UPDATED (May 7): Public Spaces & Civic Facilities – COVID-19 Response
The following is an updated list of public space changes that have been introduced to combat COVID-19 (Coronavirus). It covers all public places, civic facilities, and programs in Vancouver, and identifies what’s closed and what’s still open.
Note: On May 6, the Province of BC announced details of “Restart BC”, which will see a phased re-opening of businesses, services and other amenities, starting in mid-May. The plan references different types of public spaces, including museums, art galleries, libraries, and other outdoor spaces. Specific details on Vancouver’s response are expected shortly.
Updated May 7, 2020.
The following facilities and programs are CLOSED, CANCELLED or SUSPENDED until further notice:
Parks, Other Public Spaces and Outdoor Recreation Facilities
- Park Board community centres (except those listed below), pools, fitness centres, and ice rinks – as well as field houses and change rooms
- City of Vancouver Langara Golf Courses – currently closed, but slated to re-open May 15 (announced May 7)
- All outdoor recreation facilities within parks and beaches, including volleyball, skateparks, field sports, tennis, and more. (As of Sunday, March 22)
- Parking facilities at high-traffic parks, (in particular: Kits Beach, Queen Elizabeth Park, English Bay, Jericho Beach, Locarno Beach, the Seawall, Stanley Park, and VanDusen Botanical Garden). (As of Sunday, March 22)
- All playgrounds (as of Friday, March 20)
- Several dog parks (where it’s a challenge to maintain safe physical distancing). Off-leash areas at Stanley, Emery Barnes, Sunset Beach, Hinge Park (Olympic Village), Andy Livingstone, Nelson, and Sunset Parks are now closed. Other dog parks remain open. (As of Wednesday, March 25)
- All permitted events at Park Board sports fields and parks are cancelled
- Attractions such as the Bloedel Conservatory and the Stanley Park Train
- Park Board day camps are working towards closure for end of day, Friday March 20
- Most, but not all Provincial Parks (limited access to Mt. Seymour and Cypress) -
- Parklets located on city streets are closed for everything but through traffic. Seating has been removed (via City social media 2 Apr, 2020)
- Car access to Stanley Park has been closed (except for the Stanley Park Causeway) (As of 7-Apr) (Details)
- Car access to Beach Avenue (Hornby to Stanley Park) closed (As of 9-Apr)
- Several Bus Routes have been suspended or are operating with reduced service (Details via Translink)
Civic Facilities and other Publicly Accessible Buildings
- Vancouver Public Library central and branch libraries
- Vancouver Civic Theatres
- Neighbourhood Houses, and community facilities such as the Aboriginal Friendship Centre
- Community Centres (as noted above)
- Vancouver Coastal Health and the City of Vancouver have also ordered ALL bars closed, as well as table service at restaurants (take out and delivery are still allowed).
Civic Meetings & Events; Other Public Gatherings
- Meetings related to any Council-appointed advisory committees, boards or commissions
- Open houses, workshops, pop-up and street activities, along with rezoning open houses
- Any gatherings of 50 or more people are banned, and permits for any such events have been revoked. Gatherings of any size are strongly discouraged by BC’s Medical Health Officer (article) (3/31)
- Memorial services at Mountain View Cemetery
The following currently remain OPEN (pending further announcements)
- All parks, plazas and streets (except playgrounds, selected dog parks, outdoor recreation facilities, and parking lots in high-traffic parks)
- Park washrooms
- City of Vancouver Golf Courses – Fraserview and McCleery golf-courses re-opened (with restrictions) on May 1. (Announced April 27); Langara course will re-open May 15 (announced May 7).
- Library – online/digital library services
- Evelyn Saller, Carnegie, and Gathering Place Community Centres remain open to deliver essential services; however reduced hours are in effect.
- Roundhouse and Coal Harbour Community Centres – have been opened as emergency response centres in order to create additional capacity and provide a safer place for those experiencing homelessness. The centres will be referral-only, staffed 24/7 and have been set up to help reduce the chance of transmission of COVID-19.
- Public access to the City of Vancouver Services Centre, Revenue Services, Engineering Services at Crossroads will be limited to appointments and this City is working to implement digital solutions such as video conferencing and greater use of phone and email
- Via Translink: transit service is now free. Note that several routes have been suspended or are operating with reduced service (Details). Bus service: overall capacities per bus have been reduced to support physical distancing requirements; patrons are also being asked to board through the rear doors of buses. You can also check out this handy guide from Moving in a Liveble Region about regional transportation options
- Regional public spaces: Metro Vancouver parks remain open. ; limited access to BC Parks (Mt. Seymour and Cypress)
- Walk and roll, and bike access only to Beach Avenue (Hornby to Stanley Park) and most roads in Stanley Park (except Stanley Park Causeway) (as of 7/8-Apr).
In all cases, users of public space are asked to maintain sensible Physical Distancing (aka “Social Distancing”). Keep at least 2 metres distance from other people. In addition, always undertake basic prevention techniques, including proper and regular hand-washing, good respiratory hygiene, and avoid touching your face.