The plan to create a location for people to secure their love is locked down after the Vancouver Park Board approved the plan create a permanent love locks installation during a Monday evening meeting. However, one key detail is yet to be decided: where will the love locks go?
Park Board Commissioners are still on the fence as to where they will place the love locks after they rejected all proposed locations during last night’s meeting. Queen Elizabeth Park, Prospect Point, English Bay Beach, Jericho Beach Pier and Kitsilano Beach Park Plaza were all on the docket due to their scenic locations and accessibility for tourists.
Why exactly these locations were rejected remains a mystery, but some commissioners pointed to tarnished views and environmental concerns.
Commissioner Stuart MacKinnon “Love locks are neither original nor in my opinion are they aesthetically pleasing They’re not locations that will be enhanced by a rack of padlocks rusting in the Vancouver climate.”
Regardless of the rejected locations, the Park Board would still like to see the love locks placed in “popular tourist locations that are the most accessible for people of all ages and abilities and that accessible by transit.”
After the Board locks down a location, a public consultation process will ensue including a social media campaign, information signs at the proposed sites and an online survey.
The love locks concept is believed to have originated in Paris decades ago, and they have since grown to become a phenomenon in cities around the world. However, more recently there have been safety concerns in some cities that the locks are an unsightly nuisance, and in some cases they have even jeopardized public safety.
Until last month, the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris was affixed with a million locks weighing 45 metric tonnes. Parisian officials decided the locks should be removed over safety concerns after a railing collapsed into the River Seine last summer.
This is why the Park Board is exploring opportunities to work with an artist to design and install a metal structure that is structurally safe for attaching love locks. Other cities have also taken this route to reduce the potential risk of such an attraction: a metal structure spelling out the word “LOVE” was installed in Toronto’s Distillery District last year and both Seoul and Moscow have love lock sculptures shaped like a tree.
The idea of a permanent love locks site was first proposed by NPA City Councillor George Affleck in 2014, but the Vision Vancouver-dominated City Council rejected his motion for staff to explore the idea. The idea was revived with the assistance of the newly elected NPA-dominated Park Board.
Vancouver previously had an unsanctioned love locks location on the Burrard Bridge, but the padlocks were removed in 2013 when concerns arose over falling love lock debris onto boats and people in False Creek.