New waterfront parking program to discourage overcrowding starts in Orillia

A plan has been approved to rebuild the Port of Orillia in Orillia, Ont. The waterfront can be seen on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. (K.C. Colby/ CTV Barrie)

A new parking plan that allows Orillia residents to park at the waterfront and launch their boats for free kicks off Friday.

The new program runs Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. until Sept. 12.

Residents and business owners have to display their resident parking permit on their dash to avoid getting a ticket.

Visitors without a pass will have to pay $50 to park at the waterfront and $50 to launch a boat.

Oro-Medonte, Severn, Ramara Townships and the Chippewas of Rama First Nation have committed to a partnership with Orillia whereby residents from those communities can park for free, with a permit administered by their respective township.

In a release, Orillia's mayor said by bringing back the COVID-19 Waterfront Parking and Boat Launch Program, he hopes it will help manage overcrowding and discourage visitors as the province moves through the stages of Roadmap to Reopening.

Free parking and launching a boat are available to everyone Monday to Thursday, except for statutory holidays.

The 2021 parking program includes Couchiching Beach Park, Centennial Park, Veterans' Memorial Park and J.B. Tudhope Memorial Park lots and surrounding streets and the Couchiching Beach Park and Collins Drive boat launches.