GODERICH, ONT. -- It’s taken nearly two years, but Goderich’s famed shoreline boardwalk is nearing completion.  

“We plan on having it finished for sure, everything complete, with the parking metres put in place as well, all by the July 1 long weekend,” says Goderich’s Mayor, John Grace.

Once it’s complete, Goderich’s iconic 1.8 kilometre shoreline boardwalk will draw thousands of tourists to the waterfront, and it will cost them to park ther.

For the first time in Goderich’s history there will be a cost to park from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and it is expected to begin as early as June 1, for everyone except Goderich residents, who will park for free.

“At either end of the day it will be free to everyone, but during the heavy usage, there will be paid parking, but not for the residents of Goderich,” says Grace.

The $20/day, $4/hour parking may be a surprise to some tourists this summer, but is largely being viewed favourably by Goderich residents, who are eager to see some order restored to their waterfront.

“I think it’s going to bring some organization down there, and maybe make it more fair,” says Goderich business owner Denata Stanbury.

Grace anticipates the paid parking revenues will help fund more bylaw enforcement along the waterfront, and future projects to keep Goderich’s shoreline in tip-top shape.

“The parking meters are going to allow us to gain some revenues, so we can keep investing in the waterfront itself,” says Grace.

Grace says the parking meters should be in place by June 1, while the boardwalk will be complete no later than July 1.