Your Ultimate Guide to Parking on the Plateau!
Montreal’s renowned Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood has over 100,000 inhabitants. Thousands of people pass through the area every day for tourism or to travel to work and school. The Plateau is accessible on foot, by metro, by bike or by car.
Much like other popular big-city neighborhoods, though, parking spaces are limited on the Plateau. In recent years, urban planning initiatives have reduced parking spots in favor of bike paths to encourage the use of greener methods of transportation, further complicating drivers’ lives.
While it’s true that Montreal is an increasingly bike-friendly city thanks in part to the EBN (Express Bike Network, also called REV or Réseau Express Vélo), tons of people still use their car every day. So, what are their parking options on the Plateau?
Our team at MTL Vacation Rentals has put together these tips to help you find parking on the Plateau!
Parking meters: the easiest and quickest way to park on the Plateau
The hourly rate for parking meters on the Plateau in Montreal varies by zone, ranging between $1.75 and $3.75 per hour.
Of course, it can get expensive for a full day, but if you have to park on the Plateau for a few hours or just while you unload your suitcases on your way in from the airport, it’s a good option since meters are everywhere, especially on commercial streets such as Mont-Royal Avenue and St-Denis.
Crédit photo : Agence de mobilité durable et Wikimedia Commons
The free mobile app P$MobileService is a must to pay for your Montreal parking space remotely
Download the free mobile app P$MobileService to top up your parking meter remotely and save time!
You’ll receive a notification 10 minutes before your paid parking expires to avoid hefty fines from parking officers who are often quick to ticket!
Photo credit : Agence de mobilité durable
Are there any free parking spaces in Montreal?
The short answer is, “yes, but not many!”
Free parking spaces on residential streets
In centrally located neighborhoods like the Plateau Mont-Royal, you may be lucky to find some free parking spots on residential streets if you are patient enough to search for one. But it’s crucial to be able to understand the parking signs, as most parking spots are reserved for residents with annual parking permits (called “vignettes” in French).
See the following section to learn more about the meaning of traffic signs in Montreal.
Parking your car in metered parking spaces is free in the evening or overnight
Another option is to park your car in metered parking spots in the evening or overnight, as parking is free outside meters’ operational hours. Metered parking usually ends at 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and at 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Hours may vary depending on the zone but are clearly marked on each meter.
Major city arteries equipped with parking meters (Saint-Denis, Saint-Laurent, Du Parc, Mont-Royal, etc.) prohibit parking during certain periods to facilitate transit during rush hour or for daily maintenance. Pay close attention to the street signs to avoid fines!
How to read Montreal parking signs
If you have trouble understanding parking signs, rest assured, you are not alone!
Take your time to analyze all the signs around you. If you still find them confusing, ask a passerby to help you. Montrealers are friendly and used to the confusion! ? If you are not confident enough in French, consider using Google translate or another translation app to decipher the signs.
Some general rules to keep in mind before parking your car in Montreal
- Before you leave your car in that spot, check if there’s a fire hydrant, a wheelchair space reserved for disabled people, an alley, or a garage entrance, as parking in these spots is prohibited. It may seem obvious, but when you are new to a neighborhood, you may not notice right away.
- Pay close attention to the direction of the arrows on the parking signs, which indicate where parking is permitted or prohibited, at what times and on which days. There is always another arrow on the next panel that delimits a specific area, as shown in this photo.
- To complicate matters further, certain restrictions are valid from April 1 to December 1 to allow for street cleaning.
- In the winter, when snow removal operations are frequent, watch for orange signs prohibiting parking during certain times when the snow is expected to be cleared.
Learn all about the meaning of the main parking and traffic signs in this complete article on the subject from the Montreal City website!
Photo credit : Montreal City
A one-day parking permit to park on the Plateau’s residential areas is a great option
You can get a one-day parking permit (vignette) that allows you to park in areas reserved for residents. Buy it directly at the parking meter payment terminal and place it in your car’s window or dashboard.
A one-day permit allows you to park for 24 hours on residential streets at a cost of $14 or $8 depending on the area.
If you find a parking space with this 24-hour permit (while respecting all restrictions), you will have to replace this one-day only once the 24-hour period expires.
You can change parking spots within the area covered by the day permit!
Photo credit : Agence de mobilité durable
The City of Montreal’s municipal parking lots on the Plateau are perfect for a day at Lafontaine Park
The Plateau Mont-Royal borough also offers a few paid municipal parking lots that are open to the public.
Browse the parking map to find the parking lot closest to the place you want to visit.
As with meters, carefully check the permitted days/times and pay the fees at the terminal or via the P$MobileService mobile app.
When you rent a vacation rental apartment with MTLVacationRentals, we have some private parking spaces available to you.
But hurry to ask us for one, as our spots are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Our team is also always available to assist you and to answer your questions, about parking or otherwise!
Photo credit : Bixi and la Société de Transport de Montréal