British Columbia

Vancouver expands street closures for Canucks games

The City of Vancouver has expanded its street closures to make room for the huge crowds that flocked downtown for Monday night's Stanley Cup game.

The City of Vancouver has expanded its street closures to make room for the huge crowds that flocked downtown for Monday night's Stanley Cup game.

All six lanes of West Georgia Street between Hamilton Street and Richards Street were shut down at about 2 p.m. PT, and two giant screens were set up to llow fans to watch the game as it's broadcast from Boston.

The slope of Georgia Street is will give fans a better view of the five-by-seven-metre screen in the intersection of Hamilton and West Georgia streets.

Thousands of Canucks fans gather outside the CBC building in downtown Vancouver on Saturday to watch the game. ((Matt Llewellyn/CBC))

Chief engineer Peter Judd said the new screen is twice the size of the former Granville Street screen, which is being moved to the intersection of Homer and West Georgia streets.

The expanded closures on West Georgia Street replaced the previous closures for the  Granville site, which the city said was too small for the estimated 70,000 fans who turned out to watch the game played in Vancouver on Saturday.

Two other screens are showing the game outside the CBC building on Hamilton Street wtih the drop of the puck shortly after 5 p.m.

So many fans spilled onto West Georgia Street from the CBC Plaza that police were forced to shut it down for several hours Saturday.

TransLink changes:

  • Georgia Street is closed to vehicles between Hamilton and Richards streets for the new location of the celebration site.
  • The closure will include pedestrians, meaning it will not be a thoroughfare for those going to Rogers Arena or the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
  • Access to Rogers Arena or the Queen Elizabeth Theatre via the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines will be from the Stadium-Chinatown station or Granville station's Dunsmuir Street exit.
  • Access to Rogers Arena or Queen Elizabeth Theatre via the Canada Line will by walking down Granville Street to Dunsmuir Street or riding to Waterfront station and transferring to the Expo or Millennium line.
  • North Vancouver buses that normally use the Lions Gate Bridge will depart and terminate on Georgia Street at Burrard as the main stop.
  • West Vancouver Blue Buses will depart from the stop on Georgia Street at Granville Street as the main stop. This may change if crowds impede service.
  • Extra SkyTrain service will be in place as necessary up until about 1:15 a.m.
  • Pre-purchase return tickets will be sold at King George, Stadium-Chinatown and Vancouver Centre stations.
  • Pre-pay locations will also be set up after the game at Vancouver Centre, Granville and both Stadium-Chinatown station exits.
  • SeaBus will operate single-ferry service after 7 p.m. (half-hour frequency) until the last sailing from Waterfront station at 1:15 a.m., although the second ferry may be put into service if demand warrants it.
  • Additional buses will again be staged in downtown Vancouver and at Richmond-Brighouse station to be deployed as necessary.

Police said there were about 400 incidents of confiscated liquor but no more serious problems during the celebrations, which went on for several hours after the game.

Take transit and bring water

"The excitement of the cup run continues to build and the crowds are telling us they want to celebrate and have fun," Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement Sunday.

"By opening Georgia, we will be able to accommodate many more people and continue to make this a safe, fun community celebration."

With the huge crowds expected downtown, people should leave their cars at home, Judd said.

"We would encourage people to take transit or bike or walk if they possibly can, because you should really think Olympic-size crowds and your Olympic commuting plans until the series is concluded because of the volumes," he said.

Vendors from the city’s street-food program will be set up in the viewing areas. Fans are invited to bring their own drinking water to make sure they stay well hydrated now that hot weather has finally arrived on the West Coast.

They shouldn't bring liquor, says Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu.

"Fans are reminded to leave the liquor at home or drink in a licensed establishment as officers will continue to enforce liquor-related offences," he said.

Free events added across B.C.

Premier Christy Clark was in Vancouver on Monday afternoon to light the Olympic cauldron at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre, where the game was also being broadcast outside on a giant screen.

Similar events have been setup in many other communities across B.C. so residents can watch the game together for free, including:

  • The SFU campus at Surrey City Centre.
  • Coquitlam recreation centres.
  • The Chilliwack Exhibition grounds.
  • Nanaimo's Diana Krall Plaza,
  • The Aberdeen Mall in Richmond, 
  • The West Vancouver Community Centre.
  • Burnaby public library's Bob Prittie  branch at Metrotown Mall

For those who can't get to a television, all the games in the series will be broadcast live online on the CBC Sports website.

Vancouver Canucks lead the series 2-0 after defeating the Boston Bruins on Saturday in Vancouver. Games 3 and 4 are in Boston on Monday and Wednesday.