Cheap parking guide for the downtown campus location

Cate McPhee


As a future student, you probably haven't given much thought to the thrilling topic of parking. However, if you're planning on driving to a lot of your classes, you'll quickly learn that parking can be an expensive addition to your education.

That's why it's important to do research and find some deals on where to park for cheaper.

Ontario Tech University works with the city of Oshawa to use the downtown parkade with the purchase of a parking pass. However, the parkade tends to be quite busy and can be a bit pricey.

There's nothing worse then running late to class and then rolling into the parkade to see this… 

parking lot full sign

Depending on how often you plan to park, there are some other options to scope out before you begin your journey as a Ridgeback! Take note of these downtown parking spots that can help to make parking a little more stress free. 

Now who doesn’t love free? There is limited free parking downtown but there are some options. To be honest, the best and cheapest spots are a bit further away form the school and will take a little bit of walking. However, the suggested parking garage for the university can be just as far.


free parking monoplyThe Oshawa Centre

Parking at the Oshawa Centre (OC) mall is always free. Now it's quite a haul to walk from the OC to the downtown location. However, the mall is where all of the Durham Region Transit buses congregate. You can take many different buses downtown from the mall for free with your student card.


The Midtown Mall

This option is a bit closer to downtown. You might recognize the Midtown Mall as the Drive Test mall, located on John Street.

You can park towards the east side of the parking lot and there is a bridge that takes you to the back of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Keep walking and you will reach your classes in no time.


Use the side streets

Alternatively, parking on the side streets surrounding the university buildings can be free. For example, if you have class at 61 Charles, Charles Street connects with Bruce Street. If you travel about a block east on Bruce Street, street parking is free. 

I caution you to be aware of your surroundings. Not only is your safety a priority, but also be aware of signage. The signs tend to be very clear on rules for parking.

To be safe, you can check out the Oshawa parking bylaws.


Parallel parking

Parallel parking can also be cheaper then getting a parking pass because you can pay hourly. All downtown locations have parallel street parking directly outside of the buildings.

Plus it is the best feeling when you perfectly parallel park on the first try! 

Parallel parked cars

You can pay using the street side machines or you can download the app called Honk. This parking app can be very useful for those times when you pay for two hours but your class ends up going for longer. You can add additional time via the app without even leaving your class. You can use the location on your mobile app to find exactly where your car is parked or you can use the distinctive numbers located on the parking meters. 

As a future student, you'll come to learn that it is the best feeling when you can save a little bit of money. The best advice I ever received is to live below your means. Work hard, live cheap and save your money!

If you have any other cheap parking spots located near the downtown campus please help out a fellow student and share them below!

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