Sudbury has the dubious distinction of being the first Canadian city to install parking meters. 1. Sudbury has the dubious distinction of being the first Canadian city to install parking meters. Rather than a cash grab, the meters were installed in 1940 to encourage people to use public transit and to discourage people who worked downtown from using customer parking. In those days, a nickel bought an hour of parking. Today parking at a downtown meter costs $1.30 per hour on weekdays before 6 pm. There is a two-hour time limit. Sudbury residents have it better than citizens in other cities. Chicago has some of the most expensive metered parking in North America. It can cost up to $6.50 an hour and the money goes into the pockets of a private company. The Toronto Parking Authority operates approximately 17,500 metered parking spaces. The spaces are in core commercial areas and the city’s retail strips. Paid on-street parking varies from $3 to $4 per hour. Metered parking in Montreal’s prime spots is $3 per hour. Vancouver meters are in effect from 9 am to 10 pm daily, including holidays. Depending on the meter location, parking rates are $1 to $6 per hour. Most meters have a two-hour time limit. Parking in a New York City lot can cost as much as $25 per hour. Parking near 30 Rock (Rockefeller Center) costs $625 per month. A monthly pass for parking in central Rome costs about $620. In Sudbury, the cost of parking at city-owned lots downtown varies from $41 per month (at the VIA Station) to $72 per month behind Sudbury Arena. It costs $8.25 to park for the day in the arena lot. This compares to $15.80 per day to park in the bowels of Tom Davies Square. According to Shannon Dowling, the communications spokesperson for the city, approximately $412,000 is collected from metered parking and $1.3 million is collected from the city’s 10 lots,. “Parking revenues are netted against operating expenses and, at the end of the year, any net surplus of revenue in excess of $200,000 goes to the parking reserve,” says Dowling. “This is in accordance with the reserve and reserve fund bylaw. The money that goes to reserve is used to fund future capital projects related to parking operations (such as replacement, expansion, rehab of existing lots as well as new lots). Dowling gives this hypothetical example. “Total revenues are $2 million, total expenses are $1.5 million resulting in a net surplus of $500,000. The operating budget would realize $200,000 of the net surplus, with the remaining $300,000 to be deposited in to the parking reserve.” 2. Nickelback signed their first contract with a major record company while they were playing at the Towne House. 3. Shania Twain was born in Timmins but spent a few of her formative years in Sudbury. She kicked off her first North American tour at Sudbury Arena. 4 The television movie of Shania Twain’s life was shot in Sudbury with scenes at The Towne House. 5. Elton John, Dire Straits, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, 50 Cent, Avril Lavigne and Hedley have played Sudbury Arena. 6. NASA astronauts practised for their moonlanding in Sudbury in 1971-72/ 7. The song “Sudbury Saturday Night” was penned by Stompin’ Tom in the lounge of the Town House on Elgin St. 8. Tim Horton went to high school in Sudbury. 9. In the 1940s, the City of Sudbury was the first city in Canada to install parking meters. 10. The first privately owned television station in Canada went on the air in Sudbury in 1953. 11. In addition to the Big Nickel, there was once a Big Penny.