Town of Canmore

Parking Study

A parking study was undertaken in 2016 with a focus on the Town Centre to provide data on parking usage and a general overview of the problems we are facing around parking. To view the full study pdf click here (1.43 MB) .


  1. Provide the right mix of parking options that meet the needs of residents, visitors, workers and shoppers 
  2. Make sure high use parking areas are not exceeding capacity during peak season days on a regular basis
  3. Focus on using parking facilities efficiently, not simply providing more parking space which comes with a cost

Current Situation

Despite many initiatives geared towards easing parking in the past few years, problems still persist. The parking study highlighted that parking is presently unavailable at peak times and in certain locations in the Town Centre. This results in people hunting for convenient parking and contributing to congestion at the busiest traffic times. Without improved parking management practices, these problems will worsen. Parking comes at a significant cost, and uses up most of our available space in the Town Centre. During off-peak business hours – roughly 88% of the time, parking is underutilized.

Some key findings from the parking study include:

  • parking utilization currently exceeds the 80-85% threshold in high use areas for approximately 21% of business hours during peak season days.  
  • when considering the entire parking stock, the overall stock is not over-utilized
  • parking is under-utilized when considering all business hours
  • approximately 85% of open space in the Town centre is used for vehicle lanes, laneways, private & public parking, and signage/traffic signals
  • a lack of people parking space (walking, dwelling and social connection)

Over the past two years many initiatives have been completed to help improve the parking situation, some of these include:

  • Local Transit implementation, doubled frequency of regional transit;
  • Improve connectivity for people who choose to walk and cycle:
    • Bow Valley Trail CPR Crossing Improvements
    • Spring Creek Drive Complete Street Improvements
    • End of trip facilities – 200 bicycle parking stalls in and around Town Centre, maintenance stands
  • 160 Centennial Park bicycle parking stalls for events 
  • Vehicle wayfinding signage
  • Improvements to ‘Pan Handle’ area by Elevation place
  • Additional surface lot adjacent to 10th Street (little house demolition)
  • Angle parking on Civic Lane (adjacent to Civic Centre)
  • Angle parking 6th Avenue
  • Parking stall delineation on Main Street for efficient parking
  • Bicycle friendly business program
  • Several new on-street patios (people parking)
  • 4-hour time restriction pilot
  • On-it Regional Transit Pilot 2017

Integrated Parking Management Plan

Parking management refers to various policies and programs that result in more efficient use of parking resources. Traditional approaches to parking management aimed for abundant and free parking at each destination, lots that almost never fill, and each destination responsible for their own supply. In this scenario, costs for parking are incorporated into building and development costs and subsidized by governments. There is recognition that providing and requiring too much parking is as harmful to community goals as too little. Proposed strategies focus less on an ever-increasing supply of parking space, and rather seek to use facilities efficiently. 

The next step in looking at our parking issue is to develop an Integrated Parking Management Plan. This plan will look at many different themes to identify how and why they could work in Canmore. This process will involve engagement with the community on the subject of parking and taking a holistic look at the different strategies and how they could potentially be implemented in Canmore.

The Parking Management Themes to be addressed include (for more information on themes pdf click here (1.43 MB) to read the Parking Study):

  • Alternative transportation
  • Parking regulations
  • Time-restricted parking
  • Parking decal program
  • Short & long term parking areas
  • Paid parking
  • Residential parking management
  • Local transit services
  • Use of public space
  • intercept parking stalls
  • Additional pedestrian & bicycle parking infrastructure
  • Parkade structure

How You Can Get Involved

Public engagement will be a key part of the work as we develop the plan and potential solutions. Details on to get involved are below.

  1. April 19 - Transportation Planning - Presentation and Open House: Join us for a presentation and open house on addressing parking challenges and the role transportation has in shaping our community. We are updating the Integrated Transportation Plan and developing an Integrated Town Centre Parking Management Plan. There will be a formal presentation at 7 p.m. followed by an open house format where you can get more information and ask questions on both of these topics. 
    • Canmore Civic Centre - Council Chambers
    • Presentation - 7 p.m.
    • Open House - following presentation