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Parking Services is under the direction of the Bylaw Services Department. Parking Services oversees the administration, maintenance and parking enforcement of all City parkades and City lots. Parking Services also manages parking related matters for on-street meters, Commercial Loading Zones, Residential Parking passes and restricted parking areas for the City.

If you require assistance in a parking related matter, please contact Parking Services:

By phone: 250-755-4468
Fax: 250-753-6758

The Parking Services Office is located at:

Community Policing and Services Office
18 Victoria Crescent
Nanaimo BC V9R 5B8


On-Street Parking

The City of Nanaimo has 924 on street parking stalls available for public use. These stalls consist of unmetered, metered and disabled stalls.

Non-metered stalls 619 stalls
Metered Stalls 285 stalls
Disabled Stalls 20 stalls


2 hour Zones

2 hour parking zones are designated and marked with 2 hour parking signage. There are no exemption periods for 2 hour zones. They are enforceable 7 days a week, 24 hours per day except on statutory holidays.

2 hour on-street parking map

Meter Parking

Pay by Plate Parking Meter Map

Pay by Plate Parking Meter Instructions

  1. You will need your vehicle license plate number in order to purchase a permit.  Select [OK] to get started.
  2. Enter your license plate number and select [OK].
  3. Insert coins or credit card.
  4. When paying with coins, as you insert coins the amount paid will increment the parking time up until you reach the maximum limit of 2 hours or $2.50.
  5. When paying with credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Amex), insert your credit card.
  6. Once the card has been scanned you will receive a message to remove the card.
  7. The payment amount will begin at $0.25 (12 minutes).  To increase the parking time, press 1 to add each 12 minute increment until the maximum 2 hours or $2.50 is reached.
  8. Press OK to complete the payment.
  9. You will receive a receipt.  The receipt does NOT have to be placed on your vehicle dash. It is your purchase receipt.

Please contact Parking Services at 250-755-4468 if you need assistance with the Pay by Plate meters.

Parking meter rates:

12 minutes $0.25
1 hour $1.25
2 hours $2.50
Evenings & Weekends Free

Please note - parking rates at the City Parkade facilities are $0.75 for 2 hours. Please see Parkade Fee rates below for more information.

Pay Parking at all city parking meters is required between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday. Free parking is in effect evenings, weekends and on statutory holidays.

Handicap Parking Zones

Parkers displaying a valid official Disable Parking Tag are eligible to park in any of the designated disabled parking spaces on-street or off-street. Should there be no available disabled parking spaces, Disabled Parking Tag parkers may park in any City space or stall at no charge for the designated time displayed in the area.

Handicap On Street Parking map

Parking Meter Assistance

Should the meter you are parked at experiences any challenges with accepting your coins, please contact the number on the meter or Parking Services 250-755-4468 for assistance. Please note the number of the meter you are parked at, your vehicle description and license plate number.

Understanding Re-Metering and the Downtown Zone

In an effort to keep downtown business parking available to the public the Restricted 2 hour On-Street Parking Zone was implemented to accommodate short term downtown parking.

Restricted 2 Hour On-Street Parking Zone map

Inside this zone, parkers are only allowed to park for 1 session of 2 hours per day. Once the limit has been reached, parkers will need to move their vehicle outside the zone to re-park or park in one of the 3 main parkades. Parkers who remain within the restricted zone will be subject to a violation notice. There is no limit to the amount of time a parker can park their vehicle in a parkade. (This does not include long term storage of vehicles.) We encourage all downtown parkers to take advantage of the parkade parking whenever they are unsure of the time they need to park.

City of Nanaimo Off-Street Covered and Underground Parkades

The City of Nanaimo has 3 major parkade structures located in downtown Nanaimo with 871 stalls available for public use.

Vancouver Island Conference Centre/Port of Nanaimo Centre
101 Gordon Street

308 stalls
Harbour Front Parkade
51 Gordon Street
301 stalls
Bastion Street Parkade
236 Bastion Street
262 stalls


City of Nanaimo Off-Street Outdoor Parkades

Wallace and Wentworth Parking Lot 59 stalls
Cavan Street Parking Lots (95 & 35 Cavan Street) 82 stalls
Selby Street Parking Lot (Monthly Permit Only) 24 stalls
Prideaux Street Parking Lot (Free Parking) 37 stalls

Off Street Parking map

Parkade Hourly Rates



Harbour front


Cavan & Wallace Lots

Maffeo Sutton
Park Arena St.

Brechin Boat Ramp**


24 hours

24 hours






Evenings & Weekends FREE

Evenings & Weekends FREE

Evenings & Weekends FREE

**Restricted to boat launching only

First 2 Hours







First 3 Hours







Each Additional Hour







12 Hour Rate







24 Hour Rate







Ticket dispensing machines in all City off-street facilities accept coin, bills and Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Monthly Parking Passes for Off-Street Facilities

If you are a downtown employee or resident you may find your parking needs require a monthly parking pass. Monthly parking passes are available at most of the City Off-Street Parkades. For monthly parking pass enquiries, please contact Parking Services 250-755-4468 for details on the best options for your parking needs.


Monthly Pass Rate

Bastion Street Parkade


Harbour Front Parkade


Port of Nanaimo Centre (VICC)


Selby Street Parking Lot




Wallace & Wentworth


Parking Extensions & Multiple Day Parking

Parkade ticket meters offer 24 hour parking for up to 7 days. Should you be out of town when your parking expires, please contact Parking Services 250-755-4468 to make over-the-phone arrangements for Parking Extensions.

Over Height Vehicles in the Downtown

The Harbour Front Parkade (51 Gordon Street) and the Port of Nanaimo Centre/VICC Parkade (101 Gordon Street) have height limitations of 6’6”.  If you are in a vehicle that requires more clearance, the Bastion Street Parkade at 236 Bastion Street can accommodate 7’ on the upper deck.

For further height allowance, parking is directed to off-street surface lots.  The surface lots closest to the downtown are:

  • Cavan Street (95 and 35 Cavan Street)
  • Maffeo Sutton Park (Cliff Street & Comox Road)
  • Selby Street (299 Selby Street)
  • Wallace Wentworth Lot (340 Wentworth Street)

Statutory Holiday Exemptions for Off Street Parkades

Pay Parking is not in effect in any Parkade on the following Statutory Holidays:

New Year's Day Family Day Good Friday
Easter Monday Victoria Day Canada Day
BC Day Labour Day Thanksgiving
Remembrance Day Christmas Day Boxing Day

PARK SMART Total Downtown Parking Reference

In cooperation with the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association (DNBIA), Park Smart provides all the Downtown Nanaimo area parking options for the general public.

DNBIA Park Smart Brochure

Special Event Parking Requests

Non-profit organization holding special events in the downtown area can make a request for parking assistance for their event through the Parking Services Office at 18 Victoria Crescent (250-755-4468). Please contact the office with your event details and in advance of the event.

Temporary On-Street Parking Passes

There are instances when a vehicle requires parking on-street for an extended period of time. In these circumstances a Temporary On-Street Parking Pass can be purchased for the duration needed, in the location needed. Passes are $10 per day, per stall. Please contact Parking Services, 18 Victoria Crescent, (250-755-4468) for assistance. Passes are also available at the Service and Resource Centre, 411 Dunsmuir Street.

Meter Hood Rentals

There are instances where a vehicle requires parking on-street at a meter for an extended period of time. In these circumstances a Meter Hood can be signed out for the duration needed, in the location needed. Meter Hoods are $10 per day, with a $20 security deposit required. Please contact Parking Services, 18 Victoria Crescent, (250-755-4468) for details and assistance.

Commercial Vehicles & Decals

If you are a commercial vehicle owner whereby that vehicle is used for the collection, delivery or both of merchandise and you wish to have access to the Commercial Vehicle Loading Zones, you will require a Commercial Vehicle Decal. Decals are available at the Service and Resource Centre, 411 Dunsmuir Street. (250-754-4251)

Commercial Vehicle permit information
Commercial Loading Zone Map

Resident Exempt Parking Passes

If you are looking for more information regarding Resident Exempt parking passes please see the Resident Parking page.

Brechin Boat Ramp Passes

Annual Brechin Boat Ramp parking passes are available for purchase at the following locations:

Beban Park Complex
Bowen Park Complex
Nanaimo Aquatic Centre
Oliver Woods Community Centre
Service and Resource Centre

Passes are valid for one year from the date of purchase.  Parking passes must be displayed on the dash of the vehicle while parked at lot.  Purchase of a pass does not guarantee parking space availability in the lot.  All vehicles parked in the Brechin Boat Ramp lot must show visible means of launching a boat.

For more information on purchasing a Brechin Boat Ramp pass please contact 250-756-5200.

Rates for 2016
$75 for a Boat Trailer and Vehicle Pass (Trailer plate(s) required).
$50 for a Car Top Boat Pass (Vehicle License Plate(s) required).

Purchase of single day use parking is available from the onsite Ticket Dispenser. Fees for single day parking are $6 per day.

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