Downtown #Guelph Parking Update!

An update as of May 2nd:

City staff and City Council continue to explore every available option to address parking shortages in the downtown. We’re committed to keeping the community informed of our progress.

Come downtown to show some love to all the wonderful shops, restaurants, services and entertainment options our downtown offers!

Below you will find updates on some new parking options we’ve secured.

City staff is working hard to make sure people have places to park when visiting or doing business in the downtown. Staff has put a number of new parking options in place and continue to explore every available option for adding more public parking space in the downtown.

Updates will continue to be posted at and on the West Parkade project page:

The City will continue to post social media updates (Twitter and Facebook), place print ads in the Guelph Mercury Tribune (City News), and update downtown signs to promote where people can park.

Parking options in place:


Shuttle service:

The City will offer a shuttle from the Elizabeth Street lot to the Macdonell entrance of the Old Quebec Street mall. This service will transport the public, and in particular patients attending appointments, to and from the mall. The shuttle will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Details on when the shuttle will be in service and its operating schedule will be announced shortly.



Free evening and weekend parking:

Starting Saturday, May 5, the City will offer free evening and weekend parking at all seven of its open parking lots. Free evening and weekend parking is temporary while the West Parkade is fully closed for construction.


Surrey Street parking:

The City is converting underused permit parking on Surrey Street East between Wyndham Street South and Gordon Street to public parking.


Additional actions taken to date:


Permit holders

1 Staff relocated most West Parkade permit holders to the Elizabeth street lot, 1.1 km away, at a discounted rate

2 Staff offered Guelph Transit passes to permit holders for transportation from the Elizabeth Street lot to Guelph Central Station


Old Quebec Street Shoppes (OQSS), Skyline and the Cooperators:


1 Staff reviewed a parking plan with OQSS, representatives of Skyline, and the Cooperators in February when the City expected to close the parkade for two months. Staff followed up with OQSS on March 29 with an update on the extension of the closure via email and telephone. Note: these stakeholders were responsible for consulting with and informing tenants and employees of coming parking changes.

2 Staff relocated OQQS doctors to signed, reserved parking spots at the East Surface lot

3 Staff added more on-street parking to support OQQS medical patients and shop patrons including:

a four accessible spots on Macdonell Street

b six additional on-street spots on the west side of Wyndham Street near OQQS

c two on-street, reserved parking only spots in on the east side of Wyndham Street near OQQS

4 Staff added a loading zone for OQSS deliveries in the laneway off Macdonell

5 Staff placed a parkade attendant at the East Parkade to manage access during core business hours

Western Hotel:

1 Staff relocated reserved parking spaces for overnight hotel guests from the West Parkade to the Macdonell Street lot

Downtown Advisory Committee / Downtown Guelph Business Association:

1 Staff provided updates about the West Parkade closure at the February 22 and April 19 Downtown Advisory Committee (DAC) meetings, and at the April 3 and April 11 Downtown Guelph Business Association (DGBA) meetings

2 Staff worked with business owners to create map of available parking options for their customers

3 Bylaw and Parking staff created an increased downtown parking enforcement plan

4 Staff worked with the DGBA to identify additional parking capacity in the downtown

5 Staff added on-street parking capacity for 15 vehicles in the downtown core (including the 12 spots listed above for OQQS)

6 Staff provided an update on parking mitigation strategies at the DGBA membership meeting on April 30

River Run & Sleeman Centre:

1 Staff from Parking, River Run and the Sleeman Centre worked together to establish a process to determine parking options on an event-by-event basis

2 Staff created maps to help direct patrons to available parking locations

3 Staff added dedicated on-street spaces for drop-offs/pick-ups and short-term (15 minute) parking

Land leasing for additional parking:

1 The City leased two parcels of land on Elizabeth Street to add 250 spots in 2016 (lease continues). This is known as the Elizabeth Street lot

2 Staff investigated leasing options for a privately owned lot on Duke Street; no contract signed

3 Staff is currently negotiating the rental of a private property that would provide parking space for 75 vehicles


1 The City reduced the monthly parking permit fee from $106.01 for the West Parkade to $60.58 for the Elizabeth Street lot, a 43 per cent reduction in cost

2 Staff put permits for West Parkade users who preferred not to move into the Elizabeth Street lot on hold and will not be charged for the duration of the closure; these permit holders can reclaim their space when the lot reopens

Actions still being explored:


1 Staff has surveyed the downtown periphery for on-street parking availability and have identified parking spaces for:

a 85 vehicles pending a change to from time-limited parking to all day parking

b 60-90 vehicles pending a change to no parking to all day parking

This addition of up to 175 spaces, in addition to the 15 on-street spaces added in the core, could cover the loss of the 106 casual-use (i.e. non-permit) parking spaces unavailable due to the closure of the West Parkade, as well as the 86 casual-use spaces unavailable due to the closure of the Wilson lot. This option may require Council direction and will be presented at the May 7 Committee of the Whole meeting.

2.    Staff is considering establishing Downtown Ambassadors to walk the downtown and provide assistance to the public in locating on-street and off-street parking, answering questions regarding the West Parkade closure, and handing out materials to downtown businesses relating to parking



Staff had planned for the West Parkade to be closed for two months this summer. Communications about the closure were already underway with key stakeholders, and staff was preparing to communicate the two-month closure publicly in March when planned structural repairs that started in 2017 resumed. Once this work got underway, the contractor determined that more significant structural repairs were needed. These repairs cannot be completed while maintaining safe access to the parkade.

Staff connected directly with key stakeholders to advise them of the earlier start and extension of the closure as soon as possible. This included consultation with Old Quebec Street Shoppes management, the Cooperators, the Downtown Advisory Group and the Downtown Guelph Business Association.

Since then we have been working to address this unexpected loss of parking in a number of ways including:

• adding new parking spaces in the downtown core,

• adding more downtown periphery on-street parking, and

• leasing additional lot space from private owners.

We will continue to provide you with updates as they are available.

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