Innisfil residents can now rent out their driveways using Rover app

The Rover app is changing parking accessibility in Innisfil by pairing residents with extra parking space with visitors looking for parking.

New partnership launched with 2 dedicated Rover parking spaces at Innisfil Beach Park

Innisfil residents who have extra space in their driveway can now register their extra spot on the Rover app. Mayor Lynn Dollin says the municipality does not allow on-street parking in the winter. (Submitted by Lynn Dollin)

The Town of Innisfil is taking an innovative approach to parking.

It's the first municipality to partner with Rover, a parking app, in a pilot project that could help solve the parking problem along Lake Simcoe.

That means an extra 70 parking spots, including some in residential driveways. 

"Some of our parks have public parking, but it's limited," explained Innisfil Mayor, Lynn Dollin on CBC's Ontario Morning. "We also have a great deal of winter snow in our municipality and we don't allow on-street parking in the winter."

Residents who have extra space in their driveway can go on the Rover app to register their extra spot, when it's available, and how much they'd like to charge for it.

Visitors can then go on the app and identify where in Innisfil they're looking for parking. Available spots will show up, and the preferred parking space can be booked and paid for through the app.

The new partnership was launched on Monday with the unveiling of two dedicated Rover parking spaces at Innisfil Beach Park.

Dollin explained it's not meant to replace the paid parking at the beach, but to encourage alternative parking, to keep visitors from parking in No Parking zones.

Dollin said Innisfil is a popular destination with a lot of beach access and road access onto the Lake that has limited or no public parking.

This new approach is not just for summer or beach parking.

"In the winter, we're a popular ice fishing destination. Now those people can access the lake for their ice fishing but then park in a driveway as opposed to on the side of the road," Dollin said.

The mayor has assured concerned residents that there will be zero car-covered lawns. She said parking spots must be vetted by both Rover and the town's Zoning Administrator and that it must be a "legal parking spot" in your driveway. 

Dollin said they're also excited to possibly have the first Rover docks. 

One marina has signed up the extra spaces on their docks so people can book a dock and come to town.

Innisfil has gained a reputation for innovation that began with its ridesharing transportation system in partnership with Uber.

Innisfil also became the first municipality to allow residents to pay their taxes with Bitcoin, through an agreement with Toronto-based Coinberry Ltd.