28 May 2020

More outdoor recreation facilities to reopen in Vancouver for casual use

Vancouver Park Board
News Release
May 28, 2020

The Vancouver Park Board will begin reopening more than 320 outdoor recreation amenities across the city on Friday, May 29 including skate parks, synthetic sports fields, basketball and volleyball courts, disc golf, roller hockey, multisport courts, and 166 playgrounds.

The Park Board is taking a thoughtful and phased reopening and recovery approach in alignment with the BC Restart Plan, and in consultation with various government and non-government agencies and partners. 

Skate parks will be opened on Friday with other facilities following a phased approach throughout the weekend. Playgrounds will be open across the city by Monday, June 1, in alignment with the Vancouver School Board’s resumption of in-class learning. 

“Vancouver is an incredibly active city with residents who rely on our outdoor facilities for recreation, fitness, and overall wellbeing,” said Park Board Chair Camil Dumont. “We know it has been a challenge for many in our community who have had to forego their usual outdoor recreation activities during COVID-19 and I’m grateful to everyone for their understanding and patience through this process. We are asking residents to work together to ensure our facilities are used safely once reopened.”

The outdoor recreation facilities will be available for casual use only, meaning residents are encouraged to practice individual skills or play for fun with others in their household. Organized competitive play or training will not be permitted at this time. 
Once outdoor recreation facilities reopen, the Park Board is asking residents to follow these guidelines for safe casual play:  

●      Maintain two metres distance from others who are not in your household

●      Wash and/or sanitize your hands frequently

●      Disinfect personal equipment before and after use

●      Do not share equipment

●      Stay home if you feel sick
Park Board staff will be installing educational signage at many of the outdoor recreation sites that will be reopened to support user awareness and compliance with the new guidelines. 

The Park Board closed its outdoor recreation facilities in mid-March as part of its response to COIVD-19. In recent weeks, the Park Board has reopened Fraserview, McCleery and Langara golf courses, VanDusen Botanical Garden, as well as tennis and pickleball courts. 

The Park Board continues to review the feasibility of reopening other facilities and services and will make adjustments to its operations based on the latest information provided by Vancouver Coastal Health, the Provincial Health Officer, and industry partners.

For more information about the status of services and facilities impacted by COVID-19, please visit: vancouver.ca/covid19.
Media contact:
Vancouver Park Board

22 May 2020

Parking to reopen at Vancouver beaches and parks starting today

Vancouver Park Board
Information Bulletin
May 22, 2020

Starting this morning, Vancouver Park Board staff will begin reopening the majority of parking lots at parks and beaches, with the aim of having lots open by Sunday, May 24.

Parking lots were closed in mid-March as part of the Park Board’s overall effort to support physical distancing, reduce crowding at destination parks and beaches, and encourage use of neighbourhood parks.

The reopening of public parking includes 7,000 stalls at beaches and parks across the city, including the roadways at Queen Elizabeth Park. The reopening follows careful planning and consideration by the Park Board and is in alignment with the BC Restart Plan. Parking at beaches and parks is also vital to ensure there is equity of access to these spaces, particularly for residents with mobility challenges.

Pay parking and enforcement will be in effect at the pay lots and visitors are urged to keep a safe distance from others of at least two metres while exiting their vehicles and visiting beaches and parks.

Parking will remain temporarily closed at lots in Stanley Park and English Bay due to the continued vehicle closures in the park and along Beach Avenue. A small number of lots will remain temporarily closed at certain community centres and park sites for operational reasons. 

The Park Board is taking a thoughtful and phased approach to reopening its facilities and services. Fraserview and McCleery golf courses and VanDusen Botanical Garden reopened May 1, tennis and pickleball courts May 9, and Langara Golf Course May 15.

The Park Board continues to review the feasibility of reopening other facilities and services and will make adjustments to its operations based on the latest information provided by Vancouver Coastal Health, the Provincial Health Officer, and industry partners.

For more information about the status of services and facilities impacted by COVID-19, please visit: vancouver.ca/covid19

Media contact:
Vancouver Park Board

14 May 2020

Vancouver to delay outdoor pool openings, with swimming beaches unguarded, due to COVID-19

May 13 2020

The Vancouver Park Board will delay the annual opening of its five outdoor pools and will not immediately provide lifeguards at its nine bathing beaches while conducting a thorough review of how to protect swimmers and staff from the risk of COVID-19.

For decades, the Park Board has signaled the return of summer each May long weekend by opening outdoor pools at Second Beach, Kitsilano, New Brighton Park, Maple Grove, and Hillcrest Aquatic Centre and providing lifeguards at public swimming beaches in the city.

The Park Board, along with other municipal outdoor pool operators, is awaiting the release of new operating guidelines from Lifesaving Society Canada to help guide revised procedures to safely support swimmers at both pools and beaches during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New procedures for lifeguards 

The Society’s report-back is expected at the end of May and will include new procedures for lifeguards to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19 during rescues, including:
  • New in-water rescue techniques
  • Modified first aid and resuscitation protocols
  • Proper use of personal protective equipment

Once a feasible revised operating plan is developed and approved, the Park Board will move swiftly to hire and train staff and ready outdoor pool facilities.

Outdoor beaches

Vancouver beaches have remained open during the pandemic and will continue to be open this weekend. The major change will be that lifeguards will not be on duty and rafts at English Bay, Jericho, Kitsilano, and Locarno beaches will not be installed.

The Park Board typically provides lifeguards at its nine beaches for 16 weeks during the summer, staffing them from 11am to 8pm. The beaches are located at:
  • Spanish Banks
  • Locarno
  • Jericho
  • Kitsilano
  • Sunset
  • English Bay
  • Second Beach
  • Third Beach
  • Trout Lake
New signage will be present at the beaches indicating that swimmers will enter the water at their own risk.

Find more information about the status of services and facilities impacted by COVID-19


Daisy Chin, Director of Recreation for the Vancouver Park Board

“The impacts of COVID-19 on our daily life and recreation habits have been difficult for many in our community and we understand this is not welcome news for Vancouver, but public safety is our top priority and unfortunately we are not in a position to open this weekend,” said Daisy Chin, Director of Recreation for the Vancouver Park Board.

11 May 2020

Vancouver park and beach parking lots to remain closed

Vancouver Park Board
Information Bulletin
May 11, 2020 

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation will not be reopening parking lots at beaches and parks in the coming days as a result of a decrease in public compliance with physical distancing.

Vancouver Park Board lots were closed on March 23 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to prevent large groups of people from gathering at destination parks and beaches, such as Kits Beach, Jericho Beach, and English Bay, among others. Staff had tentatively planned to reopen the lots this week but will not immediately proceed with that plan.

“This weekend our staff observed larger than normal groups of people at destination beaches, as well as a notable reduction in physical distancing,” said Shauna Wilton, Deputy General Manager of the Vancouver Park Board. “While we echo Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice to get outside, we need to ensure the public is able to do so safely and we want to remind people to access their neighbourhood spaces and refrain from driving to destination locations.”

The Park Board Rangers have been monitoring physical distancing in parks and beaches and have issued more than 11,079 warnings to groups who are not complying with the Provincial Health Officer’s two-metre guidelines. This weekend alone, more than 1,880 warnings were issued by Rangers.

The Park Board is also appealing to the public to observe and comply with parking signs, which remain in effect throughout the city.

Media contact:
Vancouver Park Board

01 May 2020

City speaks out against racism during COVID-19 pandemic

Anti-Asian violence, vandalism not acceptable in our city

May 1 2020 

As we prepare to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in Vancouver during the month of May, we need to acknowledge there have been increased incidents of hateful comments, vandalism, and violence in our own city targeted at people of Asian descent.

History has shown that racism and discrimination are heightened in times of crisis. While various forms of racism, faith-based discrimination, and stigmatization of people living in poverty continue, the global spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has triggered targeted and intensifying xenophobia and anti-Chinese / anti-Asian racism in cities around the world.


Report hate crimes to VPD

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is investigating a number of anti-Asian incidents in the past several weeks. We and the VPD take hate crime and hate-motivated incidents very seriously.
Anyone who has been a victim of hate crime or witnesses a hate crime is encouraged to report it to police .




City manager Sadhu Johnston

“As a City of Reconciliation, Vancouver is committed to anti-racism, anti-discrimination, diversity, inclusion, and the full participation of all members in our society,” said City Manager Sadhu Johnston. “Healthy communities are established and thrive when all community members experience a strong sense of belonging, respect for diversity and intercultural understanding, and social cohesion. No one should feel unsafe, harassed, or that they don’t belong, and we at the City of Vancouver will not tolerate acts of hate.”


General Manager of Arts, Culture, and Community Services Sandra Singh

“We must acknowledge and confront racism and discrimination when and where they occur,” said Sandra Singh, General Manager of Arts, Culture and Community Services for the City, and responsible for the City’s support programs for its most vulnerable citizens. “Each of us has a responsibility to stand against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes. We at the City of Vancouver stand with our diverse communities and celebrate their contributions to the fabric of this amazing city. And we continue to support those with longstanding vulnerabilities caused by racism, poverty, and exclusion.”


Community supports and initiatives


May 1: City Hall illuminated in red

On the evening of May 1, Vancouver City Hall will be illuminated in red to signal the opening of Asian Heritage Month and the start of Virtual explorASIAN.

To commemorate the occasion, VAHMS will live-stream their opening event on the explorASIAN Facebook page from the north steps of City Hall.