White Rock adding picnic tables to the waterfront for outdoor dining

Jun 10 2020, 3:12 pm

Ample more picnic tables are coming to the beaches, parks, and streets of White Rock, representing a significant investment in enhanced public spaces for the small community in response to COVID-19.

Earlier this week, White Rock City Council approved spending $10,000 to buy picnic tables and benches, specifically for a large cluster of these picnic tables at the newly-built Memorial Plaza on the waterfront. Other locations for these tables include East Beach and Uptown area.

This is in addition to a $2,500 contribution from the White Rock Business Improvement Association (WRBIA), which will increase the acquisition budget to $12,500.

With each picnic table from Vancouver-based Great Canadian Picnic Table expected to cost between $600 and $700, the city will be able to buy about 20 picnic tables. Each picnic table accommodates six large adults and will be spaced apart by at least two metres to follow physical distancing protocols.

The picnic tables are intended to support restaurants, by creating city-supported outdoor dining spaces near the businesses. Unlike restaurant patios installed and operated by businesses, the picnic tables are open to public use.

white rock picnic table

Example of a picnic table configuration at Memorial Plaza on the White Rock waterfront. (City of White Rock)

white rock picnic table

Example of a picnic table configuration in Uptown. (City of White Rock)

“White Rock businesses have seen their customers use public seating to enjoy takeout. The demand for public seating will only grow as the weather improves and the restaurants and cafes in our community are limited in their capacity. Increasing public seating will support the businesses by allowing more areas for their customers to sit,” reads a letter to City Council by Alex Nixon, the executive director of the WRBIA.

“From our perspective, there is no issue with the seating being open to the general public- the businesses will still benefit from increased public seating, just as they currently benefit from the seating that is available to the general public.”

picnic tables

Picnic table. (Great Canadian Picnic Table)

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