A man walking through the street at night

City extends warming centres and continues 24/7 snow operations

January 1 2022 –

In response to forecasted cold, snow and heavy rain over the weekend and into early next week, the City of Vancouver is extending Warming Centre operations to provide additional capacity for people to come indoors between January 1 to January 6, 2022.

Warming Centres are activated in addition to Extreme Weather Response Shelters as an additional life-saving response for people sleeping outside when the temperature reaches -5°C or below (or it feels like -5°C or below). They are in addition to other initiatives taken by the City and the Province to ensure people in Vancouver who are experiencing homelessness have a place to keep warm during the winter months.

Warming Centres                                                

The City encourages anyone who is sleeping outside to visit one of these centres, which are open to all, including people who have pets and carts. Centres will provide hot drinks and snacks. Up to 161 Warming Centre spaces have been created to bring people inside:

  • Britannia Community Centre (Gym D) (1661 Napier St.): Open 8 pm to 6:30 am through January 6
  • West End Community Centre (870 Denman St.): Open 11 pm to 6 am through January 3
  • Carnegie Community Centre (401 Main St.): Open 11 pm to 6 am, January 2 through January 3
  • First Avenue Shelter (1648 E 1st Ave.): Open daily 10 pm to 9 am through January 5
  • First United (320 E Hastings St.): Open through January 1, 10 pm to 7 am (men only)
  • Longhouse Council of Native Ministry (2595 Franklin St.): Open 10 pm to 6 am through January 5
  • Odd Fellows Hall (1443 W 8th Ave.): Open daily 9:30 pm to 8 am through January 3 (Bikes, but no pets or carts)
  • Powell Street Getaway (528 Powell St.): Open daily 9 pm to 7 am through January 1, closed January 2 and 3, and open January 4 through to January 6 

 

Measures are in place at all Warming Centre locations to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Face masks are required for everyone accessing Warming Centres and will be provided for free if needed. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is not required to access Warming Centres.

 Health or social services provided to people in need, such as warming centres, are exempt from the Provincial Health Officer Gatherings and Events Order and are not subject to event or capacity limitations as announced on Dec. 21, 2021.

 

Extreme Weather Response (EWR) Shelters 

EWR shelters are funded by BC Housing and are activated when an extreme weather alert is issued for Vancouver, when there is sleet or freezing rain, snow accumulation, and/or temperatures at or below 0°C, or "feels like" 0°C with wind chill. Up to 114 spaces have been created at the following locations to bring people inside, through January 3:

 

  • Directions Youth Services Centre (1138 Burrard St.): Open 10 pm to 7 am
  • Tenth Church (11 10th Ave W at Ontario St): Open 9:30 pm to 9 am
  • Cascades Church (3833 Boundary Road, west side of Boundary): Open 9:30 pm to 9 am
    • Evelyne Saller Centre (320 Alexander St.): Open 11 pm to 7:30 am (Final intake at 1:00 am)
  • Langara YMCA (282 W 49th Ave., south side of 49th): Open 8 pm to 8 am
  • Bud Osborn EWR (27 West Hastings St.): Open 7:30 pm to 7:30 am

 PLEASE NOTE: Alerts for these EWR and Warming Centre spaces are circulated to partner agencies, community centre staff, outreach program staff and a variety of agencies serving individuals experiencing homelessness. Details are posted to our website and social media channels and available here. Please check daily for any updates on locations and openings.

In addition to the extreme weather drop-in spaces above, there are also permanent and temporary shelters in operation. Those looking for shelter space can call 2-1-1 to check availability or find a full list of shelters online.

The City thanks the community organizations who make their facilities available as Warming Centres and EWR Shelters on these coldest nights of the year.

 

Additional Warm Spaces

As a reminder, community centres, public libraries and other public buildings are also available during their opening hours as spaces for people to come inside to warm up:

City of Vancouver Community Centres:

  • The Gathering Place (609 Helmcken St.): Open 8:45 am to 8 pm
  • Carnegie Community Centre (401 Main St.): Open 9 am to 11 pm
  • Open Monday–Friday 9 am to 11 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 10 pm

 

Park Board Community Centres:

 

Vancouver Public Library

  • Central Library Branch Atrium and Washroom (350 W Georgia St.): Jan. 1 (8 am – 8 pm), Jan. 2 (8 am – 6:30 pm), Jan. 3 (6 am – 9 pm), Jan. 4 to Jan. 6 (6 am – 9 pm)
  • Library Branches: https://www.vpl.ca/hours-locations

 

Please check City of Vancouver social media accounts for warming centre spaces open beyond January 6, 2022. The City is monitoring the evolving weather forecast closely and will be taking additional measures as needed.

City Continues 24/7 Snow and Ice Removal Efforts 

City crews are continuing to closely monitor the weather and implement a coordinated plan to treat for snow and ice on all key routes across Vancouver. As always, the City’s response through the weekend and next week will be guided by the weather. With more snow accumulation expected tonight, all of our crews remain focused on treating priority routes for snow and ice. Additional staff from across our Engineering Department have been deployed in recent days to assist with hand salting of corner ramps and bus stops on arterial routes.

We are working around the clock to maintain good driving conditions. However, some roads can still be icy and snowy as we complete our treatments, especially with the very low temperatures Vancouver has experienced, making our anti-icing materials less effective than usual. We ask all residents to please watch for slippery sections, slow down and drive for the current conditions.

Priority routes for snow and ice treatment include major roads, bus routes, bridges, our four major pedestrian pathways (Arbutus Greenway, Central Valley Greenway, False Creek Seawall, and Coal Harbour Seawall), and the 16 most-used bike routes are currently being treated with salt and brine ahead of potentially more snow and ice conditions. Residential side streets are not included as part of the City’s snow treatment, with the exception of priority hills. A map of our prioritized plan can be viewed here.

 

Green bin collection suspended:

Due to the freezing temperatures, green bin collection has been temporarily suspended. Garbage collection is also temporarily suspended until January 4, 2022. The City appreciates the public’s patience with these service delays.

 Residents also have a critical role to play in our snow and ice response. Following a snow event, all property owners and tenants must clear snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to their property or residence the morning after a snowfall, seven days a week.

The City also encourages residents and businesses to lend a hand to those who are unable to shovel their own sidewalks, particularly seniors and people with mobility challenges by signing up to become a Snow Angel.

 

More information on the City’s winter response is available here.