A cynic might start off this article by saying “nowhere”, and while there are areas where you can probably get away with not paying for parking, I have to warn you, it is a very high-risk affair in downtown Calgary. While we do offer parking stall rentals to our guests at $15/day, we don;t have enough of them to rent to anyone who isn’t staying here. Parking space is a rare thing in downtown Calgary. In fact, parking space is at such a premium that Calgary now has the second most expensive parking in North America, right behind New York City. In short, there are to many cars, and not enough street. While there are definitely some lower cost options for hourly parking (TD Center, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Eau Claire Market), if you want to leave your car somewhere for a whole day, it’ll probably cost you somewhere in the neighbourhood of $25-$40, depending on location.
Street parking overnight can be a decent alternative, but it really, really, depends on where you park. Calgary has some of the most ridiculously vague and contradictory parking signs on the planet. On the same street you can park in one spot from 6 PM to 8 AM absolutely free, two feet further down you only have 20 Minutes, another car length later you can only park from 8PM to 7AM. It’s awful, and Calgary’s fleet of automated ParkPlus ticketing cars will send you a multi-hundred dollar ticket digitally without even so much as a ‘how-do-you-do’, and twenty minutes later your car will be towed.
So, if you’re parking on the street, for the love of all that is holy check the street signs. Also, try parking in one of the residential areas downtown, for the most part the time restrictions are swapped in favour of a permit which is rarely checked for. Where are these neighbourhoods?
Well, here’s a map.
Jonathan Meier is the Online Marketing and Social Media Coordinator for Nuvo Hotel Suites, a small boutique hotel in downtown Calgary, Alberta (to learn more about the 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.
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