Owning a smart car may seem a little smarter if you’re Christmas shopping this year.
A few select stores and at least one mall are offering elite parking status to customers driving hybrid, electric or smart vehicles.
Kingsway Mall set aside five parking stalls near the front doors.
"I think it's nice to have more incentives for people to drive cars like that," said shopper Pat Green.
But other shoppers making the chilly trek to a hazily-recalled parking space didn’t feel so charitable.
"Ridiculous," said out-of-towner James Purdy.
"All these stalls for green vehicles doesn’t seem practical," said Doleen Messal, a new mother struggling to push a stroller containing her wailing three-month-old daughter.
The stalls would be more useful if reserved for parents with small kids, she said.
However most of the reaction has been positive, said the mall’s marketing director John Chwyll.
"It's comforting to know from the people who have called us to say this was a great initiative."
"It lets us know that maybe we are on the right track."
Mountain Equipment Co-op and Ikea also reserve spots for enviroment-friendly cars.