18 August 2019

Vancouver’s outdoor pools are making a bigger splash than ever

09 August 2019

City updates procurement policy to promote protection of animals

City suppliers and sub-contractors to operate within recognized animal welfare best practices




August 8 2019 – 


Following updates to our procurement policies that went into effect August 1, we will be working with suppliers who meet best practice levels for animal welfare.

This commitment is the result of a City Council motion that was approved in May to support higher animal welfare standards through updated procurement and supplier code of conduct policies.

"Incorporating animal welfare into our policies aligns with Vancouver being a world class leader in procurement practices as well as demonstrating the City's commitment to healthy cities/communities and healthy ecosystems," said Patrice Impey, General Manager of Finance, Risk and Supply Chain Management. "These updates also align with the Greenest City Action Plan, Environmental Framework for Municipal Operations, and Social Planning food strategies."

Five freedoms

Following a review of similar policies in other jurisdictions, and direct consultation on scope and wording with the BC SPCA, Vancouver is one of the first cities in Canada to update its Ethical Procurement Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure its suppliers and their sub-contractors operate within recognized animal welfare best practices, such as the five freedoms, which are:
  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
  2. Freedom from pain, injury and disease
  3. Freedom from distress
  4. Freedom from discomfort
  5. Freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being
"We would like to acknowledge the City of Vancouver for taking this extremely progressive step to recognize the importance of animal welfare in their procurement of services or goods," said Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA. "We hope that other municipalities will take note of Vancouver's leadership in this area and incorporate their own procurement policies that consider animal welfare.

What the updated policies apply to

The updated policies apply to all of our procurements and can be referenced when animal products or services are purchased to ensure the humane treatment and welfare of animals under human control, including their basic necessities, are maintained through the production and supply chain.

These changes are per Council direction from the Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities resolutions dated May 15, 2019.

04 August 2019

Keep our parks safe: Public asked to respect BBQ restrictions and park smoking ban

August 2 2019 
 Vancouver parks and beaches are busier than ever at this time of the year so the Vancouver Park Board is reminding visitors to respect barbecue restrictions and park smoking ban.

Barbeque restrictions

On the day of Celebration of Light (one more on August 3) no barbecues are allowed between the Park Board head office at the entrance of Stanley Park to just south of the Inukshuk in English Bay Beach, whether it is on grass or the beach.

Barbecues are permitted elsewhere in Stanley and English Bay and other parks, but must be 75 cm (29.5 inches) off the ground.

All beaches and parks are smoke-free 365 days a year

The Park Board’s primary goal is voluntary compliance through education with fines issued when necessary. Smoking is subject to a $250 fine and Park Rangers will be enforcing this bylaw.

Since early May we have responded to 28 fires in Stanley Park alone, the largest one covering an area approximately 50 meters by 50 meters. This fire was caused by a discarded cigarette.

Rangers rely on the public to be our eyes on the ground and report any fires or smoke. Discarded cigarettes and open flame are still the biggest issues we encounter. To date, 15 tickets and 250 warnings have been issued to people breaking the smoking bylaw. In addition, the Vancouver Police Department has issued tickets with a $575 fine to people for dropping or releasing a burning substance under BC’s New Wildfire Act .

The fire risk is currently low-moderate and is posted on fire hazard signs in heavily wooded areas—Stanley, Jericho Beach, and Everett Crowley parks, as well as at some concessions.

Park rangers on patrol

Extra rangers are being deployed during the fireworks and they work closely with our colleagues at Vancouver Fire Rescue Services and VPD to ensure that everyone plays by the rules and has a safe, enjoyable experience.

Uniformed rangers act as the Park Board's ambassadors in more than 240 city parks and are responsible for bylaw enforcement, monitoring play fields, finding missing persons, first aid, fire patrol, as well as work with Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services, Vancouver Police Department and BC Ambulance Service.

The rangers also respond to homeless issues and connect those in need to appropriate services.
The public is asked to phone 3-1-1 if they require a Park Ranger’s assistance.

31 July 2019

VanSplash strategy advisory group report: “Vancouver needs more pools”

Vancouver Park Board
News Release
July 31, 2019 

At a special Vancouver Park Board meeting last night, Commissioners received a feedback report on the draft VanSplash Aquatic Strategy outlining a vision for the future of aquatics in Vancouver. 

The report was produced by the VanSplash Advisory Group, which was appointed by the Board in late 2018 in order to review the draft VanSplash strategy and provide comments and insights to inform a revised draft strategy.

During the initial VanSplash engagement process in 2017 and 2018, staff heard from more than 7,000 residents at open houses, meetings, and through surveys. The advisory group was assembled to provide an enhanced, city-wide perspective on the diverse range of aquatic facilities and services.

The advisory group is made up of 19 individuals who responded to a call for applications. An independent facilitation consultant short-listed the applicants and the Board appointed members. The advisory group represents a wide range of backgrounds and interests in aquatics, and members are from every corner of Vancouver. The group met nine times over six months, facilitated by the neutral third-party facilitator.

“The Board was pleased to hear the comments and recommendations of the advisory group,” said Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon. “Their passion for aquatics is evident and we look forward to a well-informed revised draft VanSplash strategy later this fall. On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank every member of the advisory group for their time and valuable perspective.”
The findings of the advisory group will be used to refine the final draft VanSplash Aquatic Strategy that will be presented at a public meeting to the Board this fall for their consideration and decision.

The revised draft VanSplash Aquatic Strategy will set the foundation for renewal and capital investment of the city’s pools, beaches and spray parks over the next 10 years. The vision for the draft VanSplash is to deliver a wide range of aquatic experiences for residents and visitors that support Vancouver as a highly-livable, world-class coastal city.


VanSplash Advisory Group:
  • The VanSplash Advisory Group was comprised of 19 Vancouver residents, each with a unique connection to aquatics
  • ·Interested residents responded to a call for volunteers in November 2018
  • · 256 people applied and an independent facilitation consultant short-listed the applicants to ensure a diverse range of interests, perspectives, backgrounds and locations within the city.
  • · The Board appointed 20 members to the advisory group
  • · The group met nine times over six months
  • · Members included aquatic sport coaches, parents of children in swim lessons, people living with disabilities, aquatics advocates, former competitive athletes, recreational aquatics users, ocean swimmers, and a range of other perspectives and group affiliations.

Aquatics by the numbers:
  • · The Park Board manages nine indoor pools, five outdoor pools,and 11 swimming beaches, and care for 17 wading pools, 15 spray parks, and one fresh water lake.
  • · The nine indoor pools had 2.4 million visits in 2015, while outdoor pools Kitsilano, Second Beach and New Brighton had about 450,000 visits in total last year.
  • · Eleven beaches and one lake provide supervised swimming to approximately five million visitors each year.
  • · Kitsilano is the largest saltwater pool in North America with 137 metres of seaside swimming.
  • · The newest aquatic facility in Vancouver is Hillcrest Centre which opened in 2010.
  • · In the last decade, Killarney and Renfrew pools were renovated and spray parks installed at Norquay, Prince Edward, Pandora, Carnarvon and Riley parks. 
  • · Six indoor pools are between 40-60 years old (Templeton, Kerrisdale, Lord Byng, Brittania, Vancouver Aquatic Centre and Kensington).

More information:  

Media contact:
Vancouver Park Board