Vancouver parking issues.
April 19, 2010 10:49 PM   Subscribe

We're visiting Vancouver! Now, what to do with the car?

My friend and I are planning a road trip, and we'll be in Vancouver for two days. We can't decide whether we should stay downtown (at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre) or stay at a hotel near the airport (the Four Points Vancouver Airport). Staying in the hotel near the airport would be inconvenient to all the things we want to do, but staying downtown involves a $25 a day parking fee. Ouch. Because we're booking the hotel with a points plan, we must choose between these two options.

Vancouverites, can you think of some parking solution, such as a safe, cheap place where we can leave the car for the duration of our stay?
posted by a sourceless light to Travel & Transportation around Vancouver, WA (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You could leave your car in the long-term parking lot at the airport (Google seems to indicate around $13/day), then catch the Canada Line to your hotel downtown.
posted by ripley_ at 11:01 PM on April 19, 2010


Like ripley, I would suggest parking at the airport (if it's cheaper) and just taking the Canada Line into town. I took a look at parking at the Bridgeport/River Rock Casino parking lot (which has a Canada Line Station). It only costs $2, but they tow if you leave your car overnight. So the airport is your best bet.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:23 PM on April 19, 2010


I would definitely stay downtown. If it was me, I'd probably just suck it up and pay the $25 a day for a secure spot, because parking in Vancouver is a big, expensive hassle. I actually love that the city makes it so unattractive to park downtown because it means more room for us bikes and pedestrians!

That being said, you do have a few options...

There are a number of paid lots downtown, operated primarily by two companies: Impark and EasyPark. I'm not sure if they allow overnight parking or not. They are probably all at least $12 a day, if not more.

There is limited free street parking in Vancouver's west end neighbourhood, which is a short walk from the Wall Centre. Most of the spots in this area are subject to a 2 hour time limit during the day on weekdays, but you can park all evening and all weekend for free. Watch out for signage, though, as there are many rush hour and permit restrictions (and if you break them you will be ticketed, or worse yet towed!). You can view a west end parking map here (pdf). Note that the majority of the spots on the map are permit-only and thus off-limits to you, but it also shows the 2-hour time limit ones I mentioned above.

As some of the above posters recommend, you could also park at the airport Park and Fly for about $12-$14 a day, but you'd still have to pay skytrain fare to downtown. Also note that the local transit system has recently instated a $5 per passenger airport charge for all skytrain trips originating from YVR *unless* you use a prepaid ticket or pass. So if you decide to go that route make sure you have bus tickets or daypasses already in hand before you arrive at the skytrain station, or you'll end up paying almost as much for parking+skytrain as you would to park at the Wall Centre.
posted by sanitycheck at 11:31 PM on April 19, 2010


Also, here's a good TripAdvisor thread about downtown parking options. It's a couple years old but it looks to me like all of the info provided is still relevant.
posted by sanitycheck at 11:39 PM on April 19, 2010


Yeah, it's probably worth it to just stay downtown and pony up the parking fee at the Wall Centre. I suppose you *could* look for an overnight spot in the West End, but it seems like a time-consuming, stressful hassle.

I worked remotely for several years until recently for a Vancouver organization based on West Georgia Street, and drove to Vancouver quite frequently (I usually stayed at the Pinnacle). While my company paid for my hotel and my parking, leaving my car at the hotel parkade really gave me peace of mind. One less thing to worry about.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:40 PM on April 19, 2010


Alternatively, you could drive to the Rupert Skytrain station and park your car on the street there. There's usually a handful of spots on the east side Rupert street itself, south of the station with no parking restrictions at all (like 15 or so), there's a lot of traffic on that street and I've left my car parked overnight there a few times with no issues. The Rupert station is about a 25 minute ride to downtown and it's only 1 zone so no hassles with higher Skytrain fares.

If you don't feel comfortable doing that though, your best bet is the long term lot at the airport.
posted by barc0001 at 11:47 PM on April 19, 2010


Alternatively, you could drive to the Rupert Skytrain station and park your car on the street there.

I was going to say Nanaimo Street Skytrain ... but same difference. There are nice, peaceful, safe residential neighbourhoods (with no particular parking limits) within easy walk of each. Nanaimo Street to the heart of downtown is about ten minutes once you're on the train. This also gives you the option of grabbing your car for some touring around. Vancouver does have some nice drives outside of rush hour.

The North Shore for instance, maybe a ten minute drive from either Nanaimo or Rupert Skytrains ... but not in rush hour.
posted by philip-random at 12:18 AM on April 20, 2010


For the $25 fee, can you leave with the car, and come back to park for no additional charge? Or is it $25 every time you pull in?

The bike route and public transit is great, but there are lots of places in Vancouver where having a car makes getting to it much much much less inconvenient. Especially since you're a visitor - a 1.5 hour bus ride (both ways), or a 20 minute drive... It'll depend on what you want to do, and where you want to do it.

Being downtown is better than being at the airport. The RAV (Richmond-Aiport-Downtown) rapid transit line is nice, but be aware of the hours that it is (more importantly, the hours that it isn't in service).

Again, it comes down to what you want to do in town.
posted by porpoise at 12:59 AM on April 20, 2010


You should absolutely stay downtown. You're going to want to walk all over the place and go out at night and you want to be able to pop back home quickly at any hour of the day. This alone is worth $25 a day (compared to the airport). If you want to go to the mountains on the North Shore you want to leave from downtown and go over the Lion's Gate.

You can probably do a bit better than $25 at a Parkade - see here. If you're coming on a weekend you might find cheaper parking.

Note that even if you find free parking near a skytrain station you still have to pay the fare there and back - $2.50 each, so $10 min assuming there's two of you. Also in my experience the streets around each station including Nanaimo are always resident/permit parking to discourage park-and-ride behavior like this.
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:39 AM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


For example, this one is only $10 a day. Rates are variable so click around and see what you can find.
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:41 AM on April 20, 2010


Also in my experience the streets around each station including Nanaimo are always resident/permit parking to discourage park-and-ride behavior like this.

You might have to walk five minutes to get to the station.
posted by philip-random at 10:02 AM on April 20, 2010


The bike route and public transit is great, but there are lots of places in Vancouver where having a car makes getting to it much much much less inconvenient. Especially since you're a visitor - a 1.5 hour bus ride (both ways), or a 20 minute drive...

Really? Downtown to tourist-y places on the North Shore (Capilano suspension bridge for example) is only around 45 minutes, and I can't think of anything interesting that's further out than that.

Where are you thinking of?
posted by ripley_ at 12:25 PM on April 20, 2010


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