IN response to cold, snow and heavy rain expected over the weekend and into early next week, the City of Vancouver is extending Warming Centre operations to provide additional capacity for people to come indoors between January 1 and January 6.
The City encourages anyone who is sleeping outside to visit one of these centres, which are open to all, including people who have pets and carts. Centres will provide hot drinks and snacks. Up to 161 Warming Centre spaces have been created to bring people inside:
- Britannia Community Centre (Gym D) (1661 Napier Street): Open 8 pm to 6:30 am through January 6
- West End Community Centre (870 Denman Street): Open 11 pm to 6 am through January 3
- Carnegie Community Centre (401 Main Street): Open 11 pm to 6 am, January 2 through January 3
- First Avenue Shelter (1648 East 1st Avenue): Open daily 10 pm to 9 am through January 5
- First United (320 East Hastings Street): Open through January 1, 10 pm to 7 am (men only)
- Longhouse Council of Native Ministry (2595 Franklin Street): Open 10 pm to 6 am through January 5
- Odd Fellows Hall (1443 West 8th Avenue): Open daily 9:30 pm to 8 am through January 3 (bikes, but no pets or carts)
- Powell Street Getaway (528 Powell Street): Open daily 9 pm to 7 am through January 1, closed January 2 and 3, and open January 4 through to January 6
Measures are in place at all Warming Centre locations to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Face masks are required for everyone accessing Warming Centres and will be provided for free if needed. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is not required to access Warming Centres.
Health or social services provided to people in need, such as warming centres, are exempt from the Provincial Health Officer Gatherings and Events Order and are not subject to event or capacity limitations as announced on December 21, 2021.
Extreme Weather Response (EWR) Shelters
EWR shelters are funded by BC Housing and are activated when an extreme weather alert is issued for Vancouver, when there is sleet or freezing rain, snow accumulation, and/or temperatures at or below 0°C, or “feels like” 0°C with wind chill. Up to 114 spaces have been created at the following locations to bring people inside, through January 3:
- Directions Youth Services Centre (1138 Burrard Street): Open 10 pm to 7 am
- Tenth Church (11 10th Avenue West at Ontario Street): Open 9:30 pm to 9 am
- Cascades Church (3833 Boundary Road, west side of Boundary): Open 9:30 pm to 9 am
- Evelyne Saller Centre (320 Alexander Street): Open 11 pm to 7:30 am (Final intake at 1 am)
- Langara YMCA (282 West 49th Avenue, south side of 49th): Open 8 pm to 8 am
- Bud Osborn EWR (27 West Hastings Street): Open 7:30 pm to 7:30 am
Note: Alerts for these EWR and Warming Centre spaces are circulated to partner agencies, community centre staff, outreach program staff and a variety of agencies serving individuals experiencing homelessness. Details are posted to the City’s website and social media channels and available here. Check daily for any updates on locations and openings.
In addition to the extreme weather drop-in spaces above, there are also permanent and temporary shelters in operation. Those looking for shelter space can call 2-1-1 to check availability or find a full list of shelters online.
Additional Warm Spaces
As a reminder, community centres, public libraries and other public buildings are also available during their opening hours as spaces for people to come inside to warm up:
City of Vancouver Community Centres:
- The Gathering Place (609 Helmcken Street): Open 8:45 am to 8 pm
- Carnegie Community Centre (401 Main Street): Open 9 am to 11 pm
- Evelyne Saller Centre (320 Alexander Street): Open Monday–Friday 9 am to 11 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 10 pm
Park Board Community Centres:
Vancouver Public Library
- Central Library Branch Atrium and Washroom (350 West Georgia Street): January 1 (8 am – 8 pm), January 2 (8 am – 6:30 pm), January 3 (6 am – 9 pm), January 4 to 6 (6 am – 9 pm)
- Library Branches: https://www.vpl.ca/hours-locations
Check City of Vancouver social media accounts for warming centre spaces open beyond January 6. The City is monitoring the evolving weather forecast closely and will be taking additional measures as needed.
City Continues 24/7 Snow and Ice Removal Efforts
City crews are continuing to closely monitor the weather and implement a coordinated plan to treat for snow and ice on all key routes across Vancouver. The City’s response through the weekend and next week will be guided by the weather. With more snow accumulation expected tonight, all of the crews remain focused on treating priority routes for snow and ice. Additional staff from across the Engineering Department have been deployed in recent days to assist with hand salting of corner ramps and bus stops on arterial routes.
The City is working around the clock to maintain good driving conditions. However, some roads can still be icy and snowy as the City completes its treatments, especially with the very low temperatures Vancouver has experienced, making anti-icing materials less effective than usual. The City ask all residents to please watch for slippery sections, slow down and drive for the current conditions.
Priority routes for snow and ice treatment include major roads, bus routes, bridges, our four major pedestrian pathways (Arbutus Greenway, Central Valley Greenway, False Creek Seawall, and Coal Harbour Seawall), and the 16 most-used bike routes are currently being treated with salt and brine ahead of potentially more snow and ice conditions. Residential side streets are not included as part of the City’s snow treatment, with the exception of priority hills. A map of our prioritized plan can be viewed here.
Green bin collection suspended:
Due to the freezing temperatures, green bin collection has been temporarily suspended. Garbage collection is also temporarily suspended until January 4. The City said it appreciates the public’s patience with these service delays.
Residents also have a critical role to play in the snow and ice response. Following a snow event, all property owners and tenants must clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property or residence the morning after a snowfall, seven days a week.
The City also encourages residents and businesses to lend a hand to those who are unable to shovel their own sidewalks, particularly seniors and people with mobility challenges by signing up to become a Snow Angel.