The City of Vancouver is expanding its operations in the midst of a cold

IN In response to the extreme cold temperatures this week, the city of Vancouver announced on Tuesday that it is expanding the operation of the heating center to give people additional capacity to get indoors between December 28 and January 2.

In addition to Extreme Weather Response Shelters, heating centers are activated as an additional life-saving response for people sleeping outside when the temperature reaches -5 ° C or below (or it feels like -5 ° C or below). They are a complement to other initiatives taken by the city and county to ensure that people in Vancouver who experience homelessness have a place to keep warm during the winter months.

Heating centers

The municipality encourages everyone who sleeps outside to visit one of these centers, which is open to everyone, including people who have pets and carts. The centers will provide hot drinks and snacks. Up to 161 heat centers have been set up to bring people inside:

  • Powell Street Getaway (528 Powell Street): Open daily 9pm to 7pm
  • Odd Fellows Hall (1443 Vest 8th Avenue): Open daily 21:30 to 8:00 (bicycles, but no pets or carts)
  • Britannia Community Center (Gym D) (1661 Napier Street): Open daily 8pm to 6.30pm
  • West End Community Center (870 Denman Street): Open Dec. 28 and 29 from 9 p.m. 23:00 to 06:00, 30 and 31 December, at 23:00 to 9:00, January 1 to 15.00, kl. 23:00 to 06.00 (no carriages)
  • First Avenue Shelter (1648 East 1st Avenue): Open daily 22.00 to 9.00
  • First United (320 East Hastings Street): Open December 28-30, at 22:00 to 07:00 (men only)
  • Longhouse Council of Native Ministry (2595 Franklin Street): Open December 28-30, at 22.00 to 06.00

Measures have been taken at all heat centers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. face masks is required for anyone who has access to heating centers and will be provided free of charge if required. Evidence of COVID-19 vaccination is not required to access heating centers.

Health or social services provided to people in need, such as heating centers, are exempt from the Provincial Health Officers’ Meeting and Event Ordinance and are not subject to event or capacity constraints 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 forecast for Vancouver is issued, when there is sleet or frost, snow accumulation and / or temperatures at or below 0 ° C, or “feels like” 0 ° C with wind cooling. Up to 114 places have been created in the following places to bring people inside:

  • Directions Youth Service Center (1138 Burrard Street): Open 10pm to 7am
  • Tenth Church (11 10th Avenue West at Ontario Street): Open 9:30 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Cascades Church (3833 Boundary Road, west side of Boundary): Open 9:30 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Evelyne Saller Center (320 Alexander Street): Open at 23:00 to 07.30 (final intake at 01.00)
  • Langara KFUM (282 West 49th Avenue, south side of 49th): Open 8pm to 8pm
  • Bud Osborn EWR (27 West Hastings Street): Open 7:30 pm to 7:30 pm

NOTE: Alerts for these EWR and Heating Centers are issued to partner agencies, local center staff, outreach program staff, and a variety of agencies serving individuals experiencing homelessness. Further information is posted on the municipality’s website and social media channels and can be found here. Check daily for updates on locations and openings.

In addition to the extreme weather conditions 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 complete list of shelters online.

Additional warm rooms

As a reminder, town halls, public libraries and other public buildings are also available during their opening hours as spaces where people can come inside to warm up:

City of Vancouver Community Centers:

  • The Gathering Place (609 Helmcken Street): Open 8:45 to 20:00
  • Carnegie Community Center (401 Main Street): Open 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Evelyne Saller Center (320 Alexander Street): Open Monday-Friday 9am to 11pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 10pm

Community centers in the Park Board:

Vancouver Public Library

  • Central Library Branch Atrium and Washroom (350 West Georgia Street): Open Dec. 28 through 30 p.m. 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., December 31 at 7.00 to 18.30 and 1 January at 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Library branches: https://www.vpl.ca/hours-locations

Please check the City of Vancouver’s social media accounts for hot springs open after January 2, 2022. The city is closely monitoring the evolving weather forecast and will take further action as needed.

City continues 24/7 efforts to remove snow and ice

In response to freezing temperatures and snow, the city’s crew continues to monitor the weather, and a coordinated action plan for snow and ice treatment is underway. Key routes, including major roads, bus routes, bridges and the 15 most commonly used walking and cycling routes, are currently treated with brine prior to potential snow and ice conditions.

The municipality’s reaction throughout the week will be controlled by the weather. With over 100 vehicles, 8,000 tons of guaranteed salt supply and hundreds of crews available to deploy as needed, crews will remain focused on keeping priority routes free of snow and ice. If your vehicle is parked on a major route, please plan by moving it to a side street or garage.

A map of the municipality’s priority plan can be seen here.

Due to freezing temperatures, the collection of green bins has been temporarily suspended this week. Sanitation staff will focus on collecting waste, which is collected every other week. Street crews are also working on secondary routes to help with waste collection. The municipality appreciates the public’s patience with these service delays.

Residents also have a crucial role to play in our snow and ice response. After a snow event, all property owners and renters 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 with those who are unable to shovel their own sidewalks, especially seniors and people with mobility challenges, by signing up to become a snow angel.

More information about the municipality’s winter response can be found here.

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