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North Vancouver marina to set more than 400 boat owners adrift after mass eviction notice

Hundreds of people who live in their boats in North Vancouver’s Mosquito Creek Marina have been handed eviction notices. Kate Walker reports.

The Mosquito Creek Marina in North Vancouver has handed eviction notices to the owners of more than 400 boats, telling them to get out within the next six months.

In its eviction notice, the marina claims it’s permanently closing a number of docks due to safety issues.

“The state of these docks has deteriorated such that critical repairs, which will begin immediately, are needed to stabilize them for the winter,” the notice to the marina’s tenants said.

“We regret to inform you that while we will implement actions to mitigate any imminent safety hazards, we will also need to permanently close the Marina docks (as described above) in the future and to develop extensive rehabilitation or redevelopment plans for our Marina,” it continued.

Charlie Bell, a co-owner of a boat that is moored at the marina, is just one of the people told to move along.

“I was really distressed to see approximately 24 hours ago that we received communications from the marina management … that they’re requiring all boats, absolutely everyone to be moved out,” he told CityNews.

“It’s distressing for myself, because we have this expensive boat that we have put so much of our financial capacity into. But it’s only a fraction of the distress that a lot of people who are actually living at the marina will be feeling at the moment.”

WATCH: North Vancouver marina to set more than 400 boat owners adrift after mass eviction notice

Bell says he’s particularly upset for people who live on their boats full time due to the Lower Mainland’s lack of affordable housing — like the man whose boat is directly beside his.

“He’s such a great guy. He’s always helped us, learning how to sail, learning the ways of the seas, and he’s a retiree. He occasionally works, but I think the reason he’s able to spend the bulk of his time not working is because he has access to that accommodation in the marina,” he shared.

Bell says another neighbour in the marina runs his business from his boat. Working remotely, he serves customers in person at the boat, “and all of his related assets are either in his boat or stored at the marina storage.”

He says marinas around the region generally have waitlists in the range of 10 years.

“They have nowhere to go. … They’re going to find it extremely difficult to find anywhere else to moor. I imagine they’ll be needing to look at other living alternatives.”

Bell also notes that there are many float homes moored at the marina. He says that those residents have been told they’re allowed to remain, but significant construction is expected. “It’s not going to be a very nice place to live. There’s construction right out the door.”

Bell says he feels betrayed by the Mosquito Creek Marina.

“When you financially commit to a boat and a marina — that is so difficult to get into — you feel like you’re locked in. It’s a big investment.

“You don’t anticipate for things to happen … you never hear of a marina closing. So it really hit hard. It’s been circling through my brain for the past 24 hours.”

While the marina says the closures are coming due to safety concerns, Bell calls this “absolutely a cover-up… [it’s] absolute bollocks.”

“It’s clear that there’s development plans on the horizon. Typically, marinas would have the capability to replace aging infrastructure [by using jetties]. And they have funds set up for these things.

“To kick everyone out at the same time is an absolute cover-up for something significant that they’re building,” Bell speculated, noting the marina might be looking at housing super yachts to increase the marina’s revenue.

Bell says a few residents have already spoken to lawyers to get an understanding of their options.

“I think it’s just a classic example that we’ve seen over decades and throughout history where larger interests are just really taking advantage of regular people — people who are looking for affordable housing in an extremely unaffordable city.

“I just really feel for those people that have made a sacrifice to live on water instead of in a house, and now they’re being completely taken advantage of.

“It is distressing.”

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