White Rock closes its waterfront to reduce the number of visitors

Apr 8 2020, 5:06 pm

Despite efforts by health officials requesting the public to stay home as much as possible and only perform essential trips, there have still been large crowds at popular public spaces in recent weeks, including the White Rock waterfront.

But the City of White Rock is looking to curb the foot traffic even further with its decision to close its Waterfront Promenade. This closure will begin on Friday, April 10, and comes ahead of the long weekend and forecasts of warm and sunny weather, with concerns that there could be large crowds of beach goers.

Fencing around the closed areas began going up earlier today.

This is in addition to the municipal government’s decision on March 23 to temporarily close the White Rock Pier and waterfront parking lots, and reduce parking on the north side of Marine Drive to a maximum of 15 minutes for takeout food from Marine Drive restaurants.

“Everyone loves our City by the Sea. The sandy shores, fish and chips and Canada’s Longest Pier are major attractions. Right now, starting on Easter weekend, we are saying ‘This is not the time to visit.’ We may be flattening the curve, as they say, but if we allow four days of fun and frivolity, where people get together and party and eat, it may set us back and we may need to stay apart even longer,” said White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker in a statement.

“Right now, the most important thing is battling COVID-19, and protecting our community’s health and our economy. Let’s fight COVID-19 by staying near our homes, maintaining a safe, physical distance, and reaching out to people through social media, Skype, Zoom or any other technology that brings us together.”

Meanwhile in Vancouver, the municipal government closed car access to Stanley Park today to deter visitors arriving by car, and it will shutter the eastbound lanes of Beach Avenue between Hornby Street and Stanley Park to provide exercise room for local residents. But it remains to be seen whether these measures will attract more people.

Parking lots, playgrounds, and sports fields have already been closed in these waterfront areas of Vancouver.