Step aside Lot N, there is a further, more distant parking lot on campus now. Just announced last Thursday, construction will begin in December on a new temporary lot located on the corner of University Drive and McGill in the former Canadian Freightways lot.
Including the overflow lot at Upper College Heights that TRU purchased this year this will be TRU’s fourth economy lot and available for parking at the start of January.
TRU purchased the land back in 2015, claiming that it supports the needs of an expanding community on campus or in this case, covers for a rapid decline in parking options on campus with the construction of the Reach and the new nursing building.
Outlined in the 2014 Campus Master Guidelines, existing parking space numbers were to stay fixed across campus and as new developments took over old lots, alternatives were to be found. This is the case for this new XT lot and the recently paved Lot NT but not before students, staff and faculty have raised concerns over the sheer lack of parking at TRU.
These two new lots also delay the need for TRU to begin developing more structured lots, such as a parkade or an underground parking structure. According to a January 2018 memo addressed to the Budget Committee of Senate regarding parking recommendations provided by TRUSU, Glenn Read, executive director Athletics, Recreation & Ancillary Services, parking structures aren’t an affordable solution at the current time.
It is unknown if this temporary lot, providing over 245 new stalls, will become a permanent parking lot down the road, but for now, the campus now has over 2,850 parking spaces. This conforms with the Campus Master Plan of maintaining roughly 2,481 stalls, with this new lot creating over 1,100 economy stalls in total.
As for the distance of the lot, it is a closer walking distance to Walmart and the TCC rather than buildings such as Arts and Education or the Clock Tower, vice-president Administration and Finance Matt Milovick wrote in an email to students that this new lot “envisions a sustainable, community-oriented walkable university village with property in the campus core preserved for new buildings.”
With parking rates at a pause for the 2018/2019 year, semester-long economy lot permits will still be priced at $200, with a half day rate of $4.