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A Guide to Cheaper & Easier Parking

by Calgary Downtown Association


Downtown Calgary Parking App

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Valet at The CORE

A lot of people still don’t know that the CORE Shopping Centre does valet parking. This is unfortunate because the CORE has some amazing stores you won’t find anywhere else in Calgary, and the valet takes the guesswork out of finding a parking spot. No more circling the mall parking lot searching for a spot.

The valet service is free! Just pay for applicable parking fees. ($6/hour weekdays until 4pm, get 3 free hours after 4pm and just $2 flat rate after that!)

Bike Parking in Major Buildings and Parkades

The City of Calgary has added many new bicycle-parking racks in a number of areas on and around the Cycle Track Network (which is completely free). The Calgary Parking Authority, as well as many of the large office towers including The Bow building have indoor bicycle parking. Rates and availability vary from property to property, so contact your building manager for more information, or check out the CPA website to see if there is available parking for your bicycle.

Street parking rates fluctuate during the day

The Calgary Parking Authority annually adjusts the price of ParkPlus rates for street parking based on demand.

Street parking is FREE after 6pm and on Sundays!

This is a big one that some people still don’t realize. After 6pm you do not have to pay to park in ParkPlus zones for on-street parking. The free period applies from 6pm until the beginning of the pay-period the next day. Check the exact On-Street Parking Rates in Calgary

Many parking zones don’t require payment between 6pm and 9am, however some zones start earlier so be sure to check the sign or do some research on our parking tool to ensure you don’t get a ticket!

Different lots & parkades are owned and operated by different companies

This isn’t always apparent, as the last thing you probably care about is the management company of the stall you’re about to park in. In addition to the Calgary Parking Authority, which owns and manages many lots and parkades downtown, companies like IndigoImpark, ParkChampwest WestPark have different rates and procedures for paying. Having an idea of what companies operate what parkades can help you make choices based on price, convenience and options like paying using your mobile phone.

Evening Parking for Less

There are a number of parkades that offer enticing rates for evening parking and some even start at 4pm.  Calgary Parking Authority has great deals for evening parking, as well as the Core Shopping centre with Free parking after 3pm on weekdays, find out more here.  

50% Off Fridays

The Calgary Parking Authority’s newest promotion is pretty great.  To enjoy Friday’s even more, get 50% off your daily max rate in 5 of their managed lots.

  1. City Centre
  2. McDougall
  3. City Hall
  4. James Short
  5. Centennial

Save with Public Transit

While you may not have a CTrain stop within walking distance to your home, many Calgarians already ‘Park and Ride’ in to the downtown core. Park at one of the many ‘Park and Ride’ lots along any of the four CTrain lines and take the train in to the core. There reserved spots ($85/month) as well as free options, just pay for your transit ticket. Here’s a list of Park & Ride Locations in Calgary.

Try parking in the east or west end of downtown and use the Free Fare Zone to get closer to your destination.

Downtown Office Parking

Buildings such as Eighth Avenue Place and The Bow building, have added a number of parking options for cars and bicycles.

Both properties have free outdoor parking for bicycles and underground bike parking for employees who work in the building! 

Date Night

Thompsons Restaurant, located in the Hyatt Hotel, 700 Centre Street SE) ,in partnership with Theatre Calgary, a Stellar Set Dinner Menu inclusive of wine or bubbles is offered on theatre nights. The dining experience comes with complimentary self-parking at the hotel's parkade which is only a five-minute stroll to the theatre.

Park small & save BIG!

Small vehicles (cars measuring 380 cm in length or less) can receive a discount on most on-street ParkPlus parking zones,

Accessible on Street Parking

In effort to make accessible parking easier for those that need it, 20 on-street accessible parking stalls in the downtown have been painted a bright blue. Find a Blue Curb Location convenient for you.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations

As technology gets better, so do the cars and the parking! With the increasing number of electric vehicles on the streets of downtown Calgary, CPA is now offering EV charging stations in select parkades

Free to use for our electric vehicle driving customers! (Must pay for parking session, one station available at each parkade.)

Monthly Parking

Monthly parking is available at various locations in the downtown core, which are run by individual companies and properties. Below are the links to the monthly parking available the various parking companies.

Things To Watch For

Parking Signs

There is a lot of on street parking in the downtown core, however there are also restrictions on using that type of parking.  Always make sure to look for posted parking restrictions. Street parking is ever changing and throughout the year time-limited areas expand and rush-hour signage multiplies.

Check signage and time restrictions downtown carefully. Many major roadways in the downtown core have rush-hour no-stopping zones. If your vehicle is parked at one of these locations during the posted rush-hour times, it will be towed and impounded.

In addition, watch for temporary parking restriction signs such as construction zones and street cleaning signs that are posted on normally quiet and busy streets.

Pay for parking

Most parking tickets issued in Calgary are for failing to pay for parking pay zones. As soon as you park your vehicle, make sure to pay for parking. The City of Calgary Traffic Bylaw states that motorists intending to use a metered space, a ticket-controlled space, or a zone controlled space are to make payment for parking "immediately after parking the vehicle."

Street parking can be paid through the on street machines or via the MyParking app App.  Lot parking, whether you use, Indigo

Be careful in Alleys

There are many alleys in downtown and some times it is easier to duck in for a quick second to pick something up or drop something off, but there are several parking restrictions in alleys. 

  • Blocking the alley (leaving less than 3 metres clearance)
  • Blocking a private driveway or garage (leaving less than 1.5m clearance)
  • Blocking a signed fire door
  • Obstructing traffic
  • Central Traffic Zone alley - commercial vehicle maximum 20 min
  • Narrow Alley - 6.1m or less
  • Electrical Transformer - leaving less than 3 metres clearance

Corners

Corners are an inviting temptation to the frustrated driver looking for parking. Beware! City of Calgary bylaw requires vehicles to park 5 metres from the inside edge of the intersecting sidewalk. That is roughly 16 feet, or just over a car length. This restriction is to provide pedestrians, cyclists and motorists a clear field of vision and space when approaching intersections.

Leave bus stops for buses

Drivers often pull into bus stops to wait for a friend, buy a cup of coffee or use a bank machine. Even a quick stop blocks the zone, forcing Calgary Transit drivers to unload or load passengers on the street.

This is a potential hazard for elderly and handicapped passengers and an inconvenience for other motorists when the bus is unable to pull into the zone.

Know the difference between "no parking" and "no stopping"

The "No Stopping" symbol is the most restrictive parking regulation. Once a vehicle has ceased moving, even if it is occupied, it is deemed stopped. Bus, Tour Bus, Taxi, Commercial and No Stopping zones are all off limits to unauthorized vehicles. You take the risk of being ticketed and towed if you stop in that area.

The "No Parking" allows drivers to use these zones (e.g. Passenger, Loading, and No Parking Anytime) to load or unload goods or to pick up or discharge passengers.

Accessible Parking

Accessible spaces are a necessity for those with disabilities. Be a good person and leave accessible spaces for those who truly need them.

Accessible parking is only enforced through signage. Symbols painted on the roadway do not legally mark an accessible parking stall.

A government issued handicapped placard must be visible to the officer from the exterior of the vehicle. Typically one sign will be present with an arrow and a zone length in meters.

Be Cautious

Look to see what signs are by your car, whether you are too close to a corner.  If you are unsure, then look for a new parking space. 

Parking Bans

Keep up-to-date with Snow Route Parking Ban Updates  and Bylaw Information.

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