Calgary’s downtown parking rates are the highest in Canada and the second highest in North America. It’s not expensive for no reason, though. Calgary has one of the densest downtown cores in North America, and in a business community that’s driven by downtown-centric, high-earning Oil and Gas companies, if you want to do business in Calgary you need to be downtown.
It can be tough to find a decent and affordable place to park your car in downtown Calgary, and while we do have our own parking stalls that we rent to our guests for $15/day, there aren’t many options anywhere near that price point anywhere else in downtown Calgary. But, there are a few here and there that aren’t too bad.
There are not many of these. I’ve included some map links to a few lots spread out around Calgary’s downtown core that go for less than $20/day, but you can find many more of them on Parkopedia.
Keep in mind that you can still park on many streets in downtown Calgary, but you have to be exceptionally careful about where you do it. One of my morning rituals is to sip a coffee while I look out the window of our check-in office at 6:59 AM to watch the droves of tow trucks line up at the end of 12th Avenue SW. By the time of I finish my coffee at 7:05, any cars that were foolish enough to park on the street overnight have been towed to the city’s the enormous tow lot. Don’t worry, you can rescue your car from that limbo, after you pay for the tow and the ticket, which is typically around $200 – $250.
You see, in downtown Calgary, you have to be very, very careful where you park. If you make even a tiny mistake, you can fall victim to the strong arm of our horribly efficient parking authority.
The Devil went down to Calgary. He was lookin’ for a car to ticket.
He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind. He was willing to make a deal.
Then he came across this young man writin’ up a ticket and writin’ it hot.
And the Devil jumped upon a Stampede Hay Bale and said “Boy, let me tell you what.”
“I bet you didn’t know it, but I’m a ticket giver, too.
And if you care to get some flair I’ll make a deal with you.
Now you write a pretty good ticket, boy, but give the Devil his due.
I’ll make a ticket-giving-car to help you out ’cause hand written tickets are through.”
The Devil summoned up his car and he said, “I’ll start this show.”
And fire flew from his fingertips as he ticketed up Place Bow.
He drove the car across the Peace Bridge and it made an evil hiss.
And a band of demons joined in and the devil said “Ahhh, bliss”.
As a system Park Plus is totally objective, very efficient, and very hard to game. For these reasons it is an administrator’s dream, and a motorist’s nightmare. Because all the tickets are catalogued and sent electronically based on a digital registration system, you have next to no chance of getting away without paying for your parking. The worst cases are when you accidentally go over your paid time by one or two minutes. If one of those Park Plus cars drives by, you will get a ticket in you mail. It truly is diabolical.
Jonathan Meier is the Online Marketing Coordinator for Nuvo Hotel Suites, a small boutique hotel in downtown Calgary, Alberta (to learn more about Nuvo peruse the rest of the site, or check out our Facebook Page). When he’s not at his desk, he’s usually out in the mountains near his hometown of Canmore where he can be seen climbing, skiing, or doing anything at all that doesn’t involve computers.