British Columbia

Downtown Vancouver park closed since tent city removed to partially reopen in June

Vancouver officials say a gradual reopening of Oppenheimer Park in the city's Strathcona neighbourhood will begin in June following the closure of the site in May 2020 when a tent encampment was removed from the site on Powell Street.

Oppenheimer Park has been closed since May 2020 after 300 people living at the site were moved

The province said that close to 300 people were moved from a tent city at Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver by May 9, 2020. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Vancouver officials say a gradual reopening of Oppenheimer Park in the city's Strathcona neighbourhood will begin in June following the closure of the site in May 2020 when a tent encampment was removed from the site on Powell Street.

In a written statement the Vancouver Park Board says it plans to reopen the western portion of the one-hectare park, which sits between Dunlevy Avenue, Powell Street, Jackson Avenue and East Cordova Street.

"This park is integral to the community, and we are eager to have this first portion reopened as part of a phased approach," read the statement.

The park was fenced off in May 2020 after 300 people who had been living at the park for more than a year were moved out, many to more secure housing provided by the province.

Crews remove debris from Oppenheimer Park on Sunday May 10, 2020. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

The park board says it has spent $450,000 to restore the park's fields, trees, playground, and historical and cultural elements.

The cost does not include repairs to the park's fieldhouse.

The park board says it continues to consult with people in the community over the reopening, which includes discussions about potential programs and services to be offered at the park.

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