Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has a view from the P1 parking lot that shows the city lights at night. PHOTO: Josh Werle

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s P1 parking lot is typically filled with cars during the morning hours on school days, but when the sun sets and the night begins, the view of the city becomes all you can see. 

Although the downtown core has cleared out from the busy work day, the beaming city lights make Calgary look more vibrant than ever. With a perfect view of the well-lit city during the evening hours, SAIT’s P1 parking lot is in a league of its own when it comes to the best views of Calgary.

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I found this parking lot in the fall of 2017, but didn’t discover the view until many weeks later. I was 18-years-old, fresh out of high school and ready for my first week of SAIT’s broadcast systems technology program.

While I attended the institution, I lived in their student residence and parked my car in the P1 lot. Most students would go in and out of the parking lot like clockwork, not even bothering to look at the scenery around them. This is expected, as you would typically arrive during the busy hours of the morning and leave after an exhausting day of classes. 

SAIT’s P1 parking lot by day. PHOTO: Josh Werle

I distinctly remember getting home later in the evening one night, and driving into the lot. Instead of parking immediately, I traveled toward the back of the lot to discover the beautiful view of the city’s nightscape. Bold bright lights, towering buildings and a landscape view quickly helped me realize that this was going to be my favourite new place. 

As a student living on-campus, it was hard to differentiate between workplace and home. My home was my workplace and vice versa, and so I needed a destination that I could quickly escape to in order to clear my head and relax. The P1 parking lot is next door to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, making it close enough to walk to while always providing a significant change in scenery.

If you are out and about in Calgary during the evening hours, I suggest making a trip to SAIT’s P1 parking lot and seeing the view for yourself. Bring a friend, family member or loved one and enjoy the stillness of the city with the contrasting brightness of the illuminated core. 

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