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This Act is current to April 24, 2024
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Vancouver Charter

[SBC 1953] CHAPTER 55

Part XXIII — Parks

Park Board established

485.   A board of commissioners, to be known as the "Board of Parks and Recreation" or "Park Board," shall be elected as hereinafter provided, and shall consist of seven members or such other number as the Council may by by-law prescribe. The Board has the legal capacity to exercise the powers bestowed on it and to enforce those powers and the exercise thereof by actions, proceeding or prosecution.

1953-55-485; 1956-70-13; 1974-104-39; 1988-67-8.

Elections for Park Board

486.   (1) The members of the Board shall be nominated and elected at the same time and in the same manner as Councillors and, for these purposes, Part I applies.

(2) The terms of members of the Board shall be as set by the Council by by-law.

(3) Members of the Board take office by making an oath of office and, for these purposes, section 140 [oath of office] applies.

(3.1) A member of the Board may resign from office only by delivering a written resignation to the City Clerk and, for these purposes, section 142 [resignation from office] applies.

(4) In the event of a vacancy on the Board, a by-election need not be held unless directed by the Council, in which case the election shall be held in the same manner as an election under section 10.

(5) [Repealed 2014-19-172.]

1993-54-72; 1994-52-164; 2003-52-513; 2014-19-172.

Application of conflict of interest and other disqualification provisions

486A.   The following sections apply in relation to members of the Board:

(a) section 140 (4) [failure to make oath of office];

(b) sections 142.1 [application to court for declaration of disqualification], 142.2 [status of person subject to an application] and 142.3 [costs of an application];

(c) section 143 (4) to (6) [unexcused absence from meetings];

(d) sections 145.2 to 145.92 [conflict of interest];

(e) sections 145.97 [disclosure of charge] and 145.98 [mandatory leave of absence].

2014-19-173; 2022-15-67.

Application of code of conduct provisions

486B.   Sections 145.93 and 145.94 apply to the Board.


Power of minister to make order or appoint acting members

486C.   If, as a result of section 145.98, the number of members of the Board who may exercise their powers is reduced to fewer than the number that is required for the Board to exercise its powers, the minister may

(a) order that the reduced number of members constitutes the required number of members for the Board to exercise its powers until the previous requirement can be met, or

(b) appoint qualified persons to act on behalf of the members who are on a leave of absence under section 145.98.



487.   [Repealed 1993-54-72.]

Parks in care of Board

488.   (1) The Board shall have exclusive possession of, and exclusive jurisdiction and control of all areas designated as permanent public parks of the City in a manner prescribed in subsection (5) of this section, and such areas shall remain as permanent public parks, and possession, jurisdiction and control of such areas shall be retained by the Board; provided that such designation may be revoked or cancelled in accordance with the provisions of any agreement creating such designation pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection (5) of this section or, in the case of a designation, pursuant to paragraph (a) or (f) of subsection (5) of this section, by resolutions of both City Council and the Park Board where, in each case, the same was passed by an affirmative vote of not less than 2/3 of all the members thereof.

(2) The Board shall have exclusive possession of, and exclusive jurisdiction and control of all areas of the City that are designated by resolution of Council as temporary public parks. Resolutions designating areas as temporary public parks shall not be revoked except by a resolution of Council requiring the affirmative vote of not less than 2/3 of all members of Council.

(3) The Board shall have the custody, care and management to the extent prescribed by Council of such other areas belonging to or held by the City as Council may from time to time determine.

(4) The areas referred to in subsections (1), (2) and (3) of this section are referred to in this Part as "the parks".

(5) Real property is designated as a permanent public park by

(a) a declaration as such by a resolution or by-law of Council;

(b) statutory appropriation of specific real property for park purposes;

(c) dedication by either a person or by the City by deposit of a subdivision plan in the Vancouver Land Registry Office;

(d) gift to the City for permanent public park purposes;

(e) covenant in a document transferring real property to the City indicating that the transferred lands are to be used for park purposes together with acceptance of same by the City;

(f) purchases made with funds borrowed with the assent of the electors under Part V for the acquisition of permanent public parks.

(6) Subject to the provisions of section 490, possession of, and exclusive jurisdiction and control of real property includes the authority to determine how such real property shall be used, what fees or rental charges may be established and imposed and, subject to sections 492 and 493, what improvements shall be made thereon, including the removal or demolition of any existing improvements.

(7) Exclusive jurisdiction and control of parks and the property comprising them also includes the power to prohibit the selling of anything, and the provision of services or performances of any type without the permission of the Board. In granting permission, the Board may impose such terms and conditions as it deems appropriate.

(8) Fees and charges established and imposed under this section may be different for different classes of persons and activities.

1978-41-28; 1988-67-9; 1993-54-73; 1994-52-165; 2023-16-35.

Park Board powers in relation to parks

489.   (1) The Board shall have power to provide for

As to buildings, etc.

(a) constructing, acquiring, maintaining, equipping, operating, supervising, and controlling such buildings, structures, and facilities as may be required for the recreation, comfort, and enjoyment of the public while within the parks;

Sports and games

(b) accommodation for sports and games, and spectators thereof, and setting aside and reserving portions of the parks for specified kinds of sports and games;


(c) entertainment through musical, theatrical, and other activities in the parks, and making a charge for admission thereto;

Admittance fees

(d) charging and collecting fees for admission to any building or place in the parks set aside for sports or games, whether by spectators or participants;

Closure of parks

(e) closing to the free use of the public the whole or any part of any of the parks, or the whole or any part of any building therein, at such times and for such periods as may be deemed advisable; and charging and collecting a fee for admission to the parks or buildings, or parts thereof, during such periods; and providing penalties for unauthorized entry during such periods;


(f) establishing, equipping, supervising, controlling, and maintaining playgrounds for children in any of the parks;


(g) acquiring the necessary furniture and equipment for the buildings and activities carried on in the parks;

Bathing accommodation

(h) accommodation, recreation, supervision, control, and safety of persons using such parts of the parks as are designated for public bathing, and fixing and collecting fees therefor;

Swimming pools

(i) establishing, maintaining, and operating indoor and outdoor swimming baths and pools in the parks, and fixing and collecting fees for the use thereof;


(j) acquiring bicycles and similar vehicles for the use of the public, and maintaining places in the parks where persons may rent them;


(k) establishing, maintaining, operating, and equipping landing and other places in the parks where persons may rent boats and other water-craft or accommodation therein, and acquiring and operating such boats and water-craft;

Sale of commodities

(l) establishing, maintaining, and operating stands and places for the preparation and sale of foods, confections, beverages, and other refreshments, and for the provision of services and the sale of tobacco products, as well as souvenirs, curios, postcards, magazines, and the like, to the public in any of the parks;

Animals, etc., may be kept

(m) establishing, maintaining, and operating in any of the parks places for the confinement, exhibition, and accommodation of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and other creatures which may be objects of interest to the public, and making a charge therefor;

Areas set apart for bathing, etc.

(n) designating areas in the parks or elsewhere in which persons may bathe, swim, or engage in water sports in public, and prohibiting them from so doing in areas not so designated, and regulating the dress of persons while bathing, swimming, or engaged in water sports and while going to and returning from such areas;

And for skating, etc.

(o) designating areas in the parks where persons may skate, ski, or sleigh, and for the supervision and control of persons engaged in such activities;

Council may add to powers

(p) doing such other things with respect to any of the parks as the Council shall from time to time authorize;

Implementing powers

(q) doing such other things in furtherance of any of the above powers as shall be deemed expedient;

Recreational programs

(r) organizing and conducting, and contracting with others to organize and conduct, recreational programs of all kinds, either in parks or in such other locations as may be approved by the Board or any of its employees designated for this purpose, and for fixing and collecting fees for such programs.

(2) Fees and charges imposed under this section may be different for different classes of persons and activities.

1953-55-489; 1988-67-10; 1994-52-166.

Power of Board to perform works

489A.   The Council may authorize the Board, and the Board when so authorized shall have power, to perform any works and provide any services with respect to real property not within the parks for any non-profit or charitable institution in any case where the Council deems such works or services to be to the general advantage of the city and that such institution is performing a work or service for the public benefit, and the city may enter into an agreement with such institution for the performance of such works or provision of such services if Council deems it expedient.


Payments to members of the Board

489B.   The Council may, by by-law, provide for payments to members of the Board in the same manner as permitted for members of Council and, for these purposes, sections 196 and 196A apply.


Board's power of leasing, etc.

490.   (1) Subject to sections 492 and 493, the Board, in the name of the City, may by lease, licence, or any other agreement, permit any person to occupy any building or place or any part thereof in a permanent public park, on such terms as to remuneration or otherwise as to the Board may seem expedient. Such agreements shall contain a provision providing for the termination thereof if such park ceases to be a permanent public park pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) of section 488.

(2) Subject to the provisions of sections 492 and 493, the Council may delegate to the Board power, in the name of the City, to enter into agreements permitting any person to occupy any building or place in a temporary public park or any part thereof on such terms as to remuneration and otherwise as the Board may deem expedient.

(3) Any agreement made pursuant to this section shall be executed in the manner specified by the Board.

1978-41-29; 1983-10-21, effective October 26, 1983 (B.C. Reg. 393/83).

Park Board by-laws in relation to parks

491.   (1) In the exercise of any of its powers, the Board may from time to time pass, amend, and repeal by-laws (not inconsistent with any by-law passed by the City Council) to be observed in the parks, or any of them, for the control, regulation, protection, and government of the parks and of persons who may be therein, including

Excluding animals, etc.

(a) the exclusion from any of the parks, or any part thereof, of any animal or vehicle;

Controlling assemblies

(b) the assembling or gathering of persons in any of the parks, and, if deemed necessary, the prohibition of such assemblies or gatherings;

Regulating signs

(c) the regulation of advertising or signs of any kind in any of the parks, including the regulation of the number, size, type, form, appearance and location of signs, whether projecting into a street or not;

Mischief may be forbidden

(d) prohibiting persons from damaging trees, shrubs, flowers, or other growing things, or fences or other property, in the parks; and from depositing rubbish, bottles, paper, or other discarded materials in the parks;

(e) [Repealed 1994-52-168.]

Delegation of powers

(f) the delegation to the General Manager, or such other person as may be named, of any or all of the powers set forth in clauses (a), (b), (c), and (d) hereof.

(2) The Board may, for purposes of subsection (1) (c), make by-laws that do one or more of the following:

(a) make different provisions for different areas, times, conditions or circumstances as described by by-law;

(b) establish different classes of persons, places, activities, property or things;

(c) make different provisions, including exceptions, for different classes established under paragraph (b).

1973-55-491; 1973-93-20; 1984-32-13; 1992-57-12; 1994-52-168; 2009-22-85.

Relaxation of advertising and sign by-laws

491.1   (1) The Board may, by by-law, provide for the relaxation of a by-law under section 491 (1) (c) in one or more of the following circumstances:

(a) enforcement of the by-law would result in unnecessary hardship;

(b) the advertising or sign is

(i) on heritage property, or

(ii) on property in an area identified as a historic area in an official development plan or a zoning by-law;

(c) the advertising or sign uses technology not contemplated under the by-law;

(d) the advertising or sign is in relation to a special event, as designated by the Board by by-law or resolution.

(2) A by-law under subsection (1) may authorize such relaxations to be made by the Board or the General Manager.

(3) A relaxation under this section, whether made by the Board or the General Manager, may be limited in time and may be made subject to conditions.

(4) A person whose request for a relaxation is dealt with by the General Manager is entitled to have the Board reconsider the matter.


Meetings of the Board

491A.   (1) The Board may make by-laws for the procedure and conduct of meetings of the Board and for the selection of the Chair of the Board.

(2) Section 145.1 applies to meetings of the Board.


Board's estimates to be submitted each year

492.   The Board shall, at the beginning of each year, cause to be prepared and submitted to the Council a detailed estimate of the receipts from every source, and of the expenditures of the Board of every kind, during that year, showing the amount estimated to be necessary for the purposes of the Board up to the thirty-first day of December next thereafter. The said estimate shall be considered by the Council and adopted in whole or in part.


Adopted estimates not to be exceeded

493.   (1) Save by resolution of the Council, the Board shall not authorize or make any expenditures except those provided for in the estimate as adopted by the Council.

(2) The Board may, for periods of not more than twelve months at a time, give authorization in advance to the General Manager to draw warrants for payment prior to approval of the Board, but every warrant for a payment so authorized in advance shall be reported in writing by the General Manager to the Board within fifteen days after the end of the month in which the warrant is drawn.

1953-55-493; 1962-82-15; 1974-104-39; 1984-32-14.

Enforcement of by-laws

494.   The provisions of section 151 shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to the Board, and with respect to any by-law passed under this Part the provisions of section 333 shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.


Special meetings of the Board

495.   The Chair may and, upon the written requisition of any two members, shall call a special meeting of the Board to deal with any matter of which notice is given specifying the purpose of the meeting. Except by the unanimous consent of all the members, at least forty-eight hours' notice of a special meeting shall be given.

1953-55-495; 1992-57-12.

Electronic meetings of the Board

495A.   (1) If permitted under subsection (2), a meeting or special meeting of the Board may be conducted by means of electronic or other communication facilities.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations permitting meetings under subsection (1) and prescribing conditions, limits and requirements respecting such meetings.


Certain employees to have special powers

496.   A person employed by the Board as a warden, lifeguard or security guard in parks has, while performing a duty in a park, all the powers and authority of a police constable.


Power to make agreements with other municipalities

497.   The Council may enter into agreements on behalf of the city with neighbouring municipalities for the joint acquisition, regulation, management, maintenance, improvement, and control of any public park, beach, pleasure-ground, or recreation-ground, and may grant or expend money for the upkeep, maintenance, improvement, or management of any such public park, beach, pleasure-ground, or recreation-ground, notwithstanding that the same may not be in the city.


Board's jurisdiction outside city

497A.   Notwithstanding anything contained in any other Act, the jurisdiction and powers of the Board of Parks and Recreation and of every warden, lifeguard or security guard employed by the Park Board shall extend to and be as valid and effectual within the boundaries of the public parks of the city and such other areas as are in the custody, care, and management of the Board, situate outside the boundaries of the city, as if such parks and other areas were situate within the city; provided that nothing herein contained shall be deemed to affect the exercise within the boundary of any such parks and other areas by any other authority, officer, or constable of any jurisdiction or power under any other Act.

1967-63-8; 1974-104-39; 2022-15-70.

Contents | Preamble | Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX | Part XXI | Part XXII | Part XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXIV-A | Part XXIV-B | Part XXV | Part XXVI | Part XXVII | Part XXVIII | Part XXIX | Part XXX | Part XXXI