Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Here's why you won't hear the 9 o'clock gun fire 'until further notice'

There's not enough stuff to make it go 'BANG'
9oclock-gun-lijuan-guo-photography-GettyImages-525148133
Vancouver's famed old 9 o'clock gun firing at 9 p.m.

Starting Feb. 11 Vancouver's famed 9 o'clock gun won't go 'BANG!' for a while.

That's because there's a global shortage of black powder, the explosive material that is used in the canon. As a result, the Vancouver parks board has announced the cannon won't be fired 'until further notice.'

"This shortage is not unique to Canada; BP is in short supply throughout North America and Europe due to supply chain challenges and an overall decrease in manufacturing," says the board in a press release. "Since the Park Board’s long-time supplier closed last fall, staff were only able to secure enough powder to fire until (Feb. 10.)"

Staff are exploring other options to give the cannon its boom back, but so far they haven't been able to acquire anything. However, the intention is to get it going again, as the parks board describes the pause as temporary.

The cannon was originally installed in 1894 as a way to tell mariners what time it is.

Want to know more about Vancouver's unique nightly ritual? Watch our video: Meet the man who loads Vancouver's historic 9 o'clock gun