Despite wintry weather, Vancouver’s lakes and ponds not safe for skating


If all the recent snow and below-zero temps have had you dreaming of lacing up your skates and hitting the ice at one of Vancouver’s lakes or ponds, sadly the powers that be will tell you that’s a no-go.

Though once upon a time in Vancouver’s history skating on park lakes and ponds was a common thing, these days city officials keep close tabs on the ice’s thickness before giving the public the go-ahead to get out there and skate.

In Vancouver, Trout Lake in John Hendry Park has opened for skating in recent winters, but right now the official word is no. The City of Vancouver have even put lifeguards in place to ensure people keep off the ice (and keep dogs on leash near the frozen water).

Outside of the city, in both Coquitlam and Richmond, are some popular public parks where ice skating is known to happen during particularly cold spells. Coquitlam’s Como Lake and Lafarge Lake sometimes open to skating, however the city is very stern regarding safety on those bodies of water.

“During stretches of particularly cold weather, the City monitors the thickness of ice in City parks. Despite what might appear to be extremely cold weather conditions, the ice is often not thick enough to support people or animals,” notes Coquitlam’s Winter Wise safety webpage.

“Unless otherwise advised, we strongly urge you for your safety to obey all signs and stay off the ice, even if it looks thick enough.”

Similarly, in Richmond, Steveston’s Garry Point Park lures in skaters and hockey enthusiasts for a little bit of ice action. They’ve got signs up indicating the danger of thin ice and asking people to keep off…though that hasn’t stopped quite a few people in the last couple of days.