Visitors to Canmore's popular Quarry Lake Park will have to pay for parking

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Canmore town council has approved a plan to start charging for parking at Quarry Lake Park.  (Dave Gilson/CBC - image credit)
Canmore town council has approved a plan to start charging for parking at Quarry Lake Park. (Dave Gilson/CBC - image credit)

Canmore town council has approved a new paid parking program Quarry Lake Park, a spot that's hugely popular with locals and visitors to the mountain town.

The new measures are aimed at helping to manage parking and visitor demand, including the kinds of crowds and congestion that hit many outdoor areas across the province last summer.

The fee will be $20 for up to four hours during the summer peak season and $10 dollars during off-peak season every day from 7 a.m until 10 p.m.

Local residents are eligible for one free annual pass per household.

Mayor John Borrowman says the plan was driven by public feedback, congestion concerns and cleanup costs.

"Popular locations like Quarry Lake were literally overwhelmed by visitors, which was frustrating for residents," he said.

Nearby residential areas will also have a new seasonal parking permit zone aimed at preventing overflow parking problems there.

The town says revenue from the parking will fund some maintenance and upgrade work at the park.

Council also approved a plan to create a free seasonal transit route to Quarry Lake, Grassi Lakes and the Nordic Centre, starting sometime in 2022.