The ramblings of a giant squid…

South Keys plaza – Ottawa’s most expensive parking

Friends-Romans-Countrymen, Travel

I got my car in November 2004. Life was good. But lately (since October 2005) parking at the South Keys plaza – for the purpose of patronizing the shops there, has or will cost me:

  • A new set of licence plates: $100
  • A new bumper: $1022
  • 2 door dings, as yet unrepaired, but let’s say $100 total
  • 2 scratches, also not yet repaired, but let’s say $250 because one is a bit deep.

So let’s call it $1472 in the last 6 months. That’s $245 a month. More than it costs to get a spot at the World Exchange plaza in downtown Ottawa where I work. In fact, Parking At South Keys Plaza related repairs are running about 35% of my car payment. I could buy a second car for less than what it costs to park at South Keys. Though hard to imagine, it actually might be worthwhile to buy an old beater so I can go to a couple restaurants and Future Shop because the beater would be cheaper than fixing my main car.

Previous cars I’ve had have suffered in that plaza too. It has, hands down, the worst designed parking lot in the world, clearly intended to frustrate, vex, and generally annoy the crap out of patrons – although in the case of this weekend, someone would actually have had to go out of their way to hit my car as it was Sunday morning and the lot wasn’t close to full – and I can understand how tempers can flare and contribute to door dings and small scratches that might be more than would be expected elsewhere. God forbid there should ever be a fire there, or worse, an accident requiring medical assistance in the parking lot, because people will die before an emergency vehicle negotiates the maze of pedestrian crosswalks across the main drive, snaking throughfares, and generally byzantine traffic flow.

Of course, the plaza isn’t responsible, the patrons are. With luck, I’ve mentioned “South Keys” enough that this entry will bubble to the top of Google and people can read about it. Maybe they’ll recognize themselves. Maybe the plaza management will read it and do something about their ridiculous parking lot.

Maybe pigs will fly.

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