Stanley Park seawall now fully open to the public
This storm was unlike anything we had seen before, but we know how important the seawall is to our community with millions of visitors who use it every year.
Dave Hutch, Director of Park Planning and Development
The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce that the final section of the Stanley Park seawall, between Third Beach and Lions Gate Bridge, has reopened.
The 3.5 kilometre stretch of the seawall was initially closed to the public on January 7 after it endured extensive damage caused by King tides, extreme winds, large amounts of debris in the water, and an exceptional storm surge that day.
Damage to an iconic pathway
Since then, we have been working tirelessly to get the seawall reopened so residents and visitors can enjoy the iconic pathway in time for the warmer months.
“This storm was unlike anything we had seen before, but we know how important the seawall is to our community with millions of visitors who use it every year, so repairing it quickly was of the highest priority for us,” said Dave Hutch, Director of Park Planning and Development.
“Safety was also an important consideration as this was not a typical construction site. Access was sometimes difficult, weather-dependent, and required careful timing particularly in the tidal environment with additional King tides.”
Repairing the seawall
To reopen the seawall for spring, our approach has been to repair the damage in-situ, and add reinforcing where possible. This included using lock blocks to create retaining walls in areas where the seawall collapsed to prevent further erosion and damage.
Stonemasons have been working to rebuild the stone work and crews have been adding new capstones along with reinforced concrete to further strengthen the seawall. Crews have also repaved damaged sections with asphalt to ensure the seawall path is accessible for all users.
As the seawall is always exposed to the elements and extreme weather, visitors should still exercise caution due to ongoing minor work that will not impact access to the pathway.
Ongoing repair for areas with storm damage
With this section of the Stanley Park seawall reopen, we will continue to focus our attention on the ongoing work to repair Kitsilano Pool, Jericho Pier, and other areas damaged by the storm.
“Climate change is making storm events like those in November 2021 and January 2022 more frequent and severe. This extreme weather was another “wake-up call” on climate change and a look into a future of increased sea level and changing coastlines. The Park Board will be initiating conversations with residents about how we should plan for this uncertain future and how our waterfront parks, the seawall and beaches will adapt to our changing climate,” said Hutch. “We will need to ask ourselves what we value about our waterfronts and how we can coexist in a world of increasing sea levels and more extreme weather.”