Skip to Content

Is it free parking downtown Montreal?

Montreal is a vibrant city that is filled with excitement, culture, and people. While the city’s charm is appealing, navigating its busy streets can be a challenge, especially when it comes to finding a place to park. One of the most common questions asked by tourists and residents alike is whether there is free parking available in downtown Montreal. In this blog post, we will explore the different options for parking in the downtown area and determine whether free parking exists in Montreal.

Paid Parking in Montreal:

Firstly, it’s important to note that Montreal is a city where paid parking is the norm. Parking meters, parking garages, and parking lots are the most common options. If you are planning to park your car in the downtown area, you can expect to pay between $3 and $6 per hour, with some areas charging up to $10 per hour for parking.

Permit Parking in Montreal:

Another type of parking in Montreal is permit parking. Certain areas in the city require residents to have a permit for parking on the street. These permits allow residents to park on the street overnight and during the day, which means that parking in these areas is only available to those who have a permit. If you do not live in these areas, it is not possible to park on the street without risking a fine or penalty.

Free Parking in Montreal:

Despite the prevalence of paid and permit parking in Montreal, there are some areas of the city where free parking is available. For instance, on Sundays, parking is free in metered spots downtown, and on holidays (such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Canada Day), you can park free of charge on any street in the city that isn’t a no-parking zone.

Additionally, Montreal has many residential neighborhoods where parking is free outside of designated rush hour times. This means that if you’re willing to walk a bit further or take public transportation into the downtown area, you can find free parking in some of the surrounding neighborhoods.

How to Find Free Parking in Montreal:

If you are looking for free parking in Montreal, there are a few tips you can follow to increase your chances of finding a spot. Firstly, do your research beforehand and map out areas where free parking is available. Pay attention to street signs and parking regulations to avoid any fines or penalties.

You can also take advantage of the city’s public transportation system. By leaving your car outside of the downtown core and taking a bus or subway, you can save money on parking while still enjoying all that Montreal has to offer.

Another option is to use a parking app or website to find free parking spots in the city. Popular apps like SpotHero and ParkWhiz allow you to reserve and pay for parking ahead of time, which can save you both time and money.


Finding free parking in downtown Montreal is not impossible, but it can be a challenge. While paid parking is the norm in the city, there are certain areas where free parking is available, especially on Sundays and holidays. By doing your research, following parking regulations, and taking advantage of public transportation and parking apps, you can increase your chances of finding free parking in Montreal.


How much is parking in Montreal Downtown?

The cost of parking in downtown Montreal can vary depending on the location, time of day, and day of the week. Generally, parking rates are more expensive during peak hours and in busy areas. For example, in Old Montreal, the current rate is $4 an hour, whereas in other parts of the downtown core, the hourly rate can range from $2 to $6.

It’s important to note that some areas of downtown Montreal may offer street parking, while others may only have paid parking lots or garages. Street parking rates are often cheaper than parking in a garage, but availability can be limited.

In addition to hourly rates, many parking lots and garages in downtown Montreal also offer daily or monthly parking passes. These can be more cost-effective options for individuals who require long-term parking in the downtown area.

It’S recommended to plan ahead and research parking options before arriving in downtown Montreal. This can help you find the most affordable and convenient place to park your car, whether you’re visiting for a few hours or an extended period of time.

How do you pay for full day parking?

Parking has become a necessary part of our daily routine, and paying for it is an important aspect to consider. There are several methods to pay for full day parking depending on the location. In general, here are some of the most common ways to pay for full day parking:

1. Credit card payment: Many car parks now accept credit card payment and some even allow contactless payment via your smartphone or NFC-enabled credit card. Simply park your vehicle, locate a payment machine, insert or tap your credit card, and follow the instructions on the screen to make payment for the full day parking.

2. Mobile app payment: Another popular way to pay for full day parking is using a mobile app. You can download the designated parking app from your app store, register an account with your details, and add your payment information to it. Typically, you will need to enter the relevant zone number, your location details, and the duration required to complete the transaction. After confirming the details, your payment will be processed, and you will receive an electronic receipt as confirmation.

3. Pre-payment: You can also prepay for a full day parking session by using ticket machines at the car park. Parking ticket machines are usually located at the entry and exit gate, and you can pay for your full day parking ticket by inserting cash or with a credit or debit card. After payment is made, a ticket will be issued, which should be displayed on the dashboard of your car.

4. SMS: Some car parks offer an SMS payment option, where users can send an SMS to a designated number to pay for their parking. The SMS format comprises your nickname, zone number, and the duration of parking. After sending the message, payment will be processed and confirmed through an SMS receipt.

It is important to note that full day parking payment options may vary depending on the car park, and it is always a good idea to check the payment methods accepted before arriving at your destination.