The Township of Uxbridge, designated the Trail Capital of Canada, yesterday announced that it will start charging for visitor parking. No date was announced for the implementation.
Paid visitor parking at nature locations seems infectious since it was first introduced by Ajax for its waterfront, and later followed by Pickering for its shore recreational facilities.
Uxbridge said with over 300km of trails, the trail system within the Township of Uxbridge sees over 100,000 visitors annually and this number is predicted to grow.
“With the increase in trail traffic, it has become more difficult for the municipality, landowners, land managers, and volunteer groups to keep up with the pace and costs of necessary maintenance, visitor amenities and services, and trail rescue services/equipment,” said a township statement.
The Trail Sustainability Project was created to fund enhanced services and amenities such as garbage collection, trail and parking maintenance and washrooms.
$6 per day
The project will introduce a pay-to-park system at trail head locations to generate revenue to support maintenance and improvements to amenities at trail head sites. Permit parking is being implemented at all trailheads in the Durham Region Forest area and trail-head along Conc. 6 and 7. Daily parking permits will cost $6 per day. All funds collected from parking revenue will be directed towards trail improvements. Frequent users of trail-heads will be able to purchase yearly parking passes for $75, and Township of Uxbridge residents will be able to obtain a permit at no charge by registering on the parking system.
The Trail Sustainability program has been developed in partnership with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA), the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Durham Region Forests, the Township of Uxbridge and local user groups.
The parking system will be managed via a virtual app requiring a smart phone. Users must download a parking app and set up an account. Once at the parking site, users scan a parking sign to pay for and activate their permit at that site. Users move and park at multiple sites on the same day without paying additional parking fees as long as they scan at each new site to activate their permit.
On-site support will be available at impacted parking lots as the system goes live.
The township said it will host registration clinics in conjunction with the launch to provide support for residents who wish to register for a free permit.