Alcohol consumption

Six sites proposed for Vancouver’s drinking in public places program in 2022

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 Board approval.

These sites and corresponding partners with the city are:

Main Street and west block of East 21st Avenue (Coco and Olive Cafe, Little Mountain Neighborhood House, Residents)

Cambie Street and east block of West 17e Avenue (Cambie Village Business Association)

Granville Street and west block of West 13e Avenue (South Granville Business Improvement Association)

Granville Street and east block of West 14e Avenue (SGBIA)

South Block of Maple Street and West 4e Avenue (Kitsilano West 4th Avenue Business Improvement Association)

Lot 19, 855 West Hastings Street (Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, with support from EasyPark).

A staff report to council says the 2022 program is set to run from June 15 to October 16 and between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.

“Through the implementation of these recommendations for 2022, the City will temporarily allow public consumption in six designated places that will be managed in close collaboration with partners and other key stakeholders,” the document explains.

The staff report is included on the board’s agenda on June 8th.

The program builds on the success of two pilot projects in 2020 and 2021.

The report recalls that the city council on March 30 this year approved the city’s drinking policy in public places.

An earlier staff report that discussed the policy recalled that the council on June 23, 2020, instructed staff to develop a pilot project to allow public consumption of alcohol in certain public spaces.

The aim was to “support communities and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the restaurant industry, and provide additional opportunities for people to socialize safely in public spaces, at the light of public health restrictions on indoor gatherings”.

“The 2020 and 2021 pilots supported residents and businesses by providing a safe social environment for alcohol consumption during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic public health measures,” the report states.

Additionally, the two previous summer pilots “demonstrated that there is broad public and stakeholder support for allowing alcohol consumption in certain seating areas, and that this has not resulted in any identified health, safety or nuisance”.

“The proposed policy would continue to allow residents to responsibly enjoy an alcoholic beverage outdoors, whether or not they have access to a backyard or other private outdoor space, and in a manner that can be more affordable and accessible than a restaurant terrace.

Additionally, “park-led pilot spaces offer similar opportunities, but plazas are unique in that they are often adjacent to shopping streets, providing proximity to food and beverage businesses, as well as different geographical access opportunities”.

Additionally, “Allowing the consumption of alcohol in certain public places, when managed in a safe, responsible and respectful manner, can contribute to a social and engaged public life, and can help support local businesses.