Get Your Parking Passes

By John Swartz

Resident parking passes for use at waterfront parks are available. People can get them online now, or in person beginning Thursday.

The in-person locations are at the Waterfront Center at the Port of Orillia, The Seymore greenhouse in Couchiching Beach Park, and the administration building at Tudhope Park (the Kids For Turtles and Perch Festival headquarters). Resident permits are free.

Permits must be on your vehicle dashboard with the corresponding license plate visible.  If you are intending to use the boat launches at Couchiching Beach or on Collins Drive you will need to get a parking pass.

The parking lots on Mississaga Street opposite the liquor store and the parking lot in Tudhope Park next to the ball diamond (drive past the curling rink to get to it) will be used for visitor parking. Once those lots are filled there will be no other parking available of out of town visitors.

When you get to the login page linked above, you will need to have an account. Many people already do. If not, make an account, you will get two emails, one acknowledging you made an account and then an email saying you can log in. Then click the button labeled My Account, but before you do take note the instruction to go to the membership tab on the next page after you click on My Account.

On the membership page you will see the parking permit link at the top of the list. Click Add To Cart and you’ll get another page, click add to cart again. Click continue. On the next page type your license plate number and continue. On the next page click finish. You will get an email, which if you did anything else like sign up for a program, is your receipt. You will then get another email with the permit you can print (it may take up to a day to get the permit, so keep checking). When you get the permit, print it and put it in your car.

Past Weekend Activity

Over the weekend four $750 tickets were issued to those not physical distancing or assembling in groups of more than 10 people. With provincial surcharges that magically becomes $880.

“July 1st there was one, July 4th there were two and July 5th there was one,” Mayor Steve Clarke told SUNonline/Orillia. “It’s not our desire to lay any tickets, so by-law officers and the OPP will go through the park and if they see an infraction they will give the folks the  warning.”

“This time, my understanding is by-law is giving one warning and if they come back ten minutes later and the group hasn’t dispersed, bang.”

There also have been issues and complaints of people setting up tents and using charcoal BBQs on the beach and in the parks.

“The idea of the by-law was to not have a tent that could be deemed a domicile. You could have a sun shelter or an umbrella, but you couldn’t have something you could live in,” said Clarke.

The resources of the City have been stretched and the by-law officer contingent has been expanded this week by one part-time officer and another is being hired.

“I don’t know what number of by-law officers would have made that job, what right number it would be for the volumes of people we had; it would have been a significant number more by-law officers,” said Clarke.

“We only have 4 and generally that works,” said Clarke. “All of their job descriptions have changed temporarily, the shifts they work, the hours they work and they’ve been wonderful. Even with the assistance of the OPP who put a larger presence in the park last week, it’s still,” hard to keep up with Clarke said.

In order to be able to collect the parking fees, other City staff have re-deployed and will be at the parking lots and boat ramps.

“We’ve actually had to hire some people too,” said Clarke. “This whole process has been turned around in 6 days.”

There will still be some kinks develop, one being what the effect on township residents is, and council will make adjustments.

“Because we’ve had to turn this around so quickly we haven’t been able to include them in the permit process yet. I should also say visitors are still welcome to come to the park on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.”

“The idea is to protect the health and safety, reduce the number of visitors and if it works, great, and if it doesn’t we’ll have to take other measures,” said Clarke

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)


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