Oro-Medonte staff recommend township decline Orillia's waterfront parking offer

·2 min read

A request from Orillia for a one-time payment allowing Oro-Medonte residents to park at its waterfront this summer has hit a roadblock.

“Taking into consideration the Township of Oro-Medonte’s park system — inclusive of waterfront parks and boat launches — and the costs associated with Orillia’s 2021 waterfront parking program, staff are recommending the township decline Orillia’s proposal,” said Oro-Medonte spokesperson Jenny Leggett.

A letter sent on April 1 by Orillia council to Oro-Medonte, Severn and Ramara townships, as well as the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, requested a single payment of 50 cents per person, based on the population of each township, be made for no-charge waterfront parking and boat-launch privileges.

Oro-Medonte’s share was $10,518, based on 2016 Statistics Canada Census data showing 21,036 residents in the township.

Orillia Deputy Clerk Megan Williams’ letter to Oro-Medonte’s mayor and council stated, “the purpose of the program is to ensure the health and safety of the community, manage crowd control at Orillia’s waterfronts and discourage travel to Orillia from other more restrictive colour zones” which were prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic in early April.

Since April 8, the province has further tightened shutdown restrictions and is discouraging travel between municipalities.

Williams will not comment directly on Oro-Medonte’s response, but Jennifer Ruff, Orillia’s director of business development and communications stated in an email April 15 she was not aware of the decision.

“The City of Orillia has not yet received any official correspondence from Oro-Medonte Township regarding Orillia’s waterfront parking program,” Ruff said.

Orillia could revert to last summer’s fees of $50 for both waterfront parking or to launch a boat if its proposal falls through.

Ramara will be considering Orillia’s offer on April 19.

Lynn Racicot, communications officer at the Township of Severn, said council voted against participating in the waterfront program.

Oro-Medonte residents will be receiving two parking passes in the mail that will be in affect between May 1 and Oct. 31 to park at local waterfront locations.

Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance