British Columbia

When are Vancouver's rec facilities reopening? Park board lays out details

The Vancouver Park Board says it will reopen 24 community centres on Tuesday and more than 50 other recreation facilities within six weeks. It released a statement Friday outlining broad plans for many of its facilities.

Details for community centres, fitness centres, pools and arenas outlined Friday

The Vancouver Aquatic Centre, seen here in July, will be among the first indoor pools to reopen on Sept. 14. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The Vancouver Park Board says it will reopen 24 community centres on Tuesday and more than 50 other recreation facilities within six weeks. It released a statement Friday outlining broad plans for many of its facilities.

The park board had previously announced the Sept. 8 reopening date for community centres. On Friday, it released a statement outlining broad plans for many of its facilities.

"The park board is taking a thoughtful and phased reopening and recovery approach in alignment with B.C.'s restart plan, and in consultation with various government and non-government agencies and partners," the statement read.

"The park board continues to review the feasibility of reopening other facilities and services and will make adjustments to its operations based on the latest information provided by [Vancouver Coastal Health], the provincial health officer and industry partners."

Most outdoor pools, like Kitsilano Pool, reopened in July. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Community centres, it said, will focus at first on restarting programs and services for children, youth, seniors, and food security. Some centres will see programs restart on Tuesday while others will phase theirs in.

Community centre washrooms will be open, the park board said, but showers, change rooms and locker access will only be available to pool users.

Facilities will have signs posted to educate users about new procedures, the park board said. Mask wearing will be encouraged but not mandatory. Staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

Flexipasses are not being accepted for now.

In addition to the community centres, the park board said eight indoor pools, eight ice rinks, and 14 fitness centres will gradually reopen in coming weeks.

The Vancouver Park board said it will take precautions as facilities reopen. Users who feel sick are being told not to come until they feel well. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Pools

The park board previously announced plans to reopen eight pools between Sept. 14 and Oct. 13: Hillcrest, Kerrisdale, Britannia, Vancouver Aquatic Centre, Killarney, Templeton, Lord Byng, and Renfrew. 

Kensington pool will not reopen this fall as it is too small to allow for physical distancing, the park board said.

Swimmers can book pool times online up to 72 hours in advance. Saunas and steam rooms will remain closed and only hot tubs "large enough" will reopen, the park board said.

There will be no rentals of swimming goggles, kickboards, snorkels or towels, and snorkels are not permitted.

Fitness centres

Fitness centres will begin to reopen Sept. 14. The first to reopen will be Trout Lake, Hillcrest, Dunbar, Kitsilano, Champlain Heights and Mount Pleasant. Creekside will reopen but only offer personal training at first.

On Oct. 13, Kensington, Marpole, Strathcona, Lord Byng, Templeton, Renfrew, and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre pools will reopen.

The park board said the remaining fitness centres are run by community centre associations and they will decide whether or not to reopen in the fall.

Limited numbers of people will be allowed in fitness centres and times can be booked online.

Arenas

Arenas will begin reopening Sept. 21. Ice will go in first at Trout Lake, Sunset, Kerrisdale, and Britannia. On Sept. 28, rinks at Hillcrest and Killarney will reopen. Kitsilano and the West End will open on Oct. 5. 

Organized play by permit-holders, sport and team bookings will only be available at first, the park board said. Public skating, lessons, and recreational use will come later in the fall.

The park board says more information on its reopening plans is available online.

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