Cleanup and compliance work in CRAB Park underway

March 25 2024 –

After four weeks of consultation, process discussions and supports to help people to move into a temporary sheltering area, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the City of Vancouver have begun the cleanup and compliance work in the CRAB Park Daytime Area.  

Last week, staff with the support of community partners, worked with individuals sheltering in the Daytime Area to relocate as many individuals indoors or into the temporary area as possible. The cleanup and compliance process is now underway to ensure that those sheltering in the park have a cleaner and safer Daytime Area and that the area is better positioned to meet health and safety standards going forward.  

This is not a decampment. This is a response to health and safety, including non-compliant and unsafe structures in the General Manager’s Daytime Area of CRAB Park. The safety of those sheltering in the park, our staff, and the public remain our priority, and we are committed to working with the community to address issues that impact the health and safety of those sheltering in the park. 

Supports for those sheltering 

A variety of supports have been provided to individuals sheltering in the park to support this work:  

  • Staff and peers from Atira have been on site supporting people to sort their belongings, pack and relocate.
  • Lu’ma is onsite to support people, including providing cultural supports; Lu’ma will provide tents and support set-up if needed.   
  • The City has deployed a female Community Services liaison to work alongside Park Rangers and Sanitation crews. 
  • Vancouver Coastal Health’s Intensive Health and Outreach Team (IHOT) is onsite to offer mental health supports and will provide snacks and water. 
  • Kilala Lelum continues to visit the site on a weekly schedule to provide cultural supports. 
  • BC Housing’s new outreach team will visit and coordinate efforts with the City’s Homelessness Services Outreach team (Carnegie Outreach)
  • At the request of those sheltering in the park, staff have erected two gazebos for a kitchen and donation tent.  

Current status of operation

As of noon, the following is the status update from CRAB Park: 

  • Five individuals who were initially sheltering in the Designated Area remain, down from 30, who we hope will today work with partners to pack up their belongings and relocate while staff ready the work zone. At least one protestor who has housing also has moved into the Designated Area in recent weeks.
  • Out of respect for most people who were sheltering in the Designated Area and who have already relocated, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the City of Vancouver will be adhering to the original timeline and proceeding with the work as detailed in the operations plan.

Media access and protocol  

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the City of Vancouver understand there is significant media interest in this story. 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.  

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the City of Vancouver encourage protestors to focus on supporting people to relocate voluntarily and to not disrupt the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the City of Vancouver work so that we can progress the clean-up and repair and welcome people back into the Designated Area as per the planned schedule. 

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. 


As previously noted, there are significant amounts of debris and garbage, non-compliant materials, propane tanks, rats, needles, and feces that have accumulated in and around the General Manager’s Designated Area for daytime sheltering in CRAB Park. There are also many large structures that are non-compliant with the Park Control By-law and guidelines.  

To safely carry out the cleanup, the process will be as follows:  

Beginning on March 25, the Designated Area will become an active work zone for a one-week period as City staff use mobile equipment to remove large structures and debris and to repair the area.   

  • After the Designated Area has been cleaned-up, repaired and leveled with new gravel laid down, staff will support people sheltering in the park to return to the Area beginning in early April according to established By-law requirements, GM Notice requirements, and operational and safety guidelines. 
  • Only those that have been sheltering in the CRAB Park Designated Area will be supported to move back in to ensure they are prioritized for the limited space. Fencing will remain up in some areas longer term to allow for repair of the site. 

The City of Vancouver’s Homelessness Services Outreach team continues to connect with people sheltering outdoors and supporting them to access income, support services and housing and shelter spaces as they become available. 

If people sheltering in CRAB Park have ongoing concerns with this clean-up, there are several ways they can share feedback:  

  • Park Rangers visit CRAB Park three times per day and are available to discuss. 
  • A number of people in the Designated Area and some volunteers also have direct contact information for Park Board City management representatives and can contact them directly. 
  • Non-profit organizations working in the Park are also able to pass on feedback to Park Board and City staff. 
  • People can also call 3-1-1 at any time.  

To read the complete plan, access photos and revisit materials from the March 12 technical briefing on CRAB Park, visit: