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Cities in Canada are generally safe. However, they are not free from car theft or vandalism. When parking on streets or in open-air parking lots, one should make sure that the car is locked and that nothing of value is left in view, including suitcases, bags or boxes, since this may encourage a break-in.


arking fines can be very high, and signage is often confusing. It is important to look closely. To find availablepublic parking in the city, the website en.parkopedia.ca/parking/ may be useful.The service may be searched by city or address.

The Protocol Office in charge of a foreign mission may assist in cases in which a parking infraction has been issued,particularly if the circumstances involved special or urgent situations. The Protocol Office must receive such a request to intervene by way of a diplomatic note that provides a full description of the incident and a clear explanation of the extenuating circumstances surrounding the infraction.

Most Canadian cities have strict parking regulations during the winter months, especially when it comes to street parking. Heavy snowfalls require that the streets are plowed overnight and the failure to remove your vehicle from the street may result in it being towed.

  • Ottawa: Winter Parking bans may come into effect after a major snowfall. Vehicles are required to be moved off the streets. All city owned parking lots are free on nights when winter parking bans are in effect. Parking restrictions are posted on the City of Ottawa’s website, under Seasonal Alerts.
  • Toronto: Winter parking bans are announced with temporary signs on the affected streets. Failure to move one’s car may result in a $200 fine.
  • Montreal: Signs are posted whenever snow clearing operations are scheduled to take place. There are over 5,700 free parking spaces that are made available throughout the city, when parking restrictions pertaining to snow are in effect. Cars that have not been removed will be towed.
  • Calgary: Calgary has a system of roads known as the Snow Route. When plowing operations are required, the Snow Routes will come into effect. Street parking is banned for 72 hours and any cars that remain on the designated streets will be towed. The city offers alerts pertaining to parking bans that can be sent directly to your phone.
  • Edmonton: Seasonal parking bans are put into effect on designatedbus routes when there is a significant snowfall that requires the plowing of major roadways. Notice of parking bans can be sent to a mobile device via email, twitter or Facebook.
  • Vancouver: Vancouver typically does not receive a lot of snow in the winter, but if it does snow, residents are asked to move their vehicles from the street parking so that plows may clear the area. Signs are usually posted to notify residents of expected snow removal times.