Thermometer and sunny sky

Stay safe in the summer heat

When it's summer in Vancouver and the days get hotter, it's important to remember that even in temperate, coastal BC, heat can be harmful.

While heat can harm anyone, some are especially vulnerable:

  • Seniors and children younger than five years old
  • People with pre-existing illnesses or taking certain medications
  • People who are isolated or experiencing homelessness
  • Outdoor workers
  • People with addictions who may be more likely to be dehydrated as a side effect of substance use
  • Anyone who isn’t acclimatized to our weather
  • Anyone left in a closed car or in direct sun including pets

Check in by phone, video chat, or in-person from a safe distance with anyone who is vulnerable to the heat or who is less able to leave home due to COVID-19.

Symptoms of heat-related illness and heat exhaustion

Watch for the following symptoms as signs of heat-related illness and heat exhaustion:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you see someone suffering from too much heat, call 9-1-1 and help them cool off by applying water to their face and neck until emergency services arrive. You can also call 8-1-1 to speak to a nurse. Interpretation services are available on these phone numbers.

More information on heat-related illness from HealthLink BC (translations available) 

Water fountains

Find drinking fountains and decorative fountains in Vancouver. Find out how to request maintenance and request new fountains.

Water parks and wading pools

Find water parks and wading pools in Vancouver – the perfect way to cool down in the city on a hot summer day.

Tips to keep cool

  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible
  • Plan ahead for where you can spend time in a cool or air-conditioned place, and seek shade when outside while staying 2 metres apart from others
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, and sunscreen
  • Avoid strenuous activity and exercise
  • Drink plenty of cool fluids such as water before you feel thirsty
  • Fill up your water bottle at one of our drinking fountains, including temporary fountains that are set up during heat waves

Outdoor shaded parklets

We have increased the number of public spaces where people can keep cool and physically distanced while outdoors by installing parklets at:

These parklets offer shade under tree canopies, or shade tents during the day.

Shade is also available under tents at 58 W Hastings St, with seating and a water misting station on site.

Cooling centres

Temporary cooling centres will be activated when Environment Canada issues a heat warning, or when Vancouver Coastal Health issues an extreme heat alert.

Cooling centres have air-conditioned spaces where people can cool down. Safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be in place.

During a heat warning or extreme heat alert, cooling centres will be open from 11am to 7pm at the following community centres:

The above locations are not open outside of a heat warning or extreme heat alert.

The following community centres will also operate as cooling centres during their open hours:

The City is funding Atira Women’s Resource Society to open a daily drop-in centre for cooling at the Japanese Language School, 487 Alexander St, on weekdays, 11am to 5pm. During a heat warning or alert, this will open on weekends too.

Air quality

In the event of an air quality advisory, cleaner air spaces will be activated at the following community centres:

These sites offer a limited number of spaces with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) or MERV 13 filtering, which can support people struggling with respiratory issues.

Water quality

In the event of a beach closures due to water quality issues, we'll post a notice on the beach webpage and on VanConnect. We encourage the public to monitor these pages which link directly to Vancouver Coastal Health’s water quality readings .