Downtown shopping in North Bay just got a lot easier with the announcement of free parking.
The first hour of parking will be free where “Pay and Display” are used in hopes parking costs won’t deter people from heading downtown. To get the hour free, drivers display the ticket in their window.
North Bay City Councillor Dave Mendicino says the city has also decided there will be no charge after 4:30 p.m. Previously parking hours were enforced from 8:00am to 6:00pm, now it’s from 8:00am to 4:30pm.
Mendicino says council heard for years that parking was the biggest barrier for people wanting to shop or live in the downtown, so he feels the changes will help.
“That’s what the store owners were telling us, that was the biggest barrier driving people in the downtown. So, that’s the big goal, to drive more people into the downtown.”
Downtown business owners say they’re excited about the change. Katie Bevan, who owns, “Farm,“ says parking has always been an issue with her customers.
“As a business owner, it’s actually very exciting because parking’s always one of those things that people say kind of turns them off from downtown,”said Bevan. “It attracts new customers and gives back to the existing customers that are coming here all the time.”
The city has also made another parking change to entice more people to residing in the downtown area. Anyone living downtown will get a 50 percent discount to park in the monthly lots effective April 1, 2020.