The coronavirus has forced many Vancouver stores, restaurants and other places to close temporarily. Some have remained open and others have since reopened.
The purpose of this article is to highlight local places that are open. It includes a list of venues you can visit and support with your purchases.
NOTE: Information in this article is accurate to the best of our ability and as of the date of publication. These are rapidly changing times, however, and there is a lot to track! Details are also subject to change. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, check official venue websites.
For a list of places and events that have closed or been cancelled, click Impact of the Coronavirus on the Lower Mainland. To learn about places that are still open or have reopened since closing initially, continue reading.
This article includes the following topics:
Happening Festivals | Open Attractions | What’s Opening Soon and Allowed to Open | Farmers Markets | Lower Mainland Parks | Open Stores | 2020 Festivals | Other Resources for Finding Open Places | Who Deserves Special Praise | Other Information
What’s Open in COVID-19 Vancouver?
The economy has virtually shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, it’s hard to tell what’s still open. We don’t attempt to list every place in the Lower Mainland that’s open – that would be an ever-changing and impossible task! We do list some places, however, and suggest where you can find other lists and sources of information.
Below is a list of places that we know are still open. After our list of some of the many places that have either remained open or have reopened after initially closing, we recommend other websites with more lists of open businesses and organizations. To learn more about places to find what’s open in different parts of the Lower Mainland click Resources for Open Places.
Again, note that circumstances change and that what’s open or closed today might be the opposite by the time you read this article. For the most up-to-date details, see official venue websites.
Kidsworld is running this summer during the month of August. If you’re looking for an affordable way to visit some of the Lower Mainland’s most interesting attractions with your children during the school holidays, it’s a program that’s well worth checking out!
Beginning in the spring, most (but not all) festivals and major events have been cancelled in 2020, at least in their regular live and in-person formats. A few though are still going ahead.
For a comprehensive list of Lower Mainland festivals with their dates and statuses, see our article about Vancouver Festivals & Events. To see what’s going ahead this year, although in modified (but still live formats), check out the following:
- Carnaval del Sol – Vancouver’s annual Latin American festival is still going ahead with a combination of live and online events. Music and cultural activities take place virtually via Facebook and YouTube between July 15th and August 9th. Live in-person events also take place at Lower Mainland restaurants during that time. A live-in person outdoor market will also likely happen, on the weekend of August 7th to 9th, but with exact details to be confirmed.
- Abbotsford Agrifair – the agricultural fair at Abbotsford Exhibition Park takes the form of a Drive Thru Safari this year on the weekend of July 31st to August 2nd.
- Chilliwack Sunflower Festival – the annual flower festival in the Fraser Valley happens this year between mid-August and the Labour Day Weekend.
- Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) – Vancouver’s end-of-summer fair is running in a COVID-friendly drive-thru-style format from August 22nd until September 7th.
Not many tourist attractions are currently operating in Vancouver. More and more though will slowly begin to reopen. As of late June, attractions and other places of interest that are open or are soon to reopen include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Ambush Paintball – the paintball venue in Surrey has reopened with new limitations.
- Aquabus & False Creek Ferries – the passenger boats that go up and down the waters of False Creek are running again as of May 22nd.
- Apex Adventure Plex – the large Richmond trampoline park initially suspended operations but it is open again as of June 25th.
- BC Ferries – the passenger ferry company has been operating throughout the pandemic, but with greatly reduced capacity. As of July 2nd, however, sailings increased between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo by thirty round trips per week. Terminal markets are reopening as well, as of June 26th.
- Beaty Biodiversity Museum – the biological-themed museum at UBC is now reopen as of July 2020.
- Bill Reid Gallery – the Vancouver art gallery featuring the works of Bill Reid and other First Nations artists reopened its doors on June 6th.
- Blarney Stone – the Irish pub in Gastown reopened on May 20th for dine-in service.
- Bloedel Conservatory – this indoor garden was temporarily closed, but it is open again as of July 13th.
- Britannia Mine – the historical site is open as of May 30th for its members and locals who live in Britannia Beach and the surrounding area, and as of June 1st for the general public.
- Britannia Heritage Shipyards – the heritage buildings closed in March, but commenced a phased reopening on July 21st with new hours and protocols.
- Burnaby Art Gallery – the art gallery closed in mid-March but opened again as of July 14th. Only exhibition viewing and adult programs are available, both of which require appointments.
- Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum resumes operations as of July 15th (although the carousel isn’t scheduled to reopen until some other time in the future).
- Capilano Bridge – the attraction with the world-famous suspension bridge is open again as of June 19th, 2020.
- Christ Church Cathedral – the Anglican cathedral was only offering online services, but as of late June, in-person prayers are offered on Sundays. Registration is required as seats are limited.
- Clip ‘n Climb – the climbing wall centre in Richmond was closed until May 19th. It is now open again, however, but with a maximum of 10 participants at a time. A number of other Lower Mainland Climbing Centres plan to begin reopening in June.
- Cloverdale Flea Market – the market at Surrey’s Cloverdale Fairgrounds reopened on June 28th but in its outdoor areas only.
- Cultus Lake Adventure Park – located in Fraser Valley, this popular attraction has reopened to the public as of early July.
- Cultus Lake Waterpark – similar to the neighbouring adventure park, the water park reopened in July.
- Darts Hill Garden Park – the garden in South Surrey has reopened to the public as of June 4th, but only by reservation and on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for a $5 fee.
- Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden – the classical garden located in Vancouver’s Chinatown neighbourhood was closed, but reopened on July 3rd.
- Fairmont Vancouver Hotel – the iconic hotel at the corner of Burrard and Georgia in downtown Vancouver was closed completely for over a couple of months. It reopened, however, on July 3rd.
- Farmers Markets – most Lower Mainland summer farmers markets have started up for the season.
- FlyOver Canada – the multi-dimensional theatre attraction is open as of June 18th, 2020. In addition to its regular Canadian film, FlyOver Iceland shows from mid-June until August 30th.
- Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours – the tour company that offers guided walking tours in downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park resumed operations at the beginning of July.
- Fort Langley – the National Historic Site resumed operations on June 8th, 2020.
- Granville Island – the public market remains open and an increasing number of retail shops and restaurants in the area have resumed operations. Parking is now temporarily free on the island as well.
- Grouse Mountain – after being closed for over three months, the attraction welcomes current pass holders back up the hill starting on June 22nd. The Grouse Grind also reopens on that date and people who hike up can use the Skyride tramway to get back down. As of early July, the mountain is open to the general public again.
- Guilt & Co. – the popular live music venue at #1 Alexander Street in Gastown is now open as of mid-June.
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery – the National Historic Site in Steveston Village is now open as of July 13th, 2020.
- Harrison Boat Tours – Shoreline Cruises and Harrison Eco Tours at Harrison Hot Springs are both operating as of June 6th, 2020.
- Harrison Hot Springs Resort – the world-famous resort and spa closed for a number of weeks, but then reopened at the end of May.
- Harrison Water Park – as of May 30th the company has resumed its boat and Sea-doo rental services. As of June 27th, they plan to open the water park to the public too.
- Hollywood 3 Cinemas – this company’s movie theatres are showing films once again as of June 12th in Pitt Meadows, Surrey and White Rock. They are the first Lower Mainland movie theatres to reopen.
- Kilby Farm – As of late June, the site grounds at the Fraser Valley attraction had reopened. As of mid-July, the campground and museum are also once again open to the public.
- Lonsdale Quay Public Market – most food retailers at the world-famous market have either remained open or, since closing temporarily, have reopened. The retail level of the venue has now also reopened.
- Lower Mainland Parks – most city parks have either reopened or will soon be reopening their facilities (including golf courses, tennis courts and playgrounds). Most (but not all) provincial parks have also reopened for day-use as of May 14th. Most have also reopened their campgrounds for overnight stays as of the beginning of June. For a list of open parks click Lower Mainland Parks.
- Maan Farms – the attraction in Abbotsford has mostly reopened, with curbside pick-up available for food and wine, along with many family-friendly activities.
- Main Street Farmers Market – the weekly Wednesday summer market outside Central Pacific Station opened for the season on July 3rd (so about a month later than usual). All going well with respect to COVID-19, it is expected to continue until October 7th.
- Maplewood Farm – the attraction in North Vancouver with farm animals reopened on July 13th.
- Museum of Anthropology – UBC’s MOA reopened on July 8th after being closed for quite a long time.
- Museum of Vancouver – the museum with exhibits about Vancouver’s past is open again as of June 11th.
- Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre – the Burnaby venue reopened as of June 2nd, 2020.
- Nitobe Memorial Garden – the UBC garden has reopened with new precautions in place.
- Playland – opening day for the amusement park is scheduled for July 10th.
- Polygon Gallery – the art museum in North Vancouver is now open again to the public as of mid-June.
- Prospect Point – the gift shop and restaurant have reopened as of July 8th.
- Richmond Indoor Paintball – the Lower Mainland’s only indoor paintball facility has reopened.
- Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy – the comedy club in New Westminster is open as of May 21st (but with various safety measures in place including operating at a greatly reduced maximum capacity).
- Roedde House Museum – the historic house designed by Sir Francis Rattenbury in downtown Vancouver reopened to the public in July.
- Science World – the science museum in downtown Vancouver at the eastern end of False Creek is open to the public as of August 1st, 2020.
- Sea to Sky Gondola – the Squamish-based attraction reopened on May 22nd for pass holders and their guests, and then on May 28th for the general public.
- Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – visitors can enjoy the exhibits and outdoor walking tours once again as of June 26th. Indoor guided tours aren’t starting up right away, but will hopefully be able to resume before too long.
- Stanley Park – cars can once again drive around and park in the area. Only one lane of the road is open to vehicle traffic though. The other is reserved for bicycles. The outdoor pool has reopened, but to our knowledge, the miniature train remains closed as of early August.
- Stewart Farm – while the farmhouse remains closed, guided outdoor tours begin July 14th.
- UBC Botanical Gardens – the garden at UBC initially suspended operations, but it is open with new safety measures and hours as of July 3rd.
- Taves Family Farm and Applebarn – the Abbotsford farm was closed, but has mostly reopened as of July 8th.
- Vancouver Aquarium – the aquarium in Stanley Park reopened its doors to the public on June 26th.
- Vancouver Art Gallery – the museum opened for members and donors on June 15th, 2020, and is now open to the general public with new hours.
- Vancouver Flea Market – the huge yard-sale-style market that takes place on Saturdays and Sundays has reopened as of June 13th, 2020.
- Vancouver Maritime Museum – the attraction at Vanier Park is open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as of June 11th, 2020.
- Vancouver Mysteries – the company with crime-solving games in the streets of downtown Vancouver has resumed operations.
- Vancouver Police Museum – the museum with exhibits about Vancouver crime, criminals and policing is open once again as of June 5th, 2020.
- Vancouver Zoo – the Greater Vancouver Zoo is back in business as of June 1st, 2020.
- VanDusen Garden – the City of Vancouver’s botanical garden has resumed operations (although with just a limited number of people allowed in at any one time).
- Westcoast Sightseeing Tours – the tour bus company closed during March, but has since reopened as of August 6th.
- Whistler-Blackcomb – the resort reopened for summer activities like mountain biking as of June 29th.
- White Rock Promenade & Pier – the promenade and pier in White Rock were closed to the public for a number of weeks. The promenade reopened at the end of May and the pier reopened in the middle of June.
- Wineries – most Lower Mainland wineries have reopened their wine stores, resumed wine tasting activities or are at least offering online sales and curbside pick-up.
As of the middle of May, 2020, as part of the province’s Phase 2 of restarting the economy, public libraries, museums and art galleries are finally permitted to reopen, as are recreation and sporting facilities. In late June the BC Government also announced that Phase 3 of the reopening plan will likely start soon.
As more tourist attractions and places of interest reopen we’ll continue to add to the above list. In the meantime, though, check out the lists of open farmers markets and parks below, and see official websites of venues for exact details. Further below you’ll also find details about open retailers and other information and resources.
What’s Opening Soon and Allowed to Open?
As time passes, more and more businesses and places of interest will reopen. Restaurants, museums, hair salons, libraries and rec centres, for example, are starting to reopen as of the start of June. See below for details about the government’s plans.
Phase 2 of BC’s Reopening Plans
On May 6th, 2020, the Premier of BC outlined the government’s plans to restart the province’s economy.
As of mid-May, businesses allowed to reopen include those listed below (as well as a few others). The plan though is assuming the current health situation continues to improve and that venues take appropriate measures to protect their staffs and customers.
The following businesses and places are allowed to reopen as of the middle of May, although not all necessarily will.
- Chiropractors, dentists, massage therapists, physiotherapists and speech therapists.
- Retail stores.
- Hair stylists, barbers, and other personal care service providers.
- Restaurants, coffee shops and pubs (but not bars or night clubs).
- Art galleries, libraries and museums.
- Recreation and sports facilities (but not for major events)
- Beaches, parks and other outdoor spaces.
The above is part of the province’s Phase 2 plan. If health conditions continue to stabilize or improve, Phase 3 will happen between June and September.
Phase 3 and Beyond of BC’s Reopening Plans
As part of Phase 3, beginning in June 2020, hotels that weren’t still operating were allowed to reopen, and most parks resumed overnight camping operations. By July cinemas were opening back up again, and by September children are allowed back to school, at least to some degree.
As of the beginning of July, the timing of Phase 4, which includes the resumption of conventions, concerts and international tourism, is yet to be determined. The reopening of night clubs and casinos won’t likely be for a while even after that.
To learn more about the plans to reopen the provincial and Vancouver economies, click BC’s Restart Plan.
Farmers Markets Are Open!
Many (but not all) farmers markets in the Lower Mainland are open as of the beginning of May. They have lots of special procedures in place to keep people safe, and many of the markets are much smaller than usual, with fewer vendors, but they are open. Some markets even offer online pick-up and delivery services.
Places you can shop at, and where you can find local farmers to support, include those listed below. (Note: Exact times and other details are subject to change.)
- Abbotsford Farm and Country Market – on Saturday mornings in Abbotsford (as of its first day of the season on May 16th).
- Ambleside Artisan Farmers Market – on Sundays from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver.
- Burnaby Artisan Farmers Market – on Saturdays from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm outside Burnaby City Hall. (It had closed briefly at the beginning of the health crisis, but then soon after reopened.)
- Coquitlam Farmers Market – at 624 Poirier Street in Coquitlam on Sundays between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm.
- Fort Langley Village Farmers Market – on Saturdays from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm on Glover Road in Fort Langley. It starts for the season (as originally planned) on May 2nd.
- Haney Farmers Market – on Saturdays from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm in Maple Ridge.
- Lonsdale Quay Farmers Market – a small number of vendors outside the Lonsdale Quay Public Market in North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale District on Saturdays from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm (as of May 9th).
- Kitsilano Farmers Market – on Sundays between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm at the Kitsilano Community Centre.
- New West Farmers Market – between 3:00 and 7:00 pm at New Westminster’s Tipperary Park on Royal Avenue (not far from City Hall).
- Riley Park Farmers Market – on Saturdays at Riley Park near Nat Bailey Stadium from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
- Squamish Farmers Market – in downtown Squamish between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm (as of May 9th, so about a month later than originally planned.)
- Trout Lake Farmers Market – at the north end of John Hendry Park from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm.
- White Rock Farmers Market – from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm at 15154 Russell Avenue in White Rock.
- West End Farmers Market – from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm in the 1100 block of Comox Street (not far from Burrard Street).
Also in addition to the above, lots of small locally-owned grocery stores are open. They are important places to support and shop at too.
Lower Mainland Parks
In addition to food, during a pandemic people also need to maintain their mental health. One way of accomplishing that is through exercise and being outdoors. Parks are great places to do that, especially ones close to home.
Provincial parks run by BC Parks had all been closed. As of June 3rd, however, more than half of the ones within two hours’ drive of Vancouver have reopened, at least for day-use. Many are now open for camping as well. Most Lower Mainland municipal parks are open, although with things like swimming pools and children’s playgrounds still closed. In most (but not all) cases, tennis courts, skateboard parks, golf courses and basketball courts have reopened as of the middle of May. A few major parks within Metro Vancouver are still open, but with no access to parking for vehicles (e.g., Stanley Park).
A number of major parks that are still open include those outlined below. Most smaller community parks throughout the Lower Mainland also remain open.
(Note: This list is accurate to the best of our ability at the time of writing of this article. The status of individual venues may change at any time.)
- Alice Lake Provincial Park – the park near Squamish re-opened for day-use as of May 14th and camping as of June 1st.
- Alouette Lake – as of June 1st the park is completely open, for both day use and camping.
- Ambleside Park in West Vancouver – the entire waterfront route from the Capilano River to Dundarave is open as usual (although with restrictions in some areas for cyclists). Just be sure to stay as far away from other people along the seawall as you can, or just stick to the wide open areas.
- Belcarra Regional Park – the park just north of Port Moody remains open. To help people maintain physical distancing, the loop around Sasamat Lake has been designated one-way until further notice.
- Bear Creek Park in Surrey – the miniature train and miniature golf have been closed, but the park, swimming pool and playgrounds are still available for exploring.
- Boundary Bay Regional Park – the children’s playground has now reopened. The beach and trails at the park in Tsawwassen are also open.
- Bridal Veil Falls – the provincial park up past Chilliwack re-opened for day-use as of the middle of May.
- Burnaby Lake – the boat launch has been closed, but the walking trails around the lake are open.
- Burnaby Mountain – the trails and open areas are open. Horizons Restaurant at the top, however, has closed permanently (but did so at the end of February, 2020, so before the pandemic started affecting most businesses).
- Capilano River Regional Park – the area around North Vancouver’s Cleveland Dam is open to the public, as are the trails from there down to Ambleside in West Vancouver. The Capilano River Hatchery, however, has been closed temporarily.
- Central Park in Burnaby – the forested trails are open, as is the Pitch and Putt Golf Course. Swangard Stadium, however, has been closed.
- Cultus Lake Provincial Park – the park in the Fraser Valley opened for day-use. Its campgrounds are also open again beginning on June 1st.
- Deer Lake in Burnaby – although the path and boardwalks around the lake are narrow, everyone has to walk in the same direction – clockwise – which is a great way to help people maintain appropriate physical distancing.
- Dundarave in West Vancouver – the beach, pier and seawall are all open to the public.
- Golden Ears – the provincial park north of Maple Ridge re-opened for day-use on May 14th. The beach at Alouette Lake is also open. Campground facilities, however, remained closed until June 1st.
- Elgin Heritage Park – the park in Surrey has remained open throughout the pandemic (although not Stewart Farm which is the historic site at the park which has been closed for a number of weeks).
- Inter River Park in North Vancouver – the sports fields have been closed, but all the walking and hiking trails remain popular with both people and dogs.
- John Hendry Park in Vancouver – Trout Lake is still open for people to walk around. The Trout Lake Farmers Market is also now open for the season on Saturdays.
- Kitsilano in Vancouver – the ocean-front park and beach remain open. The children’s play structures, concession stand, tennis courts, outdoor swimming pool and the parking lots have now all reopened.
- Lighthouse Park – the parking lot at this West Vancouver park was closed for a number of weeks, which greatly limited accessibility and the number of people visiting. The parking lot, however, has since reopened.
- Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – the trails and parking are open to the public once again.
- Mundy Park in Coquitlam – the trails at the park remain open.
- Porteau Cove Provincial Park – both the campground and entire park up towards Squamish were closed for a number of weeks. The park was also one of the last provincial parks to reopen, but did so finally at the beginning of June.
- Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver – the park is beautiful this time of year. Parking in the area is restricted, and the pitch and putt golf is closed, but the park itself is still open. Tennis court facilities have also reopened.
- Pacific Spirit Regional Park – the walking trails on the UBC Endowment Lands are still a great place to experience nature and get exercise.
- Rice Lake in North Vancouver – the parking lot at the nearby Seymour Demonstration Forest has reopened and the trails around the lake remain open.
- Rocky Point Park in Port Moody – the park is open, as are its walking and cycling trails. The outdoor pool, however, remains closed.
- Rolley Lake – the provincial park north of Mission has reopened to the public for day-use. Campgrounds there back in operation as of June 1st.
- Sasquatch Provincial Park – the park near Harrison Hot Springs has reopened for both day-use and camping as of June 1st.
- Shannon Falls – the provincial park near Squamish is open as of June 1st, 2020, after being closed for a few weeks.
- Spanish Banks – the beach near UBC remains open to the public.
- Stanley Park in Vancouver – the same as Queen Elizabeth Park, many of the facilities are closed and parking is restricted to very small sections of the park. The park, its trails, seawall and beaches, however, remain open. Cyclists are allowed to ride on the roads, but not along the seawall (which is currently reserved for pedestrian traffic only).
- Stawamus Chief Provincial Park – the popular hiking spot in Squamish was closed but has now since reopened some (but not all) of its areas. Rock climbing can take place at the park again, for example, but the main Chief Peaks Trail remains closed as of the end of May.
In addition to the above, lots of other parks remain open. Not all though, and in some regions, like in Whistler and Harrison Hot Springs, non-locals are encouraged to stay away.
Lower Mainland Stores That Are Still Open
Thousands of stores and restaurants are still open, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, although operating under modified conditions. These include grocery stores and pharmacies, restaurants offering take-out and delivery services, and banks and credit unions. Far from all of these are still open for business, but many are.
As of May 19th, restaurants have been allowed to start offering dine-in services, and as of June 11th they are no longer limited to a maximum of 50% capacity.
Hair salons, barber shops, massage therapy and physio clinics, and other similar types of personal care places have been closed, but as of the middle of May have also been allowed to reopen (provided that certain safety measures are in place). Also as of mid-May, retail stores, restaurants, coffee shops, pubs (but not bars) are also allowed to reopen, as are public libraries, museums and art galleries.
Most Metro Vancouver shopping malls that have remained open throughout the pandemic including the following:
- Aberdeen Centre – the Richmond mall has remained open. Similar to other places, initially only essential-service retailers like the supermarket, drugstore, post office and a few food venues remained open. Now though, an increasing number of stores have resumed operations.
- IKEA – the Swedish home furnishing retailer’s Coquitlam and Richmond stores reopened for in-store shopping on June 1st, 2020.
- Lansdowne Mall – as of May 19th, according to its website, Richmond’s second largest shopping centre has about four dozen stores that are open. More will no doubt be resuming operations soon too.
- Lonsdale Quay – the public market remained open throughout the spring as did a number of its food-related vendors. Other stores started opening after the May Long Weekend too.
- Metropolis at Metrotown – the Burnaby mall has remained open. As of mid-May, an increasing number of its stores are reopening.
- Pacific Centre – the downtown Vancouver mall also remained open, although many of its stores closed initially. Similar to other places, over time more and more retailers have been opening back up.
- Park Royal Shopping Centre – the West Vancouver shopping mall remains open. As of May 19th, 2020, over 40 of its tenant stores are open (and more will soon be too).
For a video of businesses at Lonsdale Quay (and the Lower Lonsdale District of North Vancouver) that remained open as of April 2020, see below.
Several major department stores closed initially. Most though are now reopening.
The Hudson’s Bay Company, the iconic Canadian department store, closed its Lower Mainland locations initially, but has been reopening them since after the Victoria Day Long Weekend in mid-May. Nordstrom at the Pacific Centre closed, as did all other Canadian and US locations. The Vancouver location was offering curbside pickup for a while and then, as of late May, reopened for in-store shopping too.
We’d love to list all retailers that have remained open or have reopened, especially smaller and locally-owned ones. That would be impossible though. Instead, below, we list places where you can find lists of what’s open in specific parts of the Lower Mainland.
NOTE: The contents of this article are accurate to the best of our knowledge and as of the writing of this article. Things change, however, so see official venue websites for exact details.
2020 Festivals and Events
Most festivals and events in the spring and summer of 2020 have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. A number have been postponed until (hopefully) later in the year, and a few have reinvented themselves as online events.
For a list of attractions and events that closed or were cancelled, see our article about Vancouver, COVID-19, Closures and Cancellations.
Festivals and events that are still happening in 2020, include the following:
In June …
- PNE CAR-B-Q Edition – a drive-thru-style event with BBQ ribs and other meal items plus classic and customized cars to admire at Vancouver’s PNE Fairgrounds (June 18th to 21st).
- Mini Donut Drive-Thru – an event where people can pre-purchase donuts and then pick them up at Abbotsford Exhibition Park (June 19th to 21st).
In August …
- Squamish Wind Festival – the community event showcasing music, art and live performances is hosting a series of online activities between August 7th and the 21st, but also three evenings of drive-in movies on the first three Fridays of the month.
Other Resources for Finding Open Places
At Vancouver’s Best Places we’d love to have a comprehensive list of shops, restaurants and other businesses that remain open during the current COVID-19 health crisis, including small single location places. That would be a big job, and far beyond what a small organization like ours could handle. Instead, we have compiled a list of other organizations and online resources that have their own lists of open places.
Check out the following for other lists of places that are currently open:
- Explore Squamish – the Squamish tourism agency has a list of businesses in the area that are open.
- Granville Island – the website for the popular tourist and shopping destination has a list of what’s open in the area.
- Invest NewWest – the City of New Westminster compiled a list of places where people can still buy things from in their community.
- Shipyards District in North Vancouver – the Lower Lonsdale BIA has a list of businesses that are open in North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale neighbourhood.
- Tourism Harrison Hot Springs – the resort’s tourism agency has a list of restaurants and attractions that are open in the area.
- VisitRichmondBC – Tourism Richmond has a list of places in Richmond that remain open on its website.
What Businesses, Organizations and People Deserve Extra Praise?
During these challenging times, a number of businesses, in our opinion, have stood out for the extra things they have done to help their customers. We list some of these below.
We’d love to list every small locally-owned and even the tiniest of socially-responsible businesses. That wouldn’t, however, be practical. Kudos to the following larger places though for some of their initiatives:
- BC Hydro – the power company has been offering to waive up to three months’ worth of utility bills for people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
- ICBC – the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia isn’t normally the most-loved company in the province. It’s so nice though that they are waiving the usual $30 fee for insurance cancellations and the $18 plate fees when reinstating cancelled policies. They are also allowing companies to suspend insurance on fleet vehicles not being used. Every little bit counts!
- London Drugs – this large Vancouver-based pharmacy was the first to offer to help Girl Guides sell their fundraising cookies in stores (with 100% of proceeds going to the non-profit organization). The company also started to reserve some store shelves for products that small local businesses could no longer sell on their own.
- Vancity Credit Union – whereas several banks cut credit card interest rates in half, this local credit union reduced credit card interest rates to zero for people impacted by the pandemic. That’s awesome! They also eliminated e-transfer and ATM fees temporarily. Like other financial institutions, they have also been letting people defer loan and mortgage payments. (Note: Not all Vancity branches have reopened as of the middle of May. Some remain closed, or open by appointment only.)
Other categories of businesses we’d like to give shout outs to include the following:
- Restaurants and other businesses that are offering discounts to workers on the frontline of the battle with COVID-19.
- Businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies that are reserving certain shopping times of the day for the elderly and other people at risk.
- Businesses like dental clinics that donated their supplies of masks, gloves and other health-related personal protective supplies to area hospitals.
- Local distilleries that have been switching from brewing booze to making hand sanitizer (and in some cases donating it to worthwhile causes).
- Telecom companies (yes, even them) that have been waiving overage charges, long distance fees and roaming premiums.
- Hotels that have been offering their rooms to frontline healthcare workers who need a place to sleep for just a few hours or are unable to sleep at home for fear of putting their families at risk.
Who else deserves extra praise? More than anyone, all the frontline health care workers who work hard to help sick people recover while putting themselves at risk! Their families, too, have been making huge sacrifices in the process.
Who else deserves our thanks and praise? Store clerks who have to come into close contact with hundreds of people on a daily basis, city workers who collect our garbage, and pharmacists, food delivery people and food processing workers. There are also both staff and volunteers at charitable organizations helping those in need, and everyone else who’s working to keep us fed, safe and sane! Oh, and Dr. Bonnie Henry of course too!
For information about COVID-19 and what’s happening in BC, checking out the following websites:
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- Government of Canada
- Vancouver Coastal Health
For a list of Lower Mainland places that closed due to the pandemic, see our article about Vancouver Closures and Cancellations.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s May, June, July and August Calendars of Events
- Best Places for Shopping
- Lower Mainland Parks & Nature
- Vancouver on a Budget