Check your change: It's not always easy to pay for parking

Vernon's parking meters don't accept coins issued after April of 2012.

VERNON - What’s worse than paying double for your parking spot? A serious contender must be finding out your shiny loonie is too new to be accepted in the machine.

That’s the frustrating scenario many local and visiting drivers have experienced of late. Vernon’s parking metres don’t accept coins issued after April of 2012 and though the city is gradually installing new machines, it could take a few years to phase the old ones out completely.

It’s the latest in a series of grumbles over Vernon’s metres. Last year, the city doubled the rates to a dollar an hour—not popular with Vernon’s downtown business sector. Next, concerns arose over the height of the new metres.

If you look closely, the original metres have small decals on them advising what mints are accepted. Unfortunately, no one notices them until it’s too late, Coun. Brian Quiring says.

“It’s a huge problem. Half the people say they threw their money in and it didn’t accept it,” Quiring says.

His concerns were echoed by Coun. Juliette Cunningham who says it’s been frustrating enough for the public to deal with the new parking rates.

Council’s solution? Bigger stickers.

At a cost of $4,300 the city will put larger decals on 700 parking metres indicating what coins are accepted. Hopefully you don’t miss them, because the machine keeps your money, even when it won’t register it.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

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