St. George’s Anglican Church is putting its foot down on free parking.

For years they looked the other way as frustrated drivers, unable to find spots in downtown Guelph, parked in its lot.

But that’s about to change.

The church says it will now be charging a fee to park.

“We’ve always turned a blind eye, in particular for event parking in the evenings,” says Rev. Ralph Blackman. “It gets really difficult for us to work and sort of control events in our church when we have limited parking.”

“No Parking” signs have not deterred drivers in the past.

So the church is now charging a fee of $10, which can be paid at the entrance of the parking lot.

The revenue earned could help with the lot’s maintenance.

“The parking lot needs to be rebuilt and part of that is the sheer volume of drivers going in there,” says Rev. Blackman.

The cost could climb into the thousands.

“Ten dollars is a lot for whatever I would be coming downtown for,” says Guelph resident Kristin Hohenad. “But I understand why they would be doing it.”

The church says the money will be used to upgrade the lot. Excess revenue will be donated to community programs.