Beds in a temporary shelter

City opens warming centres as temperatures drop

January 7 2019 –

In response to extreme cold weather, we are opening warming centres tonight. Warming centres are activated as a life-saving response for people sleeping outside during the city's coldest months.

Warming centres will be open at the following locations:

  • Britannia Community Centre - 1739 Venables Street, 9pm - 8:30am
  • West End Community Centre - 870 Denman Street, 11pm - 6am
  • Powell Street Getaway - 528 Powell Street, 9pm - 7am

Warming centres are activated when the temperature reaches -5°C or below (or it feels like -5°C or below). Warming centres are welcoming to all, and visitors may bring their pets, bikes, and carts with them. Hot drinks and snacks will be available, and those with their own bedding may choose to sleep at the centre.

Community centres and other public buildings are also available during their opening hours as spaces to warm up.

The Overdose Prevention Society at 58 East Hastings Street will extend its hours and operate from 11pm to 8am on the nights that the warming centres are activated.

Last year, up to 100 people accessed our warming centres on any open night.

Since 2009, we've partnered with the province to open additional shelter space for the winter months. This year, nearly 300 temporary beds are available. The province also opens Extreme Weather Response shelters in Vancouver when the temperature drops to 0°C. Those looking for shelter space can call 2-1-1 to check availability.

Read more about our Winter Response Strategy.