Story and photo by Kyla Morgan
When you hear the word token, you might think of the subway, Chucky Cheese or, with Valentine’s Day sneaking up, ‘a token of my affection’.
In Oshawa though, it means a less stressful way to park and visit downtown businesses.
Designed, minted and available to the public in 1999, the brass, quarter-sized tokens can be used for 30 minutes of parking in downtown Oshawa.
Initially introduced for the business community, the parking tokens allow companies to provide great customer service even before the customer walks through their doors by paying for your parking.
“Many downtown businesses, like Wilson Furniture and Liberty Tax Service, have benefitted from this program,” said Gordon Proctor, parking maintenance supervisor for the city of Oshawa.
Tokens can be used at downtown parking lots, street parking meters and the Centre Street and Mary Street parkades.
But soon, you might not even have to bother with the tokens.
“We’re investigating technologies that would allow you to pay for parking on your phone or other device,” said Charles Dummett, the manager of parking services for the city of Oshawa. “With the way technology’s going, we’re looking at virtual payment options.”
He said it’s just a matter of time, finding the right vendor with the right price and of course getting the approval from council for the shift. This change is still in the development and research phase and for now, the tokens are working well, he said.
So, if you’re planning on visiting a local business, you may be able to park for free; just call ahead and see.
For more information on the parking token program click here.