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Councillor wants to bring outdoor saunas, cold plunges to Vancouver

An outdoor sauna is shown in this photo. (Image credit: Shutterstock) An outdoor sauna is shown in this photo. (Image credit: Shutterstock)
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Update: This motion passed on June 26, 2024. 

Outdoor saunas and cold plunges aren't allowed in the city of Vancouver – but one councillor is hoping to change that so locals can take advantage of the "growing trend."

Coun. Lisa Dominato is bringing a motion forward that would change the current bylaw, which only allows cold plunges if they are in "completely enclosed buildings."

In it, she explains that outdoor facilities that allow people to alternate between the "intense heat" of a sauna and the "invigorating chill" of a cold plunge are common in Nordic cultures and popular in other jurisdictions. She also says she's heard from constituents who want to bring that experience to Vancouver.

"There is a growing interest and demand for outdoor cold plunges and saunas among the residents of Vancouver, and a number of small businesses in the city focused on holistic wellness, self-improvement, and personal growth have either expressed an interest in the growing trend and/or have added cold plunging to their health and wellness services," the motion says.

The benefits of this practise, Dominato's motion says, have been reported to include "increased circulation and blood flow, faster muscle recovery, and general mental and physical refreshment."

In addition to asking for a report back with a proposed bylaw change, the councillor is also asking for staff to consult with Vancouver Coastal Health on what regulations will be necessary in order to protect public health and user safety.

The motion is set to come to council Wednesday.

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