Downtown Calgary is such a nightmare to park in, you almost want to beg a lot to take your money. Here’s a few alternative parking tips:
1. The surface lots in the East Village, adjacent to downtown, are pretty reasonable: $7-9 a day (versus $22). These are the lots between 6th and 9th Ave and 2nd and 5th St SE. (Just hop on LRT and its a free ride back to the heart of downtown.)
2. Telus Convention Centre Parkade. Right in the heart of the Stephen Avenue Mall, convenient as hell for a Happy Hour swiftie or a steak dinner. After 4pm, it’s free. Doesn’t get any better than that.
3. EPCOR Centre. Evening parking rates here kick in (contrary to the signs) at 4pm, where you can park it for the night for a flat $5, then go upstairs and see a play or a concert.
4. Meters are free after 6pm and all day Sunday, and only 75 cents an hour during the day Saturday. (Check out Sixth Avenue just west of the where the construction has closed the street. There are two blocks worth of metered parking that are rarely used at night).
5. If you’re late for a hockey game, try the street a block east of the Saddledome lots. If you have a business trip out of town for a couple days and need a lot near the airport, your best bet is the Westjet parking lot. There’s a shuttle to the departure terminal, and all the airport staff park there.