Canadians paying more to park as parking lot rates climb, survey finds

Gas prices aren’t the only thing putting a squeeze on drivers’ finances.

A new survey suggests Canadian drivers are paying more to park this year as rates continue to climb in major cities across the country.

The Colliers International annual parking survey says the average median rate for a monthly unreserved spot in a parking lot grew 2.7 per cent over the past year.

The median is now $241.72 per month, up from $235.33 in 2011.

Calgary is Canada’s most expensive city to park in for the second year in a row, with the average parking rate rising a moderate two per cent to $456.75.

That rate is second in North America only to parking in New York City.

Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton are also in the Top 10 most expensive cities for parking in North America.

But Montreal saw the biggest growth in its rates, up 11.7 per cent to $330.96 a month.

On the other hand, Vancouver and Toronto drivers saw some relief with respective rates falling 4.8 per cent to $277.82 and 3.5 per cent to $316.40.

“Improving economic conditions, a strong office market and limited future supply of new parking spots are all contributing to the continued increase of parking rates in all categories and across the country,” says Ian MacCulloch, national research director with Colliers International in Canada.

“Currently, only Calgary, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Waterloo Region and Winnipeg are expecting to add new parking spots over the next year and in limited numbers. This shortage of new supply will continue to put upward pressure on parking rates.”

The survey data included only covered or underground parking lots in prime central business districts, collected in June.

Colliers International is one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services companies, with more than 12,300 employees around the globe.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version suggested parking meters were also captured in the study.