Oct 09

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Parking in Downtown Calgary

by Downtown Calgary · 3 comments


This past year, one of our most popular blog posts has been “Cheap Parking in Downtown Calgary”. It’s no surprise that Calgarians are looking for ways to save when parking in Downtown Calgary. The reality is that parking costs vary and can get pricey.

Thankfully, here at GetDown we have an insider’s edge on parking so here are some tips, facts and helpful notes to help you save some money, spare some confusion and ease some of the challenges around coming to Downtown Calgary.

  1. Valet at The CORE
    1. 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.
    2. 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!)
    3. Learn more here: Core Shopping Centre Parking
  2. Bike Parking in Major Buildings and Parkades
    1. 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.
  3. Street parking rates fluctuate during the day
    1. The Calgary Parking Authority launched a pilot recently that adjusts the price of ParkPlus rates for street parking based on the time of day. More information here.
    2. During the Noon hour lunch rush the parking demand increases and it tends to be harder to find a spot due to the many restaurants in the area.
    3. If you wish to come downtown for a medical appointment or to meet with a client, consider scheduling it a bit earlier or later in the workday. This will make it a bit easier to find a spot, and you’ll save a bit of money in the process!
  4. Street parking is FREE after 6pm and on Sundays!
    1. 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
    2. 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!
  5. Different lots & parkades are owned and operated by different companies
    1. 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 Indigo, Impark, and 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.
  6. $2 evening parking
    1. There are a number of parkades that offer flat rate parking for just $2 in the evenings and on weekends. After 6pm parking availability is high so if you’re coming down to see a show, do some shopping or have dinner you can find a cheap spot in a parkade which is especially handy in the winter! In CPA parkades the $2 flat rate is valid until 6am, with an option to extend to 10am on Saturdays and Sundays.
  7. Save with Public Transit
    1. 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.
    2. Try parking in the east or west end of downtown and use the Free Fare Zone to get closer to your destination.
  8. New Buildings = New Parking
    1. Recently a number of new buildings have opened up including Eighth Avenue Place and The Bow building, which has added a number of parking options for cars and bicycles.
    2. Both properties have free outdoor parking for bicycles and underground bike parking for employees who work in the building! (Bike parking links: The Bow Building, Eighth Avenue Place)

Got your own parking tips? E-mail [email protected] and let us know!

You can get more information on Cheap Downtown Calgary parking and try our Downtown Calgary parking tool.

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