Youthlink Blog

Let's Take a Moment to Celebrate Parking Tickets

At one time, you could park anywhere you please in downtown Calgary.

We all know that parking in any major city’s downtown is not for the faint of heart – and Calgary is no exception. Squeezing into small spaces, the pressures of parallel parking and the ticking time bomb of Park Plus – only great food, a cool culture and cold beer could make it worth it.

Crank back the wheel of time, and we find a very different Calgary parking experience. Prior to 1921, drivers could simply park their cars wherever they please – anytime, anywhere. Sure it sounds lovely, but can imagine the honking that would erupt today?

As you may have guessed, these loose laws (or no laws really) were too good to last – the chaos needed to be curbed. By 1921, police put a stop to the disordered and congested streets by implementing restricted parking ‘zones’ and parking tickets.

Calgary’s response? A bit of irritation (a timeless response) and an unforeseen sense of humour. The first tickets issued were in the form of tags, which were easily relocated and replicated by a few young and cheeky citizens. Calgarian’s were not amused. Nonetheless, City Hall stayed the course, making parking tickets a time-honoured tradition.

While we may not celebrate the beginning of parking tickets in Calgary – their history might be nice to reflect on the next time Parking Authority sends you a note in the mail.

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