Six locations have been recommended by City of Vancouver staff for this year’s program to allow alcohol consumption in plazas.
The list is subject to approval by council.
These sites and corresponding partners with the city are:
Main Street and west block of East 21st Avenue (Coco et Olive café, Little Mountain Neighbourhood House, residents)
Cambie Street and east block of West 17th Avenue (Cambie Village Business Association)
Granville Street and west block of West 13th Avenue (South Granville Business Improvement Association)
Granville Street and east block of West 14th Avenue (SGBIA)
South block of Maple Street and West 4th Avenue (Kitsilano West 4th Avenue Business Improvement Association)
Lot 19, 855 West Hastings Street (Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, with the support of EasyPark).
A staff report to council states that the 2022 program is suggested to run from June 15 to October 16, and between 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“Through the implementation of these recommendations for 2022, the City will temporarily allow public drinking in six designated plazas that will be managed in close collaboration with partners and other key stakeholders,” the document explains.
The staff report is included in council’s agenda on June 8.
The program builds on the success of two pilots in 2020 and 2021.
The report recalled that council on March 30 this year approved the city’s alcohol consumption in public plazas policy.
An earlier staff report that dealt with the policy recalled that council on June 23, 2020 directed staff to develop a pilot to allow for public consumption of alcohol in select public spaces.
The goal was to “support communities and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the food service industry, and to provide additional opportunities for people to safely socialize in public spaces, in light of public health restrictions on indoor gatherings”.
“Both the 2020 and 2021 pilots supported residents and businesses by providing a safe social environment for alcohol consumption during the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic public health measures,” the report stated.
Also, the two previous summer pilots “demonstrated that there is broad public and partner support for allowing drinking in select plazas, and that it has not resulted in any identified health, safety, or nuisance issues”.
“The proposed Policy would continue to enable spaces for residents to responsibly enjoy an alcoholic drink outdoors whether or not they have access to a backyard or other private outdoor space, and in a way that can be more affordable and accessible than a restaurant patio.”
Moreover, “Parks-led pilot spaces offer similar opportunities, but plazas are unique in that they are often adjacent to commercial high streets, offering proximity to food and beverage businesses, as well as offering different opportunities for geographical access.”
As well, “Allowing alcohol consumption in select public plazas, when managed safely, responsibly, and respectfully, can contribute to a social and engaged public life, and can help support local businesses.”