In an effort to draw more people to the downtown core, Trenton offers free parking during the Christmas season. Ever since I can remember, this has been a Yuletide constant.
You wouldn't think people would grumble about the cost of parking because 25 cents gets you half an hour in Quinte West, but believe it or not, I have actually heard people cite that as a reason why they go to Walmart instead. The concept of free parking should help to get some of the cheap pricks thrifty shoppers back into the downtown core.
Downtown Trenton has many fine merchants, and it's a good place to shop. I know a lot of the store owners, and the last few years have been a bit of a struggle, as it has been in many downtown cores across the continent. It's very hard to compete with the big box stores.
This year things have turned around a little bit. There seems to be a bit of life downtown again with some of the building owners pumping some much needed money into their buildings and a few of the chronically vacant stores have found new tenants.
If you want to come and shop in town, just come and grab a free spot. If you are feeling particularly generous, just drop some money into the parking meter anyway. All funds collected will be going towards the Food For Learning, a program that supplies over 10,000 children in the Schools within the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board; the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board; Conseil des Ecoles Publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario; and the Quinte Mohawk School with nutritional food.
Many children in this part of Ontario come from families that are below the poverty line. Programs like these are vital for many of them, and sadly, this program might provide some of them with the only really nutritious food that they get on a daily basis. Don't be a Grinch, pay the parking anyway and support our children as well as our downtown vendors.