One man's campaign to allow tourists to park for free
An Ottawa man who calls himself the "parking angel" says tourists should have access to free parking in the Capital.
Allan Shields, who regularly puts change into other people's expired parking metres, says the City of Ottawa should provide tourists with three-day passes that would allow them to park for free while visiting the Capital.
Shields says in light of all the money spent to bring tourists to Ottawa, visitors shouldn't be faced with the threat of a parking ticket.
He says bylaw officers who hand out parking tickets to tourists are "taking advantage of them." According Shields, city officials should follow what's currently being done in other cities.
"Gatineau has a two-day pass and I go to Whitehorse in the Yukon and they have a three-day pass. That's the first I thing I do. I go right to City Hall right away and then I'm good for three days and I don't have to pay a metre or nothing," Shields said.
Ottawa's tourism authority, though, says it isn't convinced tourist parking passes are needed in the Capital.
"It's not the number one priority for Ottawa Tourism," said Jantine Van Kregten. "We're still doing our work to entice the tourists to get here, but I think most expect to pay for parking when they park on our streets."
While city officials say out-of-towners are often excused from paying parking tickets, the city doesn't have a parking policy to accommodate tourists.
"Currently there is no policy, there is no program specifically for tourists or for visitors in the city," said Rob Orchin, of Ottawa traffic and parking operations.
A full review of parking in Ottawa is expected to be complete in October.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Chris Day