OPEN LETTER TO HRM: Objection to the implementation of paid parking on weeknights and Saturdays

Dear Mayor Savage and HRM Councillors,

We are writing on behalf of the businesses in the downtown areas of Halifax and Dartmouth, as well as their customers, from all over the municipality. We wish to express our deep concern at the prospect of HRM, for the first time ever, charging for on-street parking on weekdays after 6pm and on Saturdays.

The Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) of Downtown Dartmouth, Downtown Halifax, and Spring Garden Area all understand the role that enforced on-street parking plays in ensuring customer turnover to our business areas, and we work closely with HRM staff on parking management. We are appreciative of efforts, such as the implementation of the parking app and the recent parking demand study. However, we cannot agree that now is the time to make such a significant policy shift as adding evening and weekend parking charges.

In our member surveys and conversations, parking is almost always cited as the top concern among businesses and customers. The perception of lack of availability, and concerns about the costs always put us at a competitive disadvantage vis a vis our prime competition, malls and big box parks. This will impact not only downtown’s regular customer base, but perhaps even moreso the occasional visitor, coming for a Mooseheads game, Neptune performance, or the Alderney Farmer’s Market. Implementing these changes, for the first time, may bring in a modest return for the municipality’s general revenues, but it would come at a real cost to our businesses, and add to the customer perception that downtown is not convenient. 

Small businesses, particularly those in our downtowns, continue to try and recover. This change will create a new obstacle for them and their customers to overcome. Now is not the time. 


Respectfully submitted,


Tim Rissesco, Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission

Paul MacKinnon, Downtown Halifax Business Commission

Sue Uteck, Spring Garden Area Business Association

To our Downtown Halifax business community:

If you wish to voice your concerns based on how this initiative might negatively impact your business(es), we encourage you to contact the Mayor and local councillors before March 29th, 2023They need to hear it directly from those who will be most impacted.

You can find a full list of HRM councillors at or contact, which will automatically send the correspondence to all of Council.