Saanich council will consider a report from Coun. Zac de Vries calling for up to six park shelters to be added across the municipality to extend park-use into the rainy season. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich council to look at adding park shelters for safe outdoor socializing during adverse weather

Covered areas would permit safe socializing during ‘endless rain’ season, resident says

People found ways to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and for many, that has meant moving their social activities outdoors.

As the South Island braces for its annual fall rain and grey skies, some are pushing for shelters to be added to public areas so outdoor activities can continue.

On Sept. 14, Saanich council will receive a report from Coun. Zac de Vries calling for the installation of up to six outdoor shelters to “support a diversity of activities” in parks during the adverse fall weather.

READ ALSO: B.C. to shut down nightclubs, banquet halls; limit late-night alcohol sales at bars

De Vries explained that park use in Saanich has always been high but has gone up during the pandemic because being outdoors is said to be an effective way to prevent the spread of the virus. He noticed “an explosion of use this summer” as people used their parks as gyms, meeting places, dinner spots and sports.

Retrofitting parks with permanent or temporary shelters and coverings would allow park use to extend into the rainy season, de Vries said, adding that he feels it could be done in a cost-effective way while still creating “legacy pieces” that will mark this time in history.

READ ALSO: Real estate sales across southern Vancouver Island hit new record in August

The report comes after de Vries heard from community members calling for these covered areas in parks. Tillicum-area resident Elise Cote said she realized that outdoor shelters were necessary when a friend mentioned that she’d begun working out in parks rather than at her indoor gym but was worried that adverse weather would push her back indoors.

Many activities moved outside for the summer, but with the “winter dread” approaching, Cote wonders if people will continue to stay connected outdoors or if they’ll just stay inside.

READ ALSO: Uber expected in Victoria by early winter

de Vries also asked the mayor write to the owners of shopping malls and centres asking them to consider installing shelters on their properties for social activities.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

CoronavirusDistrict of Saanichparks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read