British Columbia

Butchart Gardens bans the selfie stick

Citing safety concerns and visitor feedback, the Vancouver Island tourist destination says selfie sticks are no longer welcome.

Following the lead of other tourist attractions, Butchart Gardens banned the device at the start of 2017

Officials at Butchart Gardens, near Victoria, say selfie sticks on narrow paths can create a hazard. (Seth Wenig/Associated Press)

A popular yet often-mocked social media tool has been banned by Butchart Gardens, a popular tourist attraction near Victoria.

Following in the footsteps of Disneyland and Lollapalooza, the gardens — home to world-famous floral displays — no longer welcome the selfie stick.

General manager Dave Cowen says the ban kicked in at the start of the year. 

"For a couple of years, we have been watching the evolution of this phenomenon of the selfie stick," Cowen said.

"And while it is true that many other attractions across the globe have been banning selfie sticks for reasons of safety and preserving tranquil atmospheres at their attractions, we really chose to take a more deliberate approach."

Butchart Gardens are known for their world-famous floral displays and the attraction's general manager says visitor feedback played into the decision to ban the selfie stick. (Butchart Gardens)

The decision to ban the selfie stick, Cowen said, was partly based on expectations of a busy year due to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.

"Our garden paths are narrow and twisty, and in crowded conditions, the use of a selfie stick can pose quite a hazard," he said. "We certainly have heard from our visitors that they find them to be distracting and interruptive when they are trying to enjoy a beautiful garden or a tranquil moment looking over one of the vistas."

Vancouver's PNE has also banned selfie sticks from all rides and for concerts.

This isn't the first time Butchart Gardens has clamped down on guest behaviour on its grounds. Last year, the gardens ejected a couple dressed up in Victorian attire, saying costumes were banned because they distract other visitors.