Trail Capital of Canada to charge for visitor parking

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.

Information about how to use the new parking application is available on the app, at the parking location, on the Township website and at

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9 thoughts on “Trail Capital of Canada to charge for visitor parking

  1. What is the cost of setting this up and monitoring it with a by-law officer ? Some people/families live on a very tight budget and cannot afford any more expenses. This may be the one free recreational activity that you are taking away from them. Has anyone given that any thought ???

  2. Not every one has a smart phone with data. Do I have to purchase an expensive phone plan with data to occasionally park at out door recreational areas?! Do you offer an alternative for seniors

  3. This is upsetting as it should be free for residents of Durham region … some of us use the forest 3 or more times a week to bike , to jog to walk dogs …. That’s why some of us moved to the region … we already pay the highest taxes

  4. Be interesting to see how long this charge stays in place. Have a feeling it is going to chase a lot of people away. Not sure I would be willing to pay $6 every time I want to go hiking in the Durham forest. Even an annual pass at $75 seems a bit high. Hopefully they reconsider as this will definitely cut down the number of times people use this forest. Or maybe this is what they wanted all along, time will tell.

  5. Waste of time and technology. Add to all local tax bills pf 75 as this is the cost of nature. Adding more power stations people and infrastructure ain’t going to make it greener or better. Cause guess what every tow ship has PARKS.

  6. Walking or biking in the Durham forest should be FREE. We pay enough taxes! $6 for a 45 minute walk is ludricous.

  7. Do we not pay enough in taxes ?As a 40 plus year home owner and tax payer 10 years in Pickering and 31 years in Ajax I am more than angry about this insult, having walked many times through these areas ,get your money from the other people that are using and abusing our trails .Ajax started this by having out of town visitors pay to park eg. from Toronto, I can see that ,but as resident tax payers of Durham Region this is so Wrong.

  8. Shouldn’t all Durham residents get a free pass to Durham Forest since it is owned by the region? What do I do if I do not have a smart phone?

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