Vancouver encampment being cleared at Vanier Park in Kitsilano

An encampment in Vancouver’s Vanier Park is the latest space to be cleared of tents.

The Vancouver Park Board says 12 park rangers were sent to the Kitsilano park Tuesday morning and provided five people with a copy of the bylaw.

The board says people living in the area were told to immediately remove propane tanks, and asked to pack up and remove their belongings.

Related video: Kitsilano park encampment sparks concern

“Rangers removed 16 – 25 lbs. propane tanks, three small green propane tanks, and a BBQ,” the Park Board says in an email to CityNews, adding residents were then “left to pack up.”

Rangers, alongside police and fire, are set to head back to Vanier Park Wednesday to ensure structures and tents have been removed and to “continue the process of helping them leave the site.”

“Once the individuals have left the area, arrangements will be made with Sanitation and Park Operations to completely remove all items,” the email adds.

The clearing of Vanier Park comes amid ongoing conversations around safety and fire dangers posed by tents and other structures on East Hastings Street.

Related articles: 

On Monday, Vancouver Fire Chief Karen Fry renewed calls for action from all levels of government after another encampment-related fire in the Downtown Eastside over the weekend.

“It’s such a balanced approach meeting the needs of the occupants that are unhoused in the Downtown Eastside. We have homelessness and those sheltering outdoors across our city, it is a crisis. But the risks that we’re seeing in the Downtown Eastside, specifically Hastings Street and the areas surrounding that, is untenable,” Fry said.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Park Board says rangers have noticed an uptick in calls “regarding people sheltering in parks.”

“Comparing January 2022 to January 2023, they saw an increase in calls from 186 to 322,” a statement reads.

“What is important to note is that situations such as these are extremely complex and require coordination.”

Related video: Explosion, fire in tent on DTES

The board adds teams have “visited numerous times to speak with the residents of these structures” while working to “reduce the footprint” of these encampments.

“The Homelessness Services Outreach from City of Vancouver have also attended, but the individuals have not been willing to engage. We understand and recognize that people have experiences that lead them to choose not to move into housing or shelter, but this situation involved potentially hazardous materials of risk to humans, animals and the park,” the Park Board statement continues.

-With files from Monika Gul and Martin MacMahon

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today