B.C. health officials announced Thursday the province would be loosening restrictions on outdoor gatherings to allow up to 10 people to come together outside.
But with the loosened measures only applying to the outdoors, many Metro Vancouverites will be looking for a safe and responsible place to reconnect and toast to a reunion. But where to go?
Just in time for spring break, Port Coquitlam has formally adopted a bylaw allowing people to drink responsibly in their neighbourhood park.
After an extensive public survey, Port Coquitlam agreed to make permanent legal drinking at seven parks and extend the privilege to three more for a pilot project.
Signage is expected to go up in parks by next week, according to a city spokesperson.
Here’s where you can drink legally in Port Coquitlam:
- Peace Park, 1470 Kebet Way
- Dominion Park, Ranger Lane
- McLean Park, 3155 Wellington St.
- Castle Park, 2252 Castle Crescent.
- Settlers Park, 1250 Confederation Dr.
- Gates Park, 2300 Reeve St.
- Lions Park, 2300 Lions Way.
- Aggie Park, 3050 Chester St.
- Evergreen Park, Cornwall St.
- Cedar Drive Park, 950 Prairie Ave.
Last year, parks became places to celebrate family milestones and one man even had his wedding at Lions Park, when COVID-19 made it impossible to hold a party indoors.
Almost nine out of 10 people who filled out a survey supported the pilot, with responses that indicated the initiative helped to make people feel part of their community and less isolated.
“It was a very positive thing, never did I experience any sort of rowdy behaviour or hooliganism,” Mayor Brad West told council. “Who it was taking advantage was largely families, which is what I would have expected.”
More feedback will be collected through an online survey here: portcoquitlam.ca/alcoholpilot
OTHER LIQUOR FRIENDLY PARKS IN METRO VANCOUVER
Port Coquitlam is not the only municipality to open its parks to an afternoon tipple.
Outside of Quebec, North Vancouver was the first Canadian municipality to pilot alcohol consumption in parks last year during the pandemic. Since then, it’s made that bylaw permanent at seven parks across its North Shore jurisdiction from noon to dusk. They include:
- Mahon Park
- Ray Perrault & Grand Boulevard parks
- Victoria Park West
- Kings Mill Walk Park
- Waterfront Park
- Cates Deck
- Shipbuilders Square
Meanwhile, the municipality of Delta unanimously approved a motion to launch its own liquor in park pilot project later this year.
Metro Vancouver will also be asked for an opportunity to include both regional parks in Delta, coming up with designated opening and closing times as a part of the pilot project.
And in Vancouver, city council is looking to open up 22 parks for people to enjoy an alcoholic beverage. However, a new bylaw will require an update to the Liquor Control and Licensing Act, which is governed by the province. It's not clear when that will go through.
The liquor consumption in parks pilot has been approved, with 22 designated sites in #Vancouver. The Board has directed staff to apply for licences to allow concessions located near pilot sites to sell beer, cider, and coolers, providing there are no additional legal liabilities. pic.twitter.com/3bz7DZeRm5— Vancouver Park Board (@ParkBoard) July 28, 2020
In the meantime, here are all the parks where you can legally consume alcohol in Metro Vancouver:
— With files from Sandor Gyarmati