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Parking in Downtown Ottawa

Thunder Bay, Canada
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2,277 posts
199 reviews
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Parking in Downtown Ottawa

Planning a Trip to Ottawa to see the Sens play. We will be staying in Kanata, and renting a car.

For day trips to downtown Ottawa, What are costs of parking for downtown Ottawa.

Parking options.

Best spots or places to park for a few hours in downtown Ottawa.


Ottawa, Canada
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13,856 posts
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1. Re: Parking in Downtown Ottawa

Hi Worldtravellers123,


Kanata is a westend suburb, and about 25 Kms from the Downtown Core (where the touristy stuff is). Mid-day, with no traffic the drive will be under 30 minutes... weekday mornings & afternoons (rush-hour), about 45 minutes.

I find that the "rules" for Parking in Ottawa are very complicated (and I've lived here for about 30 years)... which is why I recommend that Travellers don't use onstreet parking but rather opt for a lot. Onstreet parking signs tend to very confusing (with multiple signs on almost every street) and a variety of time or day restrictions as well as "conditions". For example, some areas of the downtown core offer FREE Parking on the weekends, while others do not... and yet none of this is marked on the curbside meters... As no one wants to have their vacation include a ticket / tow / or impound fee... I say skip the whole scene, and just use a parking lot.

City of Ottawa lots tend to be a better option than private lots. City of Ottawa Lots are identified with Green Signs with a capital letter "P" and a number. You'll find there are both interior lots and outside lots. Do read the signage though as some close at a particular hour (not 24 Hours).

Street Parking is typically with meters and cost $ 0.25 for 5 Minutes or $ 3 over the course of an hour.

Lot Rates vary by the lot's location see = ottawa.ca/residents/…short_term_en.html for details.

Lots can feature any of the 4 methods for City Parking... (a) Attended - get a ticket upon entry, preset ticket and payment to an attendent when you leave, (b) Metered, (c) Pay on Foot - get a ticket upon entry, pay when you leave at a machine at the lot, cancelled ticket will open the gate, or (d) Pay & Display - Pay in advance at a machine at the lot and put the ticket for the time you have purchased on the dash of your vehicle.

All parking machines... including Meters only accept Canadian Quarters, Loonies & Toonies.

You'll find all the info you need about Parking at Ottawa at the City's Website = www.ottawa.ca/residents/parking/index_en.html

There are also an assortment of privately owned lots throughout the downtown core (Office Buildings, Hotels, Shopping Centres, etc). They tend to have "restricted" access (Hotel Guests) or Hours... Read the signage carefully.

Two of the most popular spots in the private parking category are the World Exchange Plaza (111 Albert Street... corner of Metcalfe) and the Rideau Centre.

World Exchange offers much interior parking (4 or 5 levels) and are convenient to spots like the Parliament Buildings (just 2 blocks to the North, up Metcalfe). If you choose to park here just be sure and read all the signage so you know how much you are paying, and where it is you are allowed to park (ie if it says small car... then it is JUST for small cars, same for Trucks, Vans, etc).

The Rideau Centre also has several levels of parking and is convenient for shopping, but also the Byward Market (although I much prefer to park in the Market itself). Again be sure and read all the signage... some of the walk-in entrances to the lot are closed once the Rideau Centres Shopping Hours are done for the day.

The most important parking advice I can give you about Ottawa is make sure you leave nothing visible in your car that might attract unwanted attention. There are a lot of break ins and vandalism in Ottawa... commonly looked for items include - laptops, ipods, CDs, sports equipment, shopping bags, and even loose change, cigarettes or sunglasses. Most of the lots in Ottawa (indoors and out) are not manned, monitored or fully secure. So play it safe and present an empty car, and they'll move on to someone else's vehicle.

Hope this is helpful,



2. Re: Parking in Downtown Ottawa

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