River Access Parking System and Mitigation Plan 2022

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Consultation has concluded

Thank you for your participation! Please review the approved 2022 River Access Parking Mitigation Strategy here.



The County of Brant’s stunning physical geographical features have become a significant attraction for visitors. The County’s river access points have experienced visitor loads which exceed parking and overall capacities to the detriment of local residents.

In 2021, the County of Brant implemented a new strategy to help address resident’s concerns regarding parking in the public river access areas, Eric Thomlinson in Glen Morris, and Penman’s Dam and Bean Park in Paris. The strategy included:

Thank you for your participation! Please review the approved 2022 River Access Parking Mitigation Strategy here.



The County of Brant’s stunning physical geographical features have become a significant attraction for visitors. The County’s river access points have experienced visitor loads which exceed parking and overall capacities to the detriment of local residents.

In 2021, the County of Brant implemented a new strategy to help address resident’s concerns regarding parking in the public river access areas, Eric Thomlinson in Glen Morris, and Penman’s Dam and Bean Park in Paris. The strategy included:

  • A seasonal residential parking permit system in the River Access Zones
  • Increased enforcement of seasonal parking restrictions
  • Increased parking violation fees
  • No permits for commercial operators
  • Requested partnership with other river stakeholders on management and capacity issues

Positive feedback was received from residents and tourists regarding the 2021 season. With these positive results in mind, the County of Brant plans to implement a similar approach with some enhancements for the 2022 season including:

  • Commercial river access permits will not be issued to any commercial outfitter for the 2022 season
  • The County of Brant By-law Enforcement team will monitor and enforce parking restrictions at each river access point on weekends and holidays
  • The River Access Zone Residential Parking Permits will continue in the 2022 season in the same geographical areas as were included in 2021
  • In addition to the one (1) parking permit issued per address, two (2) visitor permits will be issued per address and each visitor parking permit will allow one (1) plated visitor vehicle per address. If a resident requires additional visitor parking permits, they may contact the County directly.
  • The County of Brant will work towards a formal partnership with the City of Brantford, Grand River Conservation Authority, and other applicable stakeholders to explore river capacity, safety and future launch point infrastructure and locations.
  • The County of Brant will host and promote public education opportunities regarding river safety
  • New signage will be installed in the river access zones

Engage with Us!

Share your comments, ideas and questions below.


Please see below for more information on River Access Points.

Eric Thomlinson River Access on Forbes Drive, Glen Morris is designated as a commercial permit location. The parking lot for the launch is owned by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA). There are 40 parking spaces available at this site, 9 of which are new parking spots created in partnership between the County and the GRCA, following the 2020 season.


Penman's Dam Park River Access in Paris is designated as a commercial permit location. There are 29 parking spaces available within the park. Visitors may also be directed to park at the Syl Apps Community Centre, where 60 parking spaces are available, noting that these spots are shared with activities that may be booked within the Community Centre.


Bean Park River Access in Paris is designated as a non-commercial permit location. There are 28 parking spaces available within the park.


Share with us your thoughts!

How do you feel about the proposed 2022 River Access User Mitigation Strategy recommendations? What would you change? Should the County of Brant put any other measures in place?

Consultation has concluded
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Manager Stevenson & Director Ballantyne,
Thank you for reaching out to gather responses. I live on Forbes St, and like many other residents of Glen Morris, have noticed changes in response to community concern of public use of the trail head and boat launch area.

As I have communicated to Mayor Bailey and my councillors, I enjoy seeing people using the trail and boat launch, and consider myself very fortunate to be living in a beautiful and publicly appreciated area of Brant County. With increased tourism in the area, our roads are getting plowed faster, the parking lot size has grown, the community is developing, the elementary school and library remain open and property values are increasing. In my opinion, all good things.

I feel that the County’s response to any perceived issues with trail/river use and parking SHOULD NOT be flowing over onto my neighbors’ streets in other areas of Glen Morris. Other residents of Glen Morris should not have to shoulder the burden. The solutions to any perceived problems should be acted on within the confines of Forbes St and the GRCA parking lot.

I have no complaints about people parking on my grass or alongside my property while visiting the river and trail. I welcome visitors here and am happy to be able to share my space when they are looking for a place to park. I did not request the parking permit program, and am not interested in having more signs, or any bylaw officers and regulations present in the future.

cderuytter 8 months ago

Please direct tourism to the Syl Apps arena and install a proper crosswalk. This is the nearest public washroom for river users and tourists, and the only options for people to cross William, are to go downtown, or go to a busy, confusing, uncontrolled series of crosswalks at the intersection of William and Willow. The natural tendency for foot traffic is going to always be to cross at Elm st, where people are faced with a 4 lane raceway. A well marked controlled crossing would also serve a dual purpose of calming traffic by making them aware that pedestrians still exist, and they are not on a thoroughfare. They use this opportunity to pass as quickly as possible, racing toward the only crossings people can use to reach Syl Apps. If you are a pedestrian at the green space, you have to make 5 crossings to get to the opposite side of William st. 2 of which are high traffic volume "yields" which traffic rarely stops at. It is difficult to teach children to navigate this crossing safely, and even adults unfamiliar with it do so at their peril. It's hard to understand why such a simple solution to parking and river access (Syl Apps) goes under utilized and under promoted. As a long time resident of Elm st also, it has felt very invasive to have bylaw officers racing through our neighborhood. We have never had issues with parking or tourists on our street, despite the increase in visitors, the only thing affecting our particular neighborhood are the bylaws imposed on us as tax paying residents.

jseamone 9 months ago

We have lived at 28 Elm Street in Paris since 1978 and up to last year it was quite enjoyable and we had few if any issues with the situation on the street. We have no problem with people using the dam area for recreation as we do ourselves. Last year with the new restrictions imposed on us by Brant County it was a like a nightmare on Elm Street. For one we were not comfortable with the bylaw enforcement personnel using Elm Street to circle the block as they looked for people that they could ticket for parking in restricted areas. We had issues with them speeding and from personal experience had a rude gesture when I attempted to slow one of them down (long blackish color hair). At times there were over a half a dozen bylaw enforcement personnel roaming about the area parking wherever they felt with little regard for others. We had registered complaints with bylaw enforcement and OPP with minimal success. We were told that the county had a bylaw that allowed county personnel to park wherever and whenever they wanted and there may be instance in a emergency were they would have to exceed the speed limit; I am not sure how circling the block could be considered an emergency but who am I to say so. From a personal standpoint we had issues with the parking restrictions as we work from home and often have co-workers and business associates stop by on a regular basis. These visits may only be from 15 minutes or slightly more but as they cannot park on the street they have to use the Penmans dam parking lot. Similarly for our children who live close and visit often they have to use the Penmans parking lot which gets crowded at times. In 2021 we received permits for 3 vehicles as these are the vehicles that we keep at 28 Elm street. Two of these vehicles are registered commercially for which we have been told we should not have received permits. So now when we stop by at home for lunch or to pick up something if we do not have space in the driveway (We have a shared driveway) we will have to use the Penmans dam parking lot. As indicated for us the parking restrictions have been nothing but a headache.
Here are some suggestions
Have designated parking areas for the bylaw enforcement personnel
Install speed bumps on Elm street to discourage the bylaw enforcement personnel and other from speeding
Provide training and PPE to the bylaw enforcement personnel who took it on to themselves to direct traffic at the dam area
If this is a tourist designated area then the steps from Elm Street to the top of the dike should be brought up to code. There should be consideration for Accessible parking and either a ramp or elevator to make this a fully accessible area
Make a safe crossing at William and Elm street as it is only time before someone gets hurt
Move the 'No Exit' sign at Thompson lane in to the lane as many who travel this street who are not from here think Elm Street is a dead end and use our driveway/lawn to turn around

Brandt 9 months ago

I should also point out that residents on Princess Street north of East River Road are disproportionally affected by the parking restrictions. Parking is not allowed on their part of Princess Street. At the very least, permitted parking should be allowed during "tourist" season.

There are also some other minor details that are not observable at the current map scale but are noticeable on the ground.

jeff leader 9 months ago

15 minute loading and unloading zones have been shown to cause issues at Forbes Street. This launch has become so popular there are more people trying to load and unload than this location geographically or zoning-wise allows for. In peak times, this is a challenge for all users, bi-law officers and the community living on this street.
This is a multi-use location (hiking, biking and river access). Why can we not locate this river launch on a non-residential street like every single other GRCA park, trail or launch?
Sign, sign everywhere a sign. There have been signs installed that make no sense to anyone. "location of the Glen Morris School" - who benefits from this sign? The community knows where their children attend school. Do visitors and strangers really need to know?
The county has promoted the community of Glen Morris as a tourist destination and the private residences on Forbes Street are the only ones not benefiting from this. In fact, the value of our properties, our safety, and our ability to relax in our own homes during peak times has become negatively impacted. Please remember that we are also "stakeholders".

Vpinchin 9 months ago

Would love to see the parking access at the dam expanded into the Greenspace behind elm street. Possibly add a kiosk with restrooms. Blocking off street parking makes it nearly impossible for residents to find river access parking with all the tourists in town. We need to expand all parking, not minimize it. The same with Bean park. Need to find a way to expand the parking space available.

Darling 9 months ago

I have personally witnessed bylaw workers instruct people using Willow Street by the Penmans Dam to load or offload kayaks to use Walnut Street as a legal alternative. This has created a surge of tourists using Walnut Street for day parking, causing tremendous stress for residents.
Why not increase the current parking in the unused greenspace on Willow Street behind Elm Street? Perhaps build a kiosk similar to LA Franks in Camebridge that includes a municipal owned building with restrooms, and a snack stand that creates revenue for the municipality? This would create possible student jobs, alleviate the need for river tourists to walk to Syl Apps for bathroom facilities (many just use the surrounding trees instead,) and make the area a more efficient entrance and exit access point.
Even having a driveway built on my property, I am regularly restricted from access to that driveway because of the volume of daytrippers. In the winter time Walnut Street is one of the forgotten roads for snow removal, but it is the scapegoat for the mismanagement of the tourism boom. Seems to me that growth and revenue means more to our municipal leaders then supporting long time tax paying residents.
When I visit another town I go out of my way to not inconvenience the local population. Please don't chase the money and prestige and think about the quality of life that your current taxpayers expect.

Gregg Thomad 9 months ago

Thank you for taking the time and effort to put together a proposal for the 2022 Season.
I've put together a few responses regarding the Trail & River Access in Glen Morris. The responses are generally consistent with our historical correspondence.
A. Do not add permitted parking to Dunbar unless the neighbours on that street want it.
B. The proposed 15 minute loading zone should be reduced in size so that it doesn't include use of the Emergency Access area. Furthermore, the Emergency Access gate should be moved from the Trail to Forbes St. and road markings/paint should be used to delineate that the area is for emergency access (not parking, loading/unloading).
C. Glen Morris should not be used for gross Commercial Purposes unless it is Ecotourism (https://ecotourism.org/what-is-ecotourism/)
D. Of course, we want to see a reduction and consolidation of signage (not more signage). This is consistent with the Wayfinding Strategy, "Place only a few, small, harmonious signs" (SKA, 2018).

On a sidenote, last year, affected residents were allowed two parking permits for each household. This year, the proposal indicates "In addition to the one (1) parking permit issued per address, two (2) visitor permits will be issued per address and each visitor parking permit will allow one (1) plated visitor vehicle per address. ". I'm presuming that the additional visitor parking permits can be used by members of the household in the same way as the non-visitor parking permit.

jeff leader 9 months ago

We have 3 vehicles registered as residents of Willow Street. Are we allowed the 3 parking permits plus visitor permits? How many visitor permits?
The seasonal parking restriction on Willow Street needs to be extended from the current end at Smith Street East to William Street. This will compete the natural parking flow during the season where currently that block is becoming an issue to local residents.
Parking along the north side of William Street also needs to be prohibited, at least during the same hours as the other neighbourhood restrictions in order to provide a safer environment for both drivers and pedestrians.
A proper crosswalk (push button light?) needs to be established to allow safe crossing from the Elm Street across William Street.

WillowPaxton 9 months ago