Vancouver’s Strathcona Park, site of former homeless camp, reopens

Vancouver’s Strathcona Park, site of former homeless camp, reopens

Park Board started bringing down the fences surrounding the eastside of Strathcona Park on Tuesday

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The Vancouver park board started bringing down the fences surrounding the east side of Strathcona Park on Tuesday.

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The East Vancouver park is reopening to the public after more than five-months of clean-up and remediation following the removal of Canada’s largest homeless encampment on April 30.

“We know this park is integral to the community, and we are pleased that this will once again be a space to socialize and connect with one another,” says Donnie Rosa, park board general manager. “We also know that a lot has happened here, which is why we have worked closely with Indigenous and community partners to ensure we were providing the extra care needed to treat the land.”

Hundreds of people living in tents and other makeshift structures called the park home for nearly a year. The homeless population, which reached a peak of 300 people last fall, had moved to Strathcona Park in June, 2020 after being previously forced out of encampments at CRAB Park and Oppenheimer Park.

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After an agreement to clear the park was reached between the provincial government, the city of Vancouver and the Vancouver park board, displaced Strathcona residents were offered spaces in social housing elsewhere in the city.

The park board says reopening park is expected to take up to five days to complete but the park will be accessible for public use while work is underway.

Remediation work at Strathcona Park included removing and replacing turf and gravel surface areas, and replanting trees.

The park board says the park’s all-weather sports field will also reopen for soon but the grass sports fields will remain closed to allow the new turf to take root.

More to come …

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