Business Owner In Tears Dealing With Parking Issues Downtown


A Local businesswomen is at  her “wits end” with the City and the Downtown parking issue.

Tamar Ford owns and operates  Tamar’s Trends – a small business on Queen Street .

In a video rant posted on social media Ford is clearly frustrated with the paid parking problems in the downtown area.  Ford complains that, it is hard enough to run a business in Sault Ste. Marie and shouldn’t have to worry about parking tickets to her and her customers weekly.

Since posting the video, a firestorm of comments support Ford and think the city needs to be more business friendly when it comes to paid parking.

ONNtv has reached out to Ford and we hope to provide a full story with comments from her and the city coming up tomorrow.


  1. No matter what city you go to you pay to park. When we were in ottawa it cost us 30 dollars a night to park at our hotel. We went to the mall and aftet 2 hours in the mall it cost us 14 dollars to get out of the parking garage there.

  2. There are 2 hour free parking lots…I use them all the time…..if I can get a spot. What frustrates me is the Fabricland parking lot…corner of Bay and Elgin….supposed to be for Fabricland customers ONLY! I’m lucky if I can get a spot there…..and it’s not because people are shopping at Fabricland …..sadly, Fabricland realizes it’s a problem but they don’t have the manpower to monitor it…..
    I have gone straight back home if I could not get a free spot downtown in their free lots…

  3. There are so many parking issues that us business owners have to deal with!

    Paid parking is one – and people taking advantage of a stores parking lot is another. We own a business on Queen and every single time there is something going on at the Gardens, our lot is packed. Sometimes we, literally, have to squeeze out of our front door when we close because they’re parked right up to the door. Also, forget bringing inventory to the store on these nights because we can’t even park in our own lot. Many customers of ours have complained to us that they can’t come to the store because there is no place for them to park.

    I definitely feel her frustration in this video.

  4. How about one-hour free parking downtown anywhere monitored as they do in the 2 hour lots. This will prevent employees from taking spots designed for customers. If you need more than an hour use the 2 hour lots that are close by.

  5. Poor traffic, poor parking and over priced lot rentals. Unless you are providing a government supported service or entertainment, opening anything downtown is a bad business decision. The sault is not growing up. They are growing out

  6. This city is ridiculous everything is a cash grab and where does the money go, to someone who makes 100 grand plus a year so they can get a bonus then jack our taxes up and PUC claiming they don’t have money to maintain water sewer or roads the people who make the decisions in this town are a joke this city is dying because of it

  7. I feel for you! It’s absolute insanity! I want to cry for you! Come on city council get this right! stop charging to park in a already struggling downtown! Give the merchants a break! And us the potential customer

  8. I entirely agree to her as I’m a downtown owner as well and I feel
    Just the same firstly no one wants to come to downtown as it’s dead by 5 pm everything closed down and on top of that that parking issues !! We should all be together on this and fix the problem !

  9. Brutal parking downtown. When I worked downtown our parking was a block and a half from the office. If we parked in other spots we got tickets. Terrible to deal with the city too!! The only solution the city offered was to pay 300.00 a year for a different parking lot. Rediculous!!

  10. I know exactly how you feel Tamar Ford parking is a HUGE problem in the downtown. If they weren’t paying someone to monitor the costs would be less. Get rid of paid parking!! The taxes downtown are also very high. Come on Sault Ste. Marie. Let’s be forward thinking and promote our downtown businesses by having free parking!! I know you agree Marnie Stone!

    • Jean Morrison there is a merit to paid parking when it’s done correctly…like through an app instead of physical meters and kiosks. That way it’s a running total that goes directly to a credit card and any overages will be billed accordingly without dinging people for overdue parking meters. Paid parking should be used to pay for infrastructure costs in the downtown area that directly benefits of merchants in the area. Free parking will bring people who squat and sit on a spot for hours on end leaving legitimate customers and guests to restaurants and other venues looking for a spot that’s far away. I recommend you read or listen to the book “the high cost of free parking”

    • YES! parking downtown is so frustrating and an inhibitor to people shopping there. I’ve paid kallions in tickets – thinking you are only going to be an hour/pay for parking/are 4 minutes over and ticketed. I swear our parking attendants must be paid on commission lol Absolutley should be free parking if the city really wants to promote the downtown.

    • Stephen Findlay legitimate points and having a more convenient payment method might help. However, People sit in their cars in front of my office most of the day anyway without paying while waiting for someone at the clinic (that’s another story). The high commercial tax rate should be contributing very nicely to the infrastructure as well. This paid parking and the tickets that go with it seem to offend and deter which affects small business owners
      Thanks for the recommendation on the read also, I will check it out.

    • Jean Morrison I can’t believe what I was witnessing outside the clinic while I was waiting for my appointment. Why put a clinic on our main downtown street? I was embarrassed as a community member at what tourists would be witnessing. One girl half dressed threw down a lit cigarette before she entered and another in her PJ’s came along and picked up her cigarette and then went in the clinic. Gross!!!

  11. This is Sault Ste Marie not Toronto just a money grab here no need to charge for parking and these parking tickets are a perfect example of the greed.
    They know your garbage day and are waiting around the corner to pounce.
    Totally agree with her rant .

  12. Hi.. I got a parking ticket and the guy was so rude.. I told him he must of been wait and watching me, he swore at me, I called his boss and nothing happened.. that’s how they make a living so they hide and seek.. very sad situation..

  13. I moved away to the east coast and was pleasantly surprised to find cities don’t have to have garbage downtown roads and layout and can be fun and accessible. Sault Ste. Marie really needs a new downtown.

  14. The parking downtown is absolutely awful! I only go down there if I’m going to Fabricland who has their own free parking. My friend works downtown and has to park two blocks from her job. It doesn’t sound like much but in our winters that is a nasty cold walk. Maybe some of that empty shop space can be bought up and used for parking? There’s actually a few shops on queen I’d love to go to but haven’t yet because there’s no where to park the car!

  15. I do not go downtown unless I have to go to Fabricland. Then I park in the free parking on the corner of Bay St. I used the machine to get my parking pass in Halifax and my credit card was compromised. I will not use these machines again.

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