Why has the District Introduced pay parking?

    In the past, informal beach parking patterns have negatively impacted the experience of visitors and residents.  In frequent cases, informal and poor parking habits resulted in degraded road user safety, infrastructure damage, high enforcement needs and reduced parking convenience/access. 

    In 2021, the District committed to improving public parking layout and design and proposed the introduction of beach pay parking to pay for related parking costs, including dedicated enforcement resources.  Up until now, parking related costs have been funded from taxation.

    Pay Parking is a proven way to increase parking availability in publicly used spaces and provide more opportunities for shared access to public assets.

    Pay parking revenues can also provide a new, important funding source to support other programs, services, and facilities.

    Is parking free for Tofino and First Nation residents?

    Yes. Council has endorsed a 2021/22 model of fare-free annual parking passes for residents of Tofino, Ahousaht, Opitsaht, Esowista, Hesquiaht and Tyhistanis.  

    How do I obtain the free or discounted annual parking permit?

    Permits are available via the online registration portal.

    Annual permits provide free parking access for registered vehicles until October 31.

    Can I purchase an annual parking pass if I am not eligible for a free permit?

    Yes. Parking can be accessed with payment for hourly, day and annual passes.

    These are available for purchase at the pay stations within the beach parking lots, or via the online parking apps, which will be highlighted in the new pay parking signage.

    How much does parking cost?

      • Day passes are $12.

      • Hourly parking costs $3 for the first two hours, and $3 each hour afterwards.

      • Parking passes are valid for any District Beach Pay Parking location.

      • These rates are subject to change in future years.

    Can I get a free pass for my business vehicle?

    No. Municipalities are prohibited from providing assistance to businesses under section 25 of the Community Charter. Providing free parking pass for a business-owned vehicle would violate this rule. However, business owners can pay for hourly, day and annual passes and parking receipts can be recorded as a business expenses.

    Parking passes can be purchased at the pay stations within the beach parking lots, or via the online parking apps, which is highlighted in the pay parking signage throughout the community.

    What will the parking revenue/funds be used for?

    Parking revenues are commonly used to pay for parking system infrastructure and operating costs. This new revenue stream could offset these costs, which are currently funded from taxation. 

    Costs associated with parking include washroom construction, operation and maintenance, parking lot surface maintenance and repair, drainage, power/internet, signs and other costs.

    Staff plan to engage with the public on the issue of parking revenue in the coming months and then open public discussions with Council during the financial planning process.

    How is pay parking being managed at Lynn Road, Osprey Lane, Thornberg Crescent or Chesterman Beach Road?

    Lynn Road, Chesterman Beach Road, Osprey Lane, Thornberg Crescent – are all subject to the same pay parking regulations as Beach Pay Parking. 

    For clarity, parking is currently prohibited at these locations between 11 PM and 6 AM, which aligns with other beach parking restrictions meant to reduce the instances of illegal overnight camping. 

    Allowing overnight parking will likely require additional enforcement and its associated costs.  

    Late night visitor parking stays and overnight camping are known to create nuisance, litter, waste and damage to neighbouring public and private properties.  The parking of private vehicles on public property (ie. roadways) also increases wear and tear on infrastructure, removes public parking capacity and associated revenues and adds enforcement and monitoring costs. 

    Property owners along these streets are required to provide adequate parking for their residents.  Vacation rental property owners are legally obligated to provide adequate visitor parking on their premises, as per District of Tofino Business Licence Regulation Bylaw No. 858, 2000. 

    During Beach Pay Parking Public engagement sessions, members from the community highlighted a need for temporary / infrequent road parking for visitors.  Overnight parking permits are now available for purchase and are meant for infrequent use by eligible residents when guests are visiting. These permits are intended for occasional use and are not developed nor intended for regular parking solutions. Permits can be purchased for $20/night at the Municipal Office with proof of residency and corresponding vehicle and owner information for the parked vehicle.

    Frank Island residents can apply for an overnight parking permit for their own vehicles at the cost of $50/month, which permits them to park at spots next to Middle Chesterman Beach access.

    Some members of our community have highlighted that they have been negatively impacted by this change and do not have adequate parking on their landlord’s property and would otherwise be required to pay or find alternative arrangements and are inconvenienced disproportionately.  Staff are reviewing the public feedback related to overnight parking and will consolidate and present findings to Council in the coming weeks. 

    Is pay parking available using a digital parking app, or just via physical kiosks?

    Customers can pay and manage their parking needs via the parking meter (credit card or coin payment), via digital apps such as Honk Mobile AppPay By Phone App and also payment through a 1-800 number listed on the parking signage.

    Are there other parking restrictions at the beach locations?

    Other restrictions apply and will be signposted.

    Please follow the rules and park responsibly. Tickets will be issued for all parking infractions.

    How is pay parking being enforced?

    Dedicated parking ambassadors are enforcing beach pay parking 7 days a week and are available to help and direct parkers and ensure the rules are followed.

    Beach Pay Parking is in effect between 8 AM and 11 PM each day.

    How do I find out more information or contact the District regarding pay parking?

    For more information visit tofino.ca/parking and talktofino.ca/beach-pay-parking.

    If you have additional questions or concerns, please email parking@tofino.ca