Outdoor pools and water parks in Vancouver will be open longer help Vancouverites cope with the hot weather.
Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Metro Vancouver with temperatures expected to reach 29 degrees Celsius into next week and beyond.
The park board has announced that Second Beach, New Brighton, Maple Grove, and Hillcrest outdoor pools will open an hour earlier at 9 a.m. Kitsilano Pool already opens at 7 a.m.
The city’s 14 water parks will have extended hours from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and staff are adjusting the timers on the parks but the changes should be in effect by the end of today (Wednesday, July 25).
Water parks normally operate daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and operate for five minutes at the push of a button to conserve water.
“We continue to look for ways to help people stay cool during this spell of intense heat and we hope that residents and visitors will be able to take advantage of the extended operating hours at pools and water parks,” says board chair Stuart Mackinnon in a news release.
“We’ve also installed misting stations at four parks—And Livingston, Emery Barnes, Oppenheimer, and Thornton—and activated cooling centres at Britannia, Hillcrest, Kerrisdale, Mount Pleasant, Ray-Cam, Roundhouse, and West End community centres,” he says.
The park board has purchased 10 water wheelchairs that are available to those in need on a first come, first serve basis at pools and beaches across Vancouver and can be booked online in advance on the city’s website.
Beach mats or Mobi-Mats have also been installed at Kits Beach and English Bay for people with walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters.
The board says park rangers are increasing patrols and looking out for people showing signs of heat-related illness, as well as distributing maps with cooling centre locations.
To help dogs stay cool there are off-leash parks have access to water at, New Brighton Park, Crab Park at Portside, John Hendry Dog Park, Sunset Beach, Devonian Harbour, Hadden Park and Spanish Banks.
The City of Vancouver has installed temporary water fountains, activated community centres and libraries as cooling centres and is providing water and sunscreen at community centres in the Downtown Eastside.