Vancouver is bracing for another hot weekend with big crowds on beaches and in the city's entertainment districts.
The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) reported its third-busiest weekend of 2023, as soaring temperatures brought massive crowds to city parks and beaches. In total, its officers responded to 1,800 incidents between Friday and Monday (May 12 to 14), which was an increase of over a third (36 per cent) from last year.
Police also received 28 calls about incidents on beaches, representing a staggering 250 per increase year-over-year.
On Friday, a 23-year-old man was bear-sprayed in the face by someone while he was partying with a group of friends at English Bay. The suspect disappeared into the crowd following the assault and was not located.
Const. Tania Visintin told V.I.A. that the VPD will deploy extra officers to beaches and in the Gastown, Granville, and Yaletown entertainment districts.
"We’re happy to see people getting outside and enjoying the warm weather, and we want everyone to have a good time," she said.
"If you see a crime in progress or your safety is in immediate danger, please call 911 so our officers can respond immediately."
Vancouver weather forecast includes more hot weather
The city's beaches did not have lifeguards present during the hot, busy Mother's Day weekend.
A spokesperson for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation told V.I.A. that it staffs aquatic features and facilities based on "a number of things like staffing availability, weather, public interest, and need, and is always evolving and adapting based on past years."
Ahead of the upcoming May long weekend, the Park Board has scheduled additional staff to collect garbage and litter. It has also added additional garbage totes to areas that are most popular during sunny weather, which will continue to be serviced regularly.
While it won't kick in in time for the weekend, locals will be able to drink at seven city beaches starting June 1.
From June 1 to Sept. 4 people will be allowed to drink at these beaches between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.:
- Jericho Beach
- Spanish Banks
- Locarno Beach
- Kitsilano Beach
- Trout Lake Beach in John Hendry Park
- New Brighton Beach
With files from Brendan Kergin