Vancouver’s popular parks set to be busier than ever this weekend

Stanley Park

AHEAD of the upcoming long weekend, and with stunning weather in the forecast, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation is reminding park visitors to expect busy parks and traffic congestion, particularly at Stanley Park, English Bay, John Hendry (Trout Lake) Park, Kitsilano Beach, Sunset Beach and Queen Elizabeth Park.

“Over the course of the pandemic, park use by residents skyrocketed. Now, as tourists return to the city and visitors flock from across the region, we’re seeing greater demand on Vancouver’s beautiful parks than ever before. While it is incredible see so many people enjoying the outdoors, we remind everyone to be patient and courteous to fellow park users, particularly at busy times,” says the Park Board.

Stanley Park

Similar to the usual volume of high traffic at long weekends, the Park Board is expecting vehicle congestion at the entry and exit from Stanley Park. With this in mind, here are a few tips to minimize stress when visiting Vancouver’s number-one tourist destination:

  • Expect traffic congestion at the entry to Stanley Park from Georgia Street and the exit from North Lagoon Drive, as traffic merges with Lions Gate Bridge traffic.
  • All accessible parking stalls are open and the majority of other stalls in the park are available.
  • If you can, consider leaving the car at home and taking public transit, walking, rolling or biking to the park. This will help those who have accessibility needs access the park more easily by car.
  • If you prefer to or need to drive, consider parking outside the park and using another mode of transport to get into the park.
  • The road along North Lagoon Drive has two lanes, which can be shared between all road users. We also remind drivers that it is possible to exit the park using Pipeline Road to avoid congestion on the western side of the park.
  • The road in Stanley Park is one-way (counter-clockwise). This includes the temporary bike lane and bike lane on the seawall. Users who travel in the wrong direction are putting themselves and others at significant risk. Vehicles can only travel in the left lane on Stanley Park Drive.

Additional signage will be in place this weekend to remind people to expect traffic congestion in Stanley Park.

Symphony at Sunset

In addition to Stanley Park’s popularity, the Symphony at Sunset Concert is returning to Sunset Beach this weekend.

More than 10,000 people are expected to enjoy the performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, July 2. Event set up and tear down will be taking place from Friday, July 1, through Sunday, July 3, and access to Sunset Beach Park will be impacted.

While most attendees will likely arrive by walking, rolling, cycling or via public transit, local traffic disruptions are expected. The following parking and road closures will be in effect on July 2:

Parking Interruptions:

  • 1200 block of Beach Avenue – between Jervis and Bute – no parking from 12 pm-10 pm
  • 1100 block of Beach Avenue – between Bute and Thurlow – no parking from 7:30 pm-10 pm
  • 1400 block of Bute Street – between Pacific and Beach – no parking from 7:30 pm-10 pm

Road Closures:

  • Beach Avenue – between Thurlow and Jervis – will be closed from 8:30 pm-10 pm

The washrooms at the Sunset Beach Concession will be closed from 2 pm.

Alcohol consumption is not permitted at this event.

Other park impacts

In addition to Stanley Park, the Park Board is also expecting packed crowds at other busy city parks, including English Bay, John Hendry (Trout Lake) Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Spanish Banks and Kitsilano Beach Park.

The Park Board says: “Parks are for everyone to enjoy. We ask everyone to be kind, respectful and to share parks with other visitors.

“While we are increasing the number of trash bins and sanitation staff over the weekend, we rely on park visitors to put waste in its place and keep greenspaces clean by properly disposing of trash or taking it away with them.

“We also remind visitors that alcohol consumption is only legal within specific areas of 22 parks. Consuming alcohol on any beach is prohibited. A list of these parks and the areas where drinking is permitted can be found here.”

Smoking is not permitted in any part of any park in Vancouver and anyone found smoking is subject to a minimum fine of $250.

Wildlife feeding is strictly prohibited across Vancouver, and subject to a fine of $500. To report incidents, call 311 or in the instance of coyotes, report to the RAPP line on 1-877-952-7277.