Elora clearing the way for pedestrians and safe distancing

Downtown streets will be closed to vehicular traffic starting this weekend

ELORA – Streets in downtown Elora will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning this weekend in an effort to free up space for pedestrians to visit the village and still adhere to physical distancing requirements.

Centre Wellington CAO Andy Goldie told council at its May 25 meeting the township has been working with the BIAs in Elora and Fergus to try and help them as businesses open up.

“The sidewalks are not large enough for social distancing,” Goldie said.

He said the proposal came from the Elora BIA and the township has agreed to put up barriers and signage.

“This creative solution was possible because of the teamwork of downtown merchants, Elora BIA, Township of Centre Wellington and Wellington County,” stated Mayor Kelly Linton in a May 27 press release.

“Closing sections of our downtown opens the streetscape, allows for physical distancing, and provides a new pedestrian friendly downtown hub.”

The streets will be closed from 9am on Saturday until 7pm Sunday, although barriers can be moved to allow for early morning deliveries.

Affected streets include:

  • West Mill Street from Price Street to Metcalfe Street;
  • East Mill Street from Metcalfe to the Karger Gallery;
  • Metcalfe (from West Mill to Geddes); and
  • no parking on Church Street West on weekends (this will become a two-way street for residents).

Centre Wellington map


Shoppers are invited to park at the following locations:

  • south parking lot at the LCBO (23 Metcalfe St.);
  • Elora and District Community Centre (29 David St. W.);
  • Elora Mill parking lot on the south side of the river; and
  • at the front and rear of the municipal office parking lot (1 MacDonald Square).

“We know it won’t be perfect the first time,” Goldie said.

“After this weekend we will streamline it. We have to be flexible as we go.”

Elora BIA chair Jonathan Laurencic said the BIA is “excited” about the closures.

“The challenges of COVID-19 to local businesses have been unprecedented and require creative solutions to promote positive economic impacts,” stated Laurencic.

“We believe that pedestrians and shop owners will benefit from the ability to physical distance while taking part in a unique shopping experience in our downtown.”

Goldie said he’s meeting with the Fergus BIA this week and there could be a similar arrangement in Fergus.

The township has decided to put its plan for three-hour on-street parking on downtown streets in Fergus and Elora on ice for the time being as well.

The time-limit parking plan was to begin this month.

Metcalfe Street, Elora. (Photo by Keegan Taylor)