High demand and low supply means Calgarians pay the steepest parking rates in the nation – so it’s worth planning ahead before taking your own car into the city.
Earlier this year, a new report found that parking in downtown Calgary is more expensive than in any other Canadian city. And while this is unlikely to be news to those who live there, for more transient visitors the hefty prices are likely to come as a real shock. But fear not, as we’ve done the research so you don’t need to and come up with the best tips on how to find affordable parking – for anything from overnight all the way through to several months – in downtown.
As with pretty much all cities, the options for short-term parking in downtown Calgary mainly come down to metred street parking or off-street lots and garages. There are a large number of metered street spaces available, with prices starting at CA$0.25 cents per hour, rising to almost CA$4 per hour, depending on the area. Alternatively, if you prefer the security of off-street covered parking, there are several lots and garages dotted across downtown. Our number one pick is a garage located at the Watermark Tower, steps away from Bankers Hall, where you’ll pay CA$6 per hour with a daily maximum charge of CA$19.05. Another garage we’d recommend is situated within the CORE shopping mall, which charges $6 per hour and a daily maximum of $45.
You can book both garages on Spothero.com, as well as at several other parking lots in downtown Calgary.
Free parking in downtown Calgary
Calgary Parking Authority offer free street parking after 6pm daily and all day Sundays and public holidays. You can also shop and get three hours of free validated parking at The CORE Shopping Centre, while at Banker’s Hall you can park overnight for just CA$2, and at the Bow Parkade behind Hudson’s Bay for $3 for evening and weekend overnight parking. Alternatively, while not free, if you want to park off-street, you can get 50% off Fridays after 11am every week at several authority-run downtown garages and lots.
Long-stay parking in downtown Calgary
If you’re staying in Calgary for a longer period but don’t have any private parking at your hotel, you may want to think about finding a long-term parking spot to save you searching for metred street parking each day or paying hefty day rates at a garage. So, for example, at Calgary Tower Parkade, located on the southern borders of downtown, day rates start at CA$13, but monthly rates are upwards of CA$130 – representing a saving of almost $10 per day compared with paying for individual days for an entire month.
For the best parking rates in downtown Calgary, go to Spothero.com.