Residents seek parking solutions for Quidi Vidi

Andrew Robinson
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Concerns raised, ideas discussed at public meeting

Tuesday evening’s public meeting at the Quidi Vidi Plantation allowed residents to share their frustrations and point to parking solutions for the area

(From left) Judy Ryerson, chairwoman of the Quidi Vidi Foundation and St. John’s Coun. Jonathan Galgay hosted a public meeting regarding the issue of parking in Quidi Vidi Village Tuesday night at the Quidi Vidi Plantation. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

The meeting was held almost a week after Ward 2 Coun. Jonathan Galgay brought to council’s attention the concerns of Quidi Vidi residents who felt it was a poor decision to allow the restaurant Mallard Cottage to open with only two parking spaces. As a heritage property, Mallard Cottage was given a parking exemption and told overflow parking at the city-owned Quidi Vidi Plantation would suffice.

Galgay hosted Tuesday’s meeting with Judy Ryerson, chairwoman of the Quidi Vidi Village Foundation. Approximately 50 people attended, including chef Todd Perrin, one of the co-owners of Mallard Cottage.

Multiple residents recalled situations where Mallard Cottage customers have either used their private parking spaces or asked to use them. Anne Barnes, a resident who lives next to the Plantation building, said people have offered her money in exchange for her parking spot in front of her home.

Barnes has encountered customers who have made rude gestures towards her after being informed they couldn’t park in front of her home.

Multiple residents also spoke of trying to have vehicles towed for being illegally parked. However, tow-truck operators have been reluctant to do that. Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Sgt. Joe Boland said residents can call police, who will investigate and issue a ticket for the vehicle. Galgay said the City of St. John’s has no legal or enforcement authority on such matters.

Perrin, who was one of the last people to speak during the hour-long meeting, said he could appreciate the concerns expressed about parking. As a resident of the area for 10 years, Perrin said parking in Quidi Vidi has always been a matter worth discussing, He admitted his restaurant has increased demand for parking spaces.

“We’ve had tables of four show up with two vehicles,” Perrin said. “So you know, it’s a constant battle.”

As a business, Perrin said Mallard Cottage has done as well as it can with respect to parking. An arrangement was made with a land owner to secure additional parking spaces along the waterfront.

“I’ll take my lumps if I need to take them, but I’m not going to apologize for what we’ve done over at Mallard Cottage, and I don’t think anybody should expect me to,” he said. “We followed all the rules that we needed to follow. We followed the procedure, we did what we could, and we did it the right way, and we opened a restaurant that we’re very proud of. We helped save a building that we’re also very proud of, and I hope that everyone else can be proud of it too here in the village.”

Perrin and others spoke of the need to create additional parking spaces. He noted that the Quidi Vidi Development Plan from 2006 identified 10 areas where additional parking spaces could be created. According to Perrin, only two of those areas now provide places to park — the infilled area beside Quidi Vidi Brewery and the Plantation.

“There’s a bunch of areas that have been identified, and it’s something that’s long past due,” said Perrin.

While Perrin said he was not prepared to apologize for the situation, at least two people at the meeting suggested he should do so. However, several others who spoke specifically stated there grievances were not with the business itself, but with how the City of St. John’s has handled the parking portfolio in Quidi Vidi.



Organizations: Quidi Vidi Village Foundation, Quidi Vidi Development Plan

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Recent comments

  • Dood
    March 05, 2014 - 20:28

    The city needs to widen the road down there. They need to expropriate some of the older houses and do the work. Fix the place up a bit. Make it look nice for tourists.

  • Norm
    March 05, 2014 - 16:23

    I recently returned to St. John's after an extended absence and was pleasantly surprised when I make the trip to the Village, and Mallard Cottage. I proudly told my companions of the efforts made to save the Cottage, and the community spirit that lead to the opening of such a fine, and I stress, fine, establishment in what used to be an area of the city that few ever visited, and fewer still brought anyone to. Lately, I have been following the parking story and am truly embarassed by the small minded attitude displayed by Counsellor Galgay along with some residents and fellow business owners. Yes, there is limited parking (I experienced that myself) but it used to be that Newfoundlanders banded together to make things work - not attempt to shut down another man's operation. It is sad, very sad, that this is what we have become. Has anyone considered that the fact that Mallard Cottage exists as a restaurant can have a positive impact on the Cottage's neighbours? Isn't it quite possible that people who come to the Village to visit Mallard Cottage may just stop into the Inn for a drink? Isn't it quite possible that those people who come to the Village to visit Mallard Cottage may just encourage the City to develop the infrastructure in the Village - not just for parking but in other areas as well? Isn't it quite possible that those people who come to the Village to visit Mallard Cottage may just tell others what a great place this is and as a result bring additional revenues into the City and the Province? Whining about a car parked in front of your house is not how I used to know Newfoundlanders. I remember Newfoundlanders who would ENCOURAGE people to park, so that the guy who's trying to make a go of it had a better chance of doing so . . . This whole issue is sad, and embarassing.

  • Duggan
    March 05, 2014 - 16:09

    Simply, does Todd Perrin believe it is acceptable for his patrons to inconveniece or insult residents? As for Galgay's comments regarding the City's inability to enforce parking regulations by ticketing or towing, isn't Quidi Vidi part of the City. As for the RNC, what about article 121 of the Highway Enforcement Act which states it is illegal to block anyone's driveway anywhere in Newfoundland and Labrador? Peculiar.

  • Janet Henley
    March 05, 2014 - 13:00

    What Quidi Vidi needs is a road through it and a moratorium on development until the road issues are addressed. There is new development now on a piece of land just west of Mallard Cottage where there is more than enough land to also widen the road. It is single lane traffic, with little snow clearing. People have been parking on the single lane road for years. Several new homes have been built on the main lane through the village in recent years but no land has been expropriated for road widening. Add the traffic from the new houses the city allowed on the harbour itself and the source of the problem is obvious - poor planning and greed for taxes.

  • Bayman
    March 05, 2014 - 12:04

    Mallard Cottage is about the only reason to even bother going to Quidi Vidi. There is zero charm to the place. The monster homes and that ridiculous fishing stage with the dormer windows have gutted the place of any charm whatsoever. And when the owner of The Always Empty Inn of Olde says "If I park my truck a certain way on my lot" what she really means is that when she parks her truck precisely to block access to her usually empty parking lot. People understandably get annoyed. Instead of being a good neighbour, and perhaps even allowing Perrin to pay for space in her lot, she has chosen to go the typical old school Newfoundlander route of doing whatever is possible just to stop a fellow Newfoundlander from getting ahead and making a go of something. Residents of Quidi Vidi are showing small minded bay-mentality at it's worst, and should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Guy Incognito
      March 05, 2014 - 13:56

      Small minded bay mentality? You are the one that should be ashamed of themself with your ignorant remarks. Is your name meant to be sarcastic?

    • Jay
      March 05, 2014 - 17:02

      Bayman, I'm sure the good residents of Quidi Vidi will be happy for you and your own small minded bay mentality to stay away. I haven't heard any of them be as ignorant as you. I just wish that city council would do some planning for the development of this city.

    • Lloyd
      March 06, 2014 - 01:27

      You should hang your head so low for making such low grade comments. That is the lowest of the lowest. If you were a journalist, I would call it yellow journalism. The Inn Of Olde has been in the Village for ever. I met Linda several years ago. She is a great lady, and a cancer survivor, like that of my own sister. If you can afford to go to the restaurant there, you can well afford to get a taxi. There were no problems until the restaurant opened, and customers park everywhere. No respect. I wonder if someone parked in one of the driveways of the customers that frequent the restaurant, what would be said. The shoe would be on the other foot then. I rest my case.