Thanks to the success of Vancouver City Council's 2021 experiment allowing drinking in public parks, this summer from June 3 to October 22, the alcohol in parks pilot program has not only been relaunched at the 22 sites.
At Monday night’s meeting, the Parks Board approved the draft bylaw amendments required to support the 2022 pilot that designates areas in 22 of Vancouver’s most popular parks for approved public alcohol consumption between the hours of 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The park board heard feedback from the public in regards to the previous year's programs and while much of it was positive the community suggested that the 2021 boundaries for the designated areas were "irregular and challenging to identify."
With the exceptions of areas where drinking is already banned such as playgrounds, sports fields, community centres, ecologically sensitive natural areas, and off-leash dog areas, the park board has promised to clarify the areas where it is allowed with a map on their website and signage posted at each location.
For the most part, alcohol consumption is allowed throughout the designated parks but due to the size of Queen Elizabeth Park and Stanley Park the area is limited to a portion of the park.
The park areas have been chosen based on amenities like washrooms, garbage and proximity to other services that will make it easier to keep the space tidy and maintained and based on even distribution throughout the city.
While the pilot is in effect, Parks and Recreation staff will work with the VPD and regional health authorities to ensure each site is safe.
Back in March 2022 council also agreed to have staff consult with the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users and the Eastside Illicit Drinkers Group for Education about creating a “peer-staffed outdoor drinking space in the Downtown Eastside as a form of alcohol harm reduction” at Oppenheimer Park.
Once this year's program has wrapped up, staff will meet to review both pilot programs and make recommendations to the parks board on how to proceed with alcohol consumption in parks in the future.
In the meantime, here is a full list of parks where drinking will be permitted in Vancouver:
- Collingwood Park
- David Lam Park
- Fraser River Park
- Granville Park
- Harbour Green Park
- John Hendry (Trout Lake) ParkKitsilano Beach Park / Hadden ParkLangara ParkLocarno Beach Park
- Maple Grove Park
- Memorial South Park
- Memorial West Park
- New Brighton Park
- Pandora Park
- Queen Elizabeth Park
- Quilchena Park
- Riverfront Park
- Robson Park
- Rupert Park
- Stanley Park (southwest corner)
- Vanier Park
- Volunteer Park
*This story has been updated to address previous factual errors. The program has not expanded to include more parks but some park areas have gotten larger to simplify boarders.