A busy parking garage in the core of the ByWard Market is closing Wednesday in order for the City to do a "top-to-bottom refresh."

The 290 spots in the parking garage at 70 Clarence Street will be unavailable until early May.

The repairs are part of the structure’s “life cycle” says councillor Mathieu Fleury. “We don't like to close these things, it’s an important infrastructure in the core of the market and will be missed in the short periods but we are reopening the weekend of Mother’s Day.”

Fleury says the repairs will cost at least $1.6 million and include a new basement floor, new paint, new doors, and improvements to the fire alarms and electrical systems. The City will also be improving the foundation walls and repairing the concrete in the building.

But the closure worries some business owners, including the King Eddy on Clarence. Head chef Johnny Scratch says, “When you lose that much parking, that's a huge amount of parking spots! I can tell how busy we will be by watching the number goes down. I think every business in the market is the same.”

Scratch says he newly opened restaurant’s customers rely on having parking right across the street. “The roads are going to be so congested people are going to circle, circle, circle… and honking - there is going to be a lot of road rage!”

The businesses in the Market will remain open but there will be traffic impacts and closures of sidewalks and lanes on ByWard Market Square, Clarence Street and York Street from time to time, as required.

During the closure, the city says people are encouraged to park at the City of Ottawa Dalhousie Parking Garage at 141 Clarence between Dalhousie and Clarence. On-street parking options will remain the same.