The City is committed to keeping parks safe for everyone. This includes park visitors, City staff and people seeking temporary shelter.
The City works with the Province, BC Housing and community agencies to support people experiencing homelessness in the community. Victoria’s own Housing Strategy includes policies to address housing and affordability. The strategy is a guiding document on the path to ensuring everyone in Victoria has a safe and affordable place to call home.
The City’s focus remains on supporting the most vulnerable residents and managing sheltering in parks as safely as possible for everyone.
Overnight Sheltering in Parks
Daytime shelters are not allowed in City of Victoria parks. People experiencing homelessness may shelter overnight in some parks from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. (8 p.m. to 7 a.m. during Daylight Saving Time). Recreational camping is not allowed in City of Victoria parks.
Anyone experiencing homelessness can contact BC Housing at 1-800-257-7756 (toll-free) to receive an application form and begin the process of moving into a safe indoor space.
People experiencing homelessness can shelter overnight in parks while following some basic rules. For more details, view the Parks Regulation Bylaw.
Sheltering is permitted overnight from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. (8 p.m. to 7 a.m. during Daylight Saving Time). Daytime shelters are not permitted.
Sheltering is not permitted in:
- environmentally or culturally sensitive areas
- sports fields
- community gardens and horticultural areas
For safety and bylaw compliance, shelters must be:
- no bigger than nine square metres (approximately 10 ft x 10 ft)
- spaced four metres (13 ft) apart
- four metres (13 ft) from no-shelter area or private property lines
- eight metres (26 ft) from playgrounds
- 50 metres (164 ft) from school property
For safety, environmental protection and bylaw compliance, please do not:
- locate shelters directly under trees and branches
- attach shelters to trees, plants, benches, lamp posts or other structures
- have fires or open flame appliances or combustibles, except for approved BBQs in allowable areas and at least two metres from any structure or no-shelter areas
- remove tree branches or use City property to construct shelters
Allowed Sheltering Areas
People sheltering in parks need access to washrooms and running water. The City has identified some parks in the Overnight Sheltering in Parks handout [PDF/654KB] that have facilities and are most suitable for temporary overnight sheltering. Also see the maps of parks [PDF/5.3MB] with washrooms where overnight sheltering is allowed.
For park maintenance requests such as removal of garbage, please use the Service Request form and include the address and location of the item(s).
To report a bylaw violation such as a structure/tent or damage in a park, please use the Report a Bylaw Violation form.