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10 Convenient Places to Park in Ottawa’s Original Downtown

December 6, 2023

One of the best parts about shopping in Ottawa’s Original Downtown is how accessible everything is. From the moment you step off of the O-Train at Rideau Station, you’re only a short walk away from the CF Rideau Centre, ByWard Market and all of the over 600 businesses on and around Rideau Street! Truly, there is never any shortage of exciting and fascinating storefronts to check out in the area.

Suppose you find yourself itching to go on a particularly spirited shopping spree, one that makes carrying all of your purchases home a little difficult to do on the train. Or perhaps you’re hoping to take the whole family on a trip downtown. Taking a car is the easiest solution, of course, but is it just as easy to find a spot to park near Rideau as it is to take the train?

The answer is yes! With over 4,000 parking spots ready to serve you, Downtown Rideau and the ByWard Market have plenty of parking options available, enough to ensure that you won’t be spending an inordinate amount of time wandering around and waiting for someone to leave. And with underground facilities, round-the-clock operating hours and even electric charging stations available at select lots, you’re certain to find a lot that fits your exact needs for parking!

CF Rideau Centre

As Canada’s fourth-busiest shopping mall, it should come as no surprise that the CF Rideau Centre is well-equipped to handle the parking demands of the Nation’s Capital, even on the busiest days! The mall sports not one, not even two, but three parking lots each containing hundreds of spots.

The Green Garage is located underneath the Rideau Centre and is accessible via an entrance next to Ogilvy Square at the intersection of Besserer (going west) and Nicholas (going north.)

🚗 Spots Available: 389, including exclusive spots for small cars

💵 Parking Rate Range: $2 for 30 minutes – $30 for 24 hours

⚠️ Height Restriction: 6’10” (2.08 metres)

🌿 Charging Stations? Yes; 2 spots, 50 kW w/ Type 1, CCS & CHAdeMO compatibility

The Green Lot features an elevator that takes shoppers straight from the parking lot into Simons.

The Red Garage is a parkade with both indoor and rooftop parking located next to the mall, across the street from Novotel. It’s accessible via entrances on Daly and Nicholas.

🚗 Spots Available: 759

💵 Parking Rate Range: $2 for 30 minutes – $30 for 24 hours

⚠️ Height Restriction: 6’7″ (2 metres)

🌿 Charging Stations? No

The Red Lot can be found at the intersection of Daly Avenue and Nicholas Street, with entrances and egresses on both road.

Lastly, the Blue Lot is also underneath the mall, with an entrance on Nicholas Street that’s located across the street from SAW Gallery just before the Mackenzie King overpass.

🚗 Spots Available: 742

💵 Parking Rate Range: $2 for 30 minutes – $30 for 24 hours

⚠️ Height Restriction: 6′ (1.8 metres)

🌿 Charging Stations? No

Fun fact: The Rideau Centre’s Blue Parkade is located next to the future site of Cadillac Fairview’s Rideau Registry, a 288-unit multi-storey residential tower!

ByWard Market

The Market has historically been one of the busiest shopping locales not just in Ottawa, but in all of Canada! Given that it sees as many as 50,000 visitors every weekend at its peak in the summer months, there’s a wide assortment of parking at your disposal for your next visit. There are two major parking garages located in the heart of the Market, one of which can be found on George Street across the street from Hudson’s Bay.

🚗 Spots Available: 357

💵 Parking Rate Range: $4 for 20 minutes – $19 daytime rate (must arrive after 6:00 a.m. and leave by 6:00 p.m.); $240 monthly pass option available

💵 Monthly parking pass starting at $240

⚠️ Height Restriction: 6’6″ (1.98 metres)

🌿 Charging Stations? No

The George Street Market Garage features five storeys of parking, including an uncovered floor on the roof.

The other major garage is accessible via an entrance located on Clarence Street across from Heart & Crown and is conveniently located directly next to Byward Market Square, allowing you to experience everything the Market has to offer as soon as you exit your car!

🚗 Spots Available: 290

💵 Parking Rate Range (Mon-Sat): $1.50 for 30 minutes – $14 daytime (must arrive after 6:00 a.m. and leave by 6:00 p.m.)

💵 Parking Rate Range (Sun): $1.50 for 30 minutes – $7 daytime

💵 Monthly parking pass starting at $210; available from November 1 to April 30

⚠️ Height Restriction: 7’2″ (2.2 metres)

🌿 Charging Stations? Yes; 2 spots, one each on levels 2 and 3, 50 kW and 7.2 kW w/ J1772 & CHAdeMO compatibility, respectively

The Byward Market parking garage shares a building with some of the Market’s most celebrated businesses, including Wedel – Touch of Europe

Only a short distance from the heart of the Market, the Dalhousie parkade is an expansive lot that makes its home right next to the Byward Blue Inn. Guests who are overnighting at the inn will have no problem finding a spot for their car with this lot nearby!

🚗 Spots Available: 459

💵 Parking Rate Range (Mon-Fri): $0.50 for 12 minutes – $12 daytime rate (must arrive after 6:00 a.m. and leave by 6:00 p.m.)

💵 Parking Rate Range (Sat-Sun): $1.25 for 30 minutes – $5 daytime rate

💵 Monthly parking pass starting at $210

⚠️ Height Restriction: 6’11” (2.1 metres)

🌿 Charging Stations? Yes; 2 spots (50 kW, 7kW) w/ Type 1, CCS & CHAdeMO compatibility

The Dalhousie parking garage is the venue of choice for guests at the Byward Blue Inn to park.

On and Around Rideau Street

There are times throughout the year when Rideau Street sees a disproportionately high level of foot and car traffic, including Black Friday and the holiday season! Fret not, however; even on days when the aforementioned lots are particularly full, there’s always more places to park just around the corner from your favourite shopping destinations in Ottawa’s Original Downtown!

For starters, the parking lot at 264 Rideau Street is right behind the Ottawa Little Theatre and is in close proximity to many of Rideau’s most celebrated stores and culture spots, including Mavericks, Café Dekcuf and Steve’s Music Store. You can access the lot via Rideau going west or Besserer going east.

🚗 Spots Available: 108

💵 Parking Rate Range (Mon-Fri): $3 for 30 minutes – $10 daytime rate (must leave by 6:00 p.m.)

💵 Parking Rate Range (Sat-Sun): $5 flat rate

💵 Monthly parking pass starting at $175

⚠️ Height Restriction: N/A

🌿 Charging Stations? No

The parking lot at 264 Rideau is nestled between Aisle 24 Market and the Ottawa Little Theatre.

The lot at 190 Besserer can be found after turning right off of Nicholas and is located just before Cumberland Street. After parking here, you’re only a five-minute walk from Avant-Garde Bar, so keep an eye out for this lot next time you’re looking to catch a live show!

🚗 Spots Available: 92

💵 Parking Rate Range (Mon-Fri): $3 for 30 minutes – $16 for 24 hours

💵 Parking Rate Range (Sat-Sun): $8 flat rate

⚠️ Height Restriction: N/A

🌿 Charging Stations? No

The lot at 190 Besserer is effectively a sister lot to 264 Rideau, being located only a few metres away.

Here’s an insider tip: you don’t have to be a guest at Novotel to park in their parking lot! Their underground parkade on Daly is located directly across the street from the Ottawa Art Gallery and the Arts Court. It’s the ideal place to park if you’re looking to take in an exhibit see a show at Club SAW!

🚗 Spots Available: 250

💵 Parking Rate Range (Mon-Sun): $3.50 for 30 minutes – $22 daytime rate (must arrive after 6:00 a.m. and leave by 6:00 p.m.)

⚠️ Height Restriction: 6’6″ (1.98 metres)

🌿 Charging Stations? No

Novotel’s parking garage is not exclusive to hotel guests; anyone willing to pay can park! 

Lastly, if your Fitbit is urging you to get your steps in and do a little extra walking, Ottawa City Hall sports a massive underground parkade that’s within walking distance of just about every attraction that Downtown Ottawa has to offer year-round, including the Rideau Canal, the National Arts Centre and more. It can be accessed via entrances on Laurier (across the street from Confederation Park) and Elgin (next to the Court House.)

🚗 Spots Available: 853

💵 Parking Rate Range (Mon-Fri from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.): $2 for 30 minutes – $20 maximum time allowed

💵 Parking Rate Range (Mon-Fri from 6:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. & Sat-Sun, all day): $1 for 1 hr. – $2 for 12 hours

⚠️ Height Restriction: 7’1″ (2.16 metres)

🌿 Charging Stations? Yes; 1 spot (7 kW) w/ Type 1 compatibility

City Hall’s parking garage is arguably one of the busiest in the city, largely due to the number of attractions within walking distance.

Street Parking

In addition to parking lots, there are plenty of roads that permit street parking in Ottawa’s Original Downtown. Dalhousie, George, Besserer, York and others all contain portions of their streets that allow drivers to park for a few hours at a time. You can find out more information about the operating hours and parking rates of the street parking in the area by visiting Parkopedia! This website provides visitors with detailed information about every parking option available to users in any given area; if you’re looking for a quick solution to your parking problems, this is an invaluable resource!

The parking kiosks located near these lots accept both credit cards as well as PayByPhone, an app that allows you to pay for parking directly on your phone as well as purchase more time as needed. Simply download the app, enter the lot number posted on the nearby signage and the amount of time you wish to park for, and that’s it! (Click this link to visit their Support page if you have concerns.)

Need a reason to park in Ottawa’s Original Downtown? Check out our Events page to see all of the fantastic programming taking place in the area! And be sure to visit our Shopping and Dining directories to discover your next favourite spot to shop and/or eat!

Parking kiosks in Ottawa’s Original Downtown accept credit card payments as well as payment via PayByPhone.

Need a reason to park in Ottawa’s Original Downtown?

Check out our Events page to see all of the fantastic programming taking place in the area! And be sure to visit our Shopping and Dining directories to discover your next favourite spot to shop and/or eat!