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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 6:21 PM
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Free street parking in the CBD - a list and a reckoning

What's the significance? Is it essentially an encouragement to drive into town, and an acknowledgment that this can be done fairly easily? Is a city more "successful" by urbanist standards if you have to pay? What cities don't offer it, but should? And vice versa?

Cities for which I know the free parking status:

Toronto: No
Oakville: No
Burlington: No
Barrie: No
Stratford: No
Niagara-on-the-Lake: No
St. Catharines: No
Ottawa: No

Kitchener: Yes
London: Yes
Guelph: Yes

Montreal: No
Quebec City: No
Trois-Rivières: No
Sherbrooke: No

I wonder if there are any surprises out there? The only one for me on this list is St. Catharines, a fairly depressed place with a hollowed out manufacturing sector. It's essentially inside the tourist region of Niagara but offers little of interest to visitors.

Edit: My mistake, Ottawa doesn't have free parking.

Last edited by rousseau; Dec 20, 2017 at 8:04 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 6:24 PM
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The only time there's free municipal parking for Hamilton is right now, during the holidays.
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 6:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
What's the significance? Is it essentially an encouragement to drive into town, and an acknowledgment that this can be done fairly easily? Is a city more "successful" by urbanist standards if you have to pay? What cities don't offer it, but should? And vice versa?

Cities for which I know the free parking status:

Toronto: No
Oakville: No
Burlington: No
Barrie: No
Stratford: No
Niagara-on-the-Lake: No
St. Catharines: No

Ottawa: Yes
Kitchener: Yes
London: Yes
Guelph: Yes

Montreal: No
Quebec City: No
Trois-Rivières: No
Sherbrooke: No

I wonder if there are any surprises out there? The only one for me on this list is St. Catharines, a fairly depressed place with a hollowed out manufacturing sector. It's essentially inside the tourist region of Niagara but offers little of interest to visitors.
even smaller cities in the 50-100k range don't have free parking.
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 6:33 PM
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What are the parameters for this? Weekday? Any time?
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 7:27 PM
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Downtown Winnipeg has free on-street parking outside of (I think) 8:30-5:30 weekdays.

There has been talk of doing away with that in the evenings as on-street parking is impossible to find in some areas when there's an MTS Centre event going on, but nothing has happened as yet. Then it would be paid parking from, say 8:30-9:30 or something like that.
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 7:28 PM
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Well there was a lot of chatter in Fredericton about free parking. Due to underground infrastructure, when they finished repairing Carleton street, they couldn't put the meters back. So the city turned those 9 spots is free for 30 minutes. The spots are right next to the Library, the NB Sports museum and the Garrison tourist area.

They'll probably be turned over to Hotspots (Pay by Mobile parking) eventually, but they are willing to experiment with the 30 minute limit for now.

Otherwise, the city has no free downtown parking during the weekdays. Evenings and Weekends, everything is free but the Convention Centre Parking Garage. (Technically some of the lots could be booted at since they are private lots; but the lots are not monitored after 5PM weekdays)
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 8:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
What's the significance? Is it essentially an encouragement to drive into town, and an acknowledgment that this can be done fairly easily? Is a city more "successful" by urbanist standards if you have to pay? What cities don't offer it, but should? And vice versa?

Cities for which I know the free parking status:

Toronto: No
Oakville: No
Burlington: No
Barrie: No
Stratford: No
Niagara-on-the-Lake: No
St. Catharines: No

Ottawa: Yes
Kitchener: Yes
London: Yes
Guelph: Yes

Montreal: No
Quebec City: No
Trois-Rivières: No
Sherbrooke: No

I wonder if there are any surprises out there? The only one for me on this list is St. Catharines, a fairly depressed place with a hollowed out manufacturing sector. It's essentially inside the tourist region of Niagara but offers little of interest to visitors.
Ottawa has free downtown parking?! Where?
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 8:02 PM
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Ottawa has free downtown parking?! Where?
Certainly not on weekdays before 6 or 7 pm.
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 8:05 PM
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Certainly not on weekdays before 6 or 7 pm.
Not sure why, I thought it did. I've edited my original post.
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 8:25 PM
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Saskatoon has free parking after 6 pm, Mon - Sat, and all day on Sundays and stat holidays.
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 8:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
Not sure why, I thought it did. I've edited my original post.
It depends on how you define the CBD I guess.

The entire downtown skyscraper cluster near the Parliament Buildings is all metered parking during weekdays. As is the Byward Market and the area around Rideau Street, and many other parts of the city.

Most residential streets several blocks south, east and west of the CBD tend to have free, limited-time (1hr, 90 min, 2hr) parking during weekdays.

The entire CBD is generally free on-street parking and the meters are not in use there evenings and weekends.

The Byward Market and some other touristy or commercial areas of the city may have paid on-street parking at other times outside of 9-5 Monday-Friday, though.
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 9:10 PM
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 10:37 PM
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Vancouver has some free spots at certain times not directly in the CBD but close enough. I know of a few spots a block or two off of Robson street. I often find the free spots around 6 pm if I want to go to a movie downtown. But even during the day there are a few 2 hours spots you can snag if you hunt for them.

They have 2 hour limits during the day and restricted hours such as no parking at 6 am - 9 am and/or 3 pm - 6 pm after 6 pm you can park in those spots as long as you want.

Parking meters are in effect until 10 pm 365 days a year, but the rate you pay varies on the location, one street $1 will buy you 2 hours, another street 30 minutes another street only 15 minutes, 5 cents will barely get you more than 3 minutes.
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Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 11:21 PM
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Most of the meters and municipal lots in downtown St. Catharines are free on weekends and evenings after 6. St. Paul has also been booming in the last few years, I wouldn't call St. Catharines anywhere near dead. I believe a 20 story condo was recently proposed for across from the bus terminal.
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Old Posted Dec 21, 2017, 12:05 AM
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You have to pay in Windsor until 6pm during the week and Saturday, Sundays are free.
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  #16  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2017, 12:32 AM
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Didn't realize it was so non-binary. So I guess there are three categories: free parking, paid parking, and paid parking until 6 pm on weekdays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt602 View Post
I wouldn't call St. Catharines anywhere near dead.
I've been there lots, and have lots of family. I would.
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Old Posted Dec 21, 2017, 1:12 AM
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Cobourg is paid parking except after 6 pm all days of the week.
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  #18  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2017, 2:19 AM
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I'm amazed that there are still individual space parking meters in use in Canada's larger cities - I don't remember the last time I saw or used one in Calgary.
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  #19  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2017, 3:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpongeG View Post
Vancouver has some free spots at certain times not directly in the CBD but close enough. I know of a few spots a block or two off of Robson street. I often find the free spots around 6 pm if I want to go to a movie downtown. But even during the day there are a few 2 hours spots you can snag if you hunt for them.

They have 2 hour limits during the day and restricted hours such as no parking at 6 am - 9 am and/or 3 pm - 6 pm after 6 pm you can park in those spots as long as you want.

Parking meters are in effect until 10 pm 365 days a year, but the rate you pay varies on the location, one street $1 will buy you 2 hours, another street 30 minutes another street only 15 minutes, 5 cents will barely get you more than 3 minutes.
Shhh! Do not give the location of these spots away or Vision Vancouver will hunt them down and destroy them!!
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  #20  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2017, 3:10 AM
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There are(were?) a few free street parking locations in downtown Toronto. I’m not telling you where they are.
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