The end of daylight saving time in Montreal marked the onset of shorter days, but for those who live and visit Ville-Marie, it also heralds the launch of longer parking meter hours. Starting on November 15, as nights draw in earlier, residents will need to mind the extended parking regulations that are set to roll out across five parts of the borough.
Parking policy takes a U-turn
The move comes after back-and-forth earlier this year over lengthening the hours of paid parking and an alleged lack of consultation with local businesses and opposition. The parking changes sparked a debate over municipal transparency, resulting in a withdrawal of the proposed measures in April.
Some small business owners expressed concern that the added costs could drive customers to seek alternatives in areas with free parking. Other critics said the longer hours could unfairly target downtown workers and patrons, especially those frequenting evening activities. Now, after discussions that have presumably addressed the concerns of major stakeholders, the updated measures are moving forward.
Streets in Montreal that will see extended parking hours on November 15.Courtesy of L’Agence de mobilité durable.
City officials have justified the adjustments to parking hours as a necessary modernization of Montreal's downtown parking policy. This update aims to match current usage patterns and align with the extended operating hours of local businesses and cultural institutions that often stay open beyond the previous parking meter cutoff time.
The update is part of a broader city plan to encourage the use of public transportation and reduce traffic congestion in the downtown core. The city has said the measures will improve the turnover rate of parking spaces, which could increase the availability of on-street parking during peak hours.
Metered evenings extend
In Ville-Marie, which covers downtown Montreal and Old Port, parking meters will begin charging from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays. Sundays will keep the 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. timeframe.
The changes impact five areas in Ville-Marie:
- The streets surrounding Guy, Sherbrooke Ouest, du Parc, and René-Lévesque Ouest;
- The blocks bounded by Guy, René-Lévesque Ouest, Saint-Hubert, Saint-Antoine, and Saint-Jacques;
- The areas along Saint-Laurent, Sherbrooke Ouest, Saint-Hubert, and René-Lévesque Ouest;
- The vicinity of Robert-Bourassa, Saint-Antoine, and de la Commune;
- The neighbourhood around du Parc, Sherbrooke Ouest, Saint-Laurent, and René-Lévesque.
Drivers will also be able to pay for parking for up to five hours, up from the previous three-hour maximum.
Parking signs in Montreal during the fall.Jerome Cid | Dreamstime
The city has said the extended meter hours will be accompanied by increased enforcement to ensure a smooth transition and adherence to the new rules.
Montrealers are being encouraged to take note of the new parking times and plan their parking downtown accordingly. The city also suggests using public transportation, cycling, or walking as an alternative means to access downtown, which could help ease the transition for those concerned about the parking changes.
Either way, keep an eye out for those meters; they're not winding down anytime soon.