Is it time to have Free Parking in Cornwall Ontario During December for Christmas? Post your comment!

CFN –  We’re hearing a lot of frustration from small businesses in Cornwall Ontario; especially in the downtown core.

Like most business in the region they’ve suffered through a challenging 2012.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could encourage downtown business in Cornwall by suspending Parking Meters for the month of December?

The only locations for meters in our city is the Pitt Street and Montreal Road corridors.    A casual drive by sees far too many for rent signs right now and our sales reps are reporting a lot of complaints of struggles from merchants.

For the few shekels the meters gain for the city surely the benefits for merchants would far exceed in value?

It’s a shame that none of our city council have the initiative to bring something like this forward because our downtown core needs a boost.

Recently I was visiting Brockville Ontario’s King street and one of the meters actually said that 2 free hours of parking was sponsored by the city.

What a great concept.  Something that could even be marketed if adopted by Cornwall even if only for the month of December to encourage people to consider that there’s more to shopping in our city than Brookdale?

What do you think Cornwallites?

Do parking meters serve a real purpose any longer?

Is it time to abolish them completely?

Or simply find ways to improve things for business like having free parking in December?

Some businesses also stated that they’d love to see permits.

Something that especially is important for people like Real Estate agents instead of having to keep piles of loose change to fill meters are they make their frequent stops downtown?

You can post your comments below.

Milena Cardinal


  1. I think that is a great idea. If we want to promote shopping locally than we should make that as easy as possible. I can’t think of a better way. Kudos Jamie.

  2. You may need some control on how long these spots are used for, so more people can take advantage.
    Perhaps stores can refund 2 hours parking on each purchase.
    Perhaps stores can buy a meter bag from the city, that has courtesy of XYZ store or merchants association.

  3. Interesting question!

    I assume free parking would be available not only on the street, but also, at the parking lots in these areas. I would like to know how much revenue the City would lose if this were done. Records must be available from last year so estimates can be made. This would be the sum of parking receipts plus parking ticket revenue less cost of collection.

    Merchants in these areas are there by choice. Rents and lease costs are generally less in these areas than for commercial space within shopping malls that come with free parking lots. Merchants always have the option to pay for their patrons parking costs.

    Cornwall has very inexpensive downtown parking costs. The cost of a parking ticket in Cornwall is less than the cost of parking in downtown Ottawa.

    But, why not give it a try and monitor the results as much as possible so that increasingly educated guesses can be made in future years.

  4. Author

    Well GDP I think our down town core is critical. While I know that the real estate is being bought up and there are some long terms dreams occurring I think that for those businesses there now the thought of waiting 5, 10, or more years is not something to be banking on.

    We need some initiatives and if the Chamber or DBIA sole role seems to be to hang out and have drinks and complain about CFIB reports we need to help get things moving…

  5. Many stores that closed are now offices. There are no outstanding features or specialty stores that would attract people to the downtown area. They park at the mall, shop there, then leave. There are many quaint little towns with specialty stores that are quite busy. They offer different things then a mall would. It’s surprising what one can find there.

    Thinking if we could offer a wider variety of goods we would attract a broader clientele. The downtown could have so much potential, but unfortunetely, there doesn’t seem to be enough interest and the money could be another factor.

    It seems that more and more people are attracted to nostalgic themes, the laid back, country type atmosphere where one can get away from the maddening crowd. The downtown needs to offer something different and needs to create it’s own identity, seperate from the norm in order to be more appealling.

    Getting the right people involved and approaching

  6. OOOppps….sorry about that. Thinking if the right people got involved, the downtown could become a little gem of a place and through word of mouth, would attract many outsiders.

  7. Author

    The irony is comparing some of the stores on the corner of Pitt & Second that are painted on a fence compared to what exists. We need to find ways to support locally and create a more inviting downtown core not only to the public; but to new businesses.

  8. I really don,t think Paying for parking is the problem.The problem seems to be not enought parking spaces downtown.But your idea of free parking for December, would be a nice jester for the shoppers.

  9. Author

    lucky it’s not paying for the parking – it’s paying for the tickets…

  10. I disagree with your article and completely agree with paying for parking and ticketing those that do not pay. Paid parking creates a time limit on how long a vehicle stays, this ENCOURAGES people to only use these parking spots for shopping, etc. Which allows other potential shoppers to take the spot once he/she is done.

    If you have free parking then what is to stop people from parking there all day (especially tenants in some of the upstairs units). Are you now going to say that the City needs to enforce a time limit on those free parking spots. To properly do so they would need to increase the workforce in order to ensure that it is enforced all the time. How are they going to pay for this, since you have taken away part of their income? So pretty much you are shifting the cost from people paying for parking up front to my taxes regardless if I park or not……That is a Great Lose-Lose situation!

    I would agree to the two parking lots be opened to free parking as a trial, that would still leave the prime parking spots metered for those that want convenience. I would also consider doing free metered parking to disabled since it may be too hard for them to use the parking lots.

    On a final note, either way you will complain. I would rather pay knowing that there will parking spots available to park in and people will not be parked there all day.

  11. attracting downtown business. there are some really excellent specialty stores downtown. and of course endless restaurants for choice .. free parking is ok for the holidays and how about a “parking’ amnesty during one week in the summer like Canada day week. the other thing is most stores have 8 to 5 or 6 pm shopping hours only so naturally a shopper will go to the more flexible hourly times open malls for shopping . well advertised extended hours for specialty stores would help their bottom line.. they could advertise their new hours right here on CFN what with all the “traffic” this site gets…

  12. oh and a pet peeve is when the delivery trucks block traffic downtown.. especially during lunch hour.. not very convenient for any shopper or restaurant go-er.. the trucks should use the designated delivery areas at the back of downtown stores in the laneways only… stores should make that clear to any delivery people..

  13. Yes parking fines.Well Jamie, it,s always been a way of life in our fair city.But i just don,t understand how the meter boys and girls get there so fast.LOL

  14. All that needs to be done is for the stores in question to pay the parking fee if the customer buys from the store. Surely these stores can give back the 1 or 2 dollars to customers who give them business.

  15. Author

    Stams that would mean the DBIA’s and Chamber of Commerce were doing their jobs well….

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