and Wellington Road 7

• Price Street, between James Street and West Mill Street

• Geddes Street, between Metcalfe Street and East Mill Street

According to the report, future pricing considerations could include providing a daily parking maximum in areas where lower turnover is more acceptable, setting a dynamic pricing scheme where pricing is adjusted based on demand and a daily parking maximum based on five to seven times the hourly rate.

Based on the revenue received from the proposed paid parking system, the report said the township can consider expanding its shuttle program throughout the entirety of May and September.

In the meantime, it's recommended the township consider operating the shuttle bus for six hours a day and create an additional stop at the Jefferson Elora Community Centre to facilitate employees' parking. 

In Elora, implementing monthly parking permits is recommended to provide users and "specifically residents" with no parking at their residences the ability to park between the paid parking period for a set price as opposed to paying for the proposed hourly rate for the entire day, which is more expensive. 

However, the report said parking would be on a first-come-first-served basis, meaning that monthly parking permit holders do not have a designated space and must find an available space.  

Applications for the monthly parking permit will be open to anyone but the report said priority should be given to residents with no parking on-site, those who live in the Elora central business district boundaries and other types of users such as employees can be considered as the township increases its municipal supply. 

It is recommended that the number of monthly parking permits available to purchase be based on a percentage of the parking supply but due to the supply constraints of downtown Elora, a priority system is recommended to fulfill equity needs.

A monthly parking permit is not recommended in Fergus.

Parking enforcement is proposed to be extended year-round and is described as especially important with the introduction of the paid parking system and developing a set fine for expired paid parking is also included in the report. 

Providing residents with one-hour free parking in downtown Elora and downtown Fergus was also suggested but staff said it is not recommended at this time due to the loss of revenue that would incur.  

Unrelated to paid parking, the MacDonald Lot in Elora, Provost Lane Lot and St. David Street Lot / Menzies Lane Lot and three roads in Fergus are recommended to be added to the three-hour parking limits based on proximity and high utilization. 

In Elora, an additional 15-minute parking space is recommended along the east side of Metcalfe Street and another on the south side of St. Andrew Street West in Fergus. 

A parking garage is also recommended in Elora and Fergus as approximately 170 spaces are needed in downtown Elora and approximately 140 spaces are needed in downtown Fergus by 2041. 

Before the parking structures can be constructed, staff are suggesting implementing short-term solutions like paving the area east of Bissell Park and implementing paid parking in the west end of the park, partnering with new development projects in the downtown core to provide public parking facilities and utilizing mechanical parking structures.

Another option is to conduct a design review of all existing municipal lots to optimize the layout to potentially increase the supply of municipal spaces. 

Given that the report is 599 pages, staff has proposed council only receive the report for information at its next meeting and for all recommendations before the adoption of the strategy proceeds at a later date.

The full report is available here

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.


Verified reader

If you would like to apply to become a verified commenter, please fill out this form.

About the Author: Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Isabel Buckmaster covers Wellington County under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
Read more