Tristan Noone works at Opus Framing and Art Supplies on Granville Island and for years, has watched customers fight for parking spots, try to squeeze into small ones, and drive in circles on the hunt.
“People sometimes have been trapped in the car trying to find parking sometimes for 45 minutes to an hour,” he told CTV News.
And that’s why he’s supportive of the new pay parking across the entire island.
“I’m hoping with this, it can help with the flow so you don’t just have bumper-to-bumper to realize there’s no parking.”
The new rules mean parking will cost $3/hour from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. until September 30th. In the winter, from October 1st to April 30th, it will go down to $2/hour.
Previously, the Island had a mix of public parking categories: 60 per cent of the parking stalls were free and the other 40 per cent were pay.
Officials hope the new system will cut down on congestion, improve turnover and free up spaces.
A planning manager for Granville Island said the set hours will have benefits.
"We think it will help shift some of those trips that maybe would have been happening at the peak of the day, now can go onto the shoulders of the day," said Sebastian Lippa.
There are more than 1,200 parking stalls on Granville Island with no room for additional spots, explained Lippa.
Noone said there was “a lot of consultation” with the local businesses on Granville Island, but “it’ll catch the public by surprise.”
It certainly did.
One visitor who spoke with CTV News said she didn’t notice the new pay parking rules. Another expressed frustration by saying that, “After coming here for so many years, I’ll be refraining from coming back here very soon.”
Some local businesses are cautiously optimistic. A woman who works in the market said the biggest concern for them, is retaining regular customers.
“We’re quite concerned but we hoping it’s going to work," she said.
For those wanting to avoid paying for parking, there are other ways to get to Granville Island. Visitors are encouraged to walk on, ride a bike, and take transit or a water taxi.