Sheltering in Parks
The City of Victoria is committed to protecting its parks and the natural environment and keeping park activities safe for everyone, including people seeking temporary overnight shelter. There are no designated campgrounds in Victoria and overnight camping is not permitted in Victoria parks. However, people experiencing homelessness can shelter in a number of designated City parks, while following some basic rules:
- Sheltering is not permitted in environmentally sensitive areas, playgrounds, sports fields, flower beds, cemeteries, footpaths, and roads within a park
- No fires, open flames or flammable gas canisters are permitted
- Do not attach shelters to trees or shrubs, park benches, lamp posts or other structures
- Do not remove tree branches or use City property to construct shelters
- Keep your shelter site clean and properly dispose of all garbage
- Be more than four metres (12 feet) away from another occupied tent or structure
Due to the pandemic, at this time shelters can remain up during the day. If these safety rules and other regulations are not followed, structures may be required to be taken down or moved.
Areas where overnight sheltering is not permitted:
A temporary shelter is not permitted in paths, playgrounds, sports fields, flower beds, long grass, areas being used for an event, cemeteries, or anywhere that is considered environmentally sensitive.
Overnight sheltering is not permitted at any time in the following parks:
- Ross Bay Cemetery
- Arbutus Park
- Kings Park
- Pioneer Square
- Cridge Park
- Coffin Island
- Bastion Square
- Haegert Park
- Reeson Park
- Quadra Park
Sheltering or occupation of medians and boulevards is not permitted at any time including overnight. Medians include any paved or unpaved portion of the road allowance, including but not limited to landscaped areas and greens, located between two or more roadways or streets as well as traffic circles or other traffic dividers.
Below are three Victoria parks with extended washroom hours:
Beacon Hill Park Main – open 24 hours
Beacon Hill Park Nursery Road – open 24 hours
Cook and Dallas – open 24 hours
Cook and Leonard – open 24 hours
Langley Street Loo – open 24 hours
Centennial Square – open 24 hours
Stadacona Park – open 24 hours
Topaz Park - lower field house closed for remediation, upper fieldhouse – dawn to dusk
- If you are concerned about an activity in a park please contact the City of Victoria Bylaw Office:
- By email email@example.com (7 days a week, 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
- By phone 250.361.0215 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
- Outside of the above hours, please contact the Victoria Police Department. VicPD's non-emergency line is 250.995.7654
- To inquire about impounded items, please call the City of Victoria Bylaw Office at 250.361.0215 or visit 625 Pandora Avenue, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- To request maintenance or clean-up in a park, please contact the City of Victoria Parks Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250.361.0600
Learn more about the City's Housing Strategy to improve housing affordability over the next decade here.
Find out more about sheltering in parks during COVID-19 below
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