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 recreational 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, community gardens and horticultural areas, cemeteries, footpaths, and roads within a park
  • The size of individual sheltering sites is restricted to nine square metres
  • Four metre spacing is required between shelters, as well as between shelters and other areas where sheltering is prohibited, and eight metres from playgrounds
  • Sheltering in a park is prohibited within 50 metres of a school
  • Gas-fired appliances and combustibles are banned
  • 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

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, community gardens and horticultural areas, or anywhere that is considered environmentally sensitive.

Overnight sheltering is not permitted at any time in the following parks:

  • Arbutus Park
  • Bastion Square
  • Coffin Island
  • Cridge Park
  • David Spencer Park
  • Haegert Park
  • Kings Park
  • MacDonald Park
  • Moss Rocks Park
  • Pioneer Square
  • Quadra Park
  • Reeson Park
  • Robert Porter Park
  • Ross Bay Cemetery
  • South Park
  • Summit 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.

Park Washrooms

Below are the Victoria parks that have washrooms open 24/7:

  • Beacon Hill Park Main
  • Beacon Hill Park Nursery Road
  • Beacon Hill Park Cook and Dallas
  • Beacon Hill Park Douglas and Battery
  • Langley Street Loo
  • Spiral Washroom (corner of Government St. and Pandora Ave.)
  • Centennial Square
  • Cecilia Ravine Park
  • Regatta Point
  • Vic West Park
  • Irving Park
  • Central Park
  • Oaklands Park
  • Stadacona Park
  • Pemberton Park
  • Hollywood Park
  • Gonzales Park

Contacts

  • If you are concerned about an activity in a park please contact the City of Victoria Bylaw Office:
    • By email bylawservices@victoria.ca (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 parks@victoria.ca or 250.361.0600

Resources

Learn more about the City's Housing Strategy to improve housing affordability over the next decade here.

For more information about temporary sheltering in parks during COVID-19:

Temporary Sheltering in Parks Handout - Regulations, Services and Map