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Vancouver extends drinking in plazas program until at least May 2025

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Cheers, Vancouverites—city council voted to extend the Drinking in Public Plazas Program for another year.

That means residents and visitors alike can continue to drink alcoholic beverages at six designated outdoor spots year-round, and another during the warmer months.

“The program has operated for four successful years in Vancouver, providing residents and visitors with safe, no-cost options where they can socialize, connect and enjoy alcoholic drinks responsibly,” reads a statement from the city.

The program was first introduced in 2020 during the pandemic so people without access to private outdoor spaces could drink and socialize outside. It was then piloted again in 2021, and became permanent in 2022.

Last year, city council voted to make six of the approved plazas year-round drinking spots.

“We are thrilled to support the extension of the Drinking in Public Plazas Program and we remain committed to supporting vibrant public spaces here in Vancouver,” said Mayor Ken Sim in a statement Wednesday.

“A huge component of the program’s success are the plaza and community stewards who care for these spaces daily. I want to extend a personal note of gratitude to the stewards for all that they do to ensure these plazas serve as places for community connection, diverse public life and responsible drinking,” he continued.

The stewards include various business improvement associations from the respective neighbourhoods the plazas are located in.

The 2024/2025 year-round plazas are located at:

  • Cambie Street and 17th Avenue
  • Cambie Street and 18th Avenue
  • Granville St and 13th Avenue
  • Granville St and 14th Avenue
  • Lot 19, 855 West Hastings St.
  • Main Street and 21st Avenue

The seventh plaza—at Maple Street and 4th Avenue—will be open from May 15 to Oct. 31.

From May 15 to October 16, drinking at the spaces is permitted between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m., while from October 17 to May 14, 2025, drinking is allowed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The participating locations were chosen due to proximity to amenities like public washrooms.

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