‘Two pilot seasons have demonstrated that there is a high degree of public and partner support for legal drinking in plazas,’ reads a staff report
Vancouver is likely to open up select city plazas to public drinking again in 2022.
On March 30, the committee will review a staff report that recommends resuming the pilot initiatives that were started in part as a response to the pandemic.
“Allowing alcohol consumption in select public plazas, when managed safely, responsibly and respectfully, can contribute to a social and engaged public life, and can help support local businesses,” said the staff report.
“Two pilot seasons have demonstrated that there is a high degree of public and partner support for legal drinking in plazas, and have not raised any directly connected health, safety or nuisance issues.”
Pilots projects were first launched in 2020 and were expanded last summer
Similar trials were also launched in Vancouver parks last year, and they may be revived in 2022, pending a discussion at the parks board later this spring.
This year, past pilot partners and anybody interested in serving as stewards for a public plaza will be asked to apply. Once a year, usually in the spring, those would be presented to the council for approval.
The cost of the pilots in 2020-21 was low, and included signs and the installation of portable restrooms. So far, the majority of the upkeep for the public drinking project has been covered by current finances.