City and Park Board complete cleanup at CRAB Park

April 3 2024 –

Today, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and City of Vancouver staff completed the cleanup and compliance process of the CRAB Park temporary Designated Area for Daytime Sheltering. Effective tomorrow Thursday, April 4, the Designated Area will reopen to welcome back people who had been regularly sheltering in the Area on February 26.

Tomorrow, staff supported by non-profit service providers will begin the process of relocating people who had temporarily moved out of the Designated Area last week back into the cleaned-up and repaired area.

The renewed Designated Area has been surfaced with fresh gravel to improve drainage and prevent muddy conditions. As well, the Area has been designed to have 27 clearly demarcated 10 ft x 10 ft sheltering sites, one per person who had been sheltering regularly in the Designated Area as of February 26 and who has not already been housed. BC Housing funding is being provided to supply new tents and canopies for those who need them, along with canopies and supplies for some of the communal areas, such as an area for food storage and preparation, donations storage, and a gathering space.

The cleanup process over the last week went smoothly, despite a delay due to a small number of people who needed additional time to relocate and very wet weather last week, which meant crews needed more time over the long weekend to repair the ground and lay a new gravel layer.  While staff anticipated challenging conditions based on the assessment that required the implemented approach to clean-up and repair, the removal of large and entrenched structures revealed that the conditions were worse than anticipated, reaffirming this was the safest and most appropriate way to complete this work. During cleanup, crews removed more than 90,000 kg (90 tons) of debris and material, and more than 20 propane tanks, including two large 70-pound tanks and six generators.

The Park Board and the City would like to express their appreciation to individuals who were sheltering in the Designated Area who relocated voluntarily. Additionally, both organizations would also like to express deep gratitude to the staff and peers of Atira and Lu’ma who provided supports for people through the relocation process and continue to support people as they move back to the Designated Area, as well as to two very engaged community members who worked constructively with both staff and people sheltering in the area.

The Park Board and the City would also like to thank BC Housing, and the Ministry of Housing, Vancouver Coastal Health, and the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction for their work in supporting people sheltering in the Designated Area. 

Going forward, those sheltering in the Designated Area are required to abide by all requirements under the Parks Control Bylaw, in addition to the safety and operational guidelines set out in the General Manager’s Notice.

As per the General Managers Notice:

  • The Designated Area is for use for temporary daytime sheltering for those people who were sheltering regularly (i.e., more than 3 nights/week) in the Designated Area as of February 26, 2024. As of April 1, 2024, there are 27 people on this list (three people have moved into housing). As with all people who are sheltering outdoors across the city, the City’s goal is to work with BC Housing to support these residents to move indoors into housing and shelter.
  • The Designated Area will be made smaller over time. As each intended user leaves or moves into shelter, housing, or other reasons, the Park Board will remove a Sheltering Space from the Designated Area. 
  • Should conditions in the Designated Area deteriorate to the point of non-compliance with the Parks Control By-law or something happens that is a public safety or health concern as determined by the GM, the GM may withdraw this Notice and close the Designated Area, returning the area to use as per the Park Control By-law for temporary overnight sheltering only. 
  • From time-to-time, a person who is not an intended user will quickly occupy a vacated Sheltering Space before it can be removed. The Park Board will not stop a person from doing this, but the person is making a choice to use this Designated Area on their own. The Park Board does not recognize them as an intended user of the Designated Area. 
  • All people using the Designated Area must comply with By-law requirements, this GM Notice’s requirements, and any other operational guidelines that may be posted from time-to-time.  
  • The Parks Control By-law Section 11 remains in effect for any shelters erected outside the Designated Area.  

Media access and protocol

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the City of Vancouver understand there is significant interest in this work. Move-in day tomorrow will be very active and this has been a stressful time for people who will be returning to the Designated Area. We hope that outside community members and media will consider providing space for people to relocate without the pressure of extensive crowds. 

We ask that media be sensitive to the needs of those sheltering outdoors as well as staff and community partners in the area as they attend the site. If gathering footage, media are asked to respect requests for distance and/or instructions by Park Board/City staff and Park Rangers while filming.

Interviews with operational staff on the ground are not available as they will be engaged in the work. Please email for any interview or information requests.