New and increased parking fees set to roll out in busy parts of Burlington

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Published February 14, 2024 at 11:44 am

parking fees burlington downtown

Drivers will soon have to pay to park in some lots and busy areas in Burlington on Saturdays–a move the city says will increase parking turnover and benefit local businesses.

Today (Feb. 14), the city announced that starting this spring, parking fees will be implemented in high-demand lots and all on-street metered parking spaces on Saturdays. 

The city also announced that for the first time in 10 years, fees for parking lots and metered spaces in the downtown area will increase by 25 cents an hour. 

“Equity and accessibility are always at the forefront of council’s decisions. We have heard from our downtown business community that their customers have voiced concerns over not being able to find available parking spots on weekends, largely due to vehicles staying multiple hours,” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said in a statement. 

“They have asked to reinstate paid parking on Saturdays to help address this issue. The council-approved changes to parking in our downtown are meant to help ensure a larger number of residents, visitors and shoppers are able to access the wonderful offerings of our beloved shops and restaurants whenever they drop by. Funding from the increased hourly rate will assist with infrastructure repair, maintenance, beautification and expansion of parking supply in the downtown.”

Starting April 2, motorists will have to pay for parking in three of 14 municipal lots and metered on-street spaces between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Parking will be free after 6 p.m.

The city says drivers with accessible parking permits and city-issued veteran parking permits will still be able to park for free. 

The impacted lots are 1, 4 and 5 and they are located at: 

  • Lot 1 – Pearl Street Lot, 431 Elizabeth St.
  • Lot 4 – Elizabeth Street Lot, 421 John St.
  • Lot 5 – Brant Street Lot, 391 Brant St.

On weekends and holidays, parking will remain complimentary in most other downtown lots, including the Waterfront Parking Garage at 414 Locust St. 

In a news release, the city says the downtown parking fee increase will help fund lot maintenance, infrastructure and resurfacing. 

Price increases:

  • Hourly rate increase from $1.75 to $2 per hour
  • Daily maximum parking fee increase from $14 to $18
  • Monthly permits increase from $83 to $91 and from $132 to $151

The city says hourly and daily users can pay their parking fees through the HONK mobile app. Monthly permit holders will receive a letter outlining their increases, renewal and payment options.

As for what prompted the increase, the city says studies show that lots are reaching capacity due to growth in the downtown area and that the increases put the fees in line with those of neighbouring municipalities such as Oakville and Hamilton.  

“Parking spaces in our most popular lots are limited and the lots fill quickly. We are introducing paid parking on Saturdays to help manage the parking and traffic flow. In collaboration with the Downtown Parking Committee, we recognize that visitors come to the downtown, not only for shopping and services, but to access recreational opportunities and enjoy Spencer Smith Park and the waterfront. In order to maintain equitable access to the waterfront and recreational destinations, Saturday paid parking be extended to on-street and “premium” surface lots only,” Kaylan Edgcumbe, manager, integrated mobility transportation, said in a statement. 

“This option aims to balance parking demand by incentivizing use of the free lots for longer-duration stays that are located further away from the Brant Street retail area. We also hope that this encourages downtown visitors to look at other modes of transportation to help reduce greenhouse gases. Less automobile use within the downtown will support a more walkable community and active modes of travel.”

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