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.
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:
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.
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.
COVID Situation Update
As of January 22nd, 2021, 64,828 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in British Columbia including 4,392 active cases and 346 new cases (compared to the day before). 911 is the most cases recorded in the province to date and 119,850 vaccines have been administered so far.
As part of its efforts to limit the spread of the pandemic, the provincial government has instructed people not to engage in non-essential travel. Also, masks must be worn in all indoor public places.
People can still take part in social activities with members of their own households. To see what’s open and still happening, see below. To learn more about the state of the coronavirus and government measures to control it, see the BC Centre for Disease Control website.
Not all tourist attractions are currently operating in Vancouver. Some are, but others aren’t. As of mid-January, 2021, attractions and other places of interest that are open include the following (although exact details are subject to change at any time).
Open Attractions in the City of Vancouver
- Aquabus & False Creek Ferries – the passenger boats that go up and down the waters of False Creek are running (and have been since late May).
- BC Sports Hall of Fame – the sports-themed attraction at BC Place Stadium reopened to the public in early August.
- Beaty Biodiversity Museum – the biological-themed museum at UBC is now open once again 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 temporarily closed in the spring, but it is open again as of July 13th. The venue’s annual Holiday Heights at Bloedel Christmas event, however, was cancelled for 2020.
- Fairmont Vancouver Hotel – the iconic hotel at the corner of Burrard and Georgia in downtown Vancouver was closed for over a couple of months in the spring. It reopened, however, on July 3rd.
- Granville Island – the public market and most of the district’s other retail shops and restaurants in the area are open for business.
- Guilt & Co. – the popular live music venue at #1 Alexander Street in Gastown has been open since mid-June.
- Hastings Park Winter Farmers Market – the market is open for its regular season as of November 1st.
- 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 reopened in June.
- Riley Park Farmers Market – on Saturdays at Riley Park near Nat Bailey Stadium from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
- 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. As of late October, however, the venue is only open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Also, the IMAX Theatre isn’t currently operating.
- Vancouver Maritime Museum – the attraction at Vanier Park has been open since June.
- 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.
- 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).
Open Attractions Elsewhere in Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland
- Ambush Paintball – the paintball venue in Surrey has reopened with new limitations.
- BC Ferries – the passenger ferry company has been operating throughout the pandemic, but with a reduced capacity.
- Britannia Mine – the historical site reopened in June 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.
- Castle Fun Park – the adventure park with mini golf, bumper cars, bowling and other fun activities was closed from the spring until June 16th. Since that date, some but not all activities have resumed operations.
- Clip ‘n Climb – the climbing wall centre in Richmond was closed until May 19th. It then reopened, but with certain limitations in place.
- Cypress Mountain – the West Vancouver ski hill ceased operations on March 15th in the spring. It reopened for the 2020/21 ski season, however, on November 13th.
- Extreme Air Park – indoor trampoline adventure parks in Langley and Richmond are open with reduced capacities in addition to other safety protocols.
- Fort Langley – the National Historic Site resumed operations on June 8th, 2020.
- Glow Langley – the drive-thru-style Christmas attraction at the Milner Garden Centre runs from December 8th until January 30th.
- Grouse Mountain – after being closed for over three months, the attraction has been open since June.
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery – the National Historic Site in Steveston Village re-opened in mid-July.
- Harrison Boat Tours – Shoreline Cruises and Harrison Eco Tours at Harrison Hot Springs have been operating since 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.
- Lonsdale Quay Public Market – most food retailers at the world-famous market have either remained open or, since closing temporarily last spring, have reopened. The retail level of the venue has also reopened since closing for a few weeks in the spring of 2020.
- Lower Mainland Parks – most city parks are open (including golf courses, tennis courts and playgrounds). Most provincial parks have also reopened for day-use and camping. For a list of open parks click Lower Mainland Parks.
- Mackin House Museum – the historic house in Coquitlam was closed for a number of months, but then reopened in the fall.
- Maplewood Farm – the attraction in North Vancouver with farm animals reopened on July 13th.
- Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre – the Burnaby venue reopened as of June 2nd, 2020.
- Polygon Gallery – the art museum in North Vancouver is now open again to the public as of mid-June.
- Port Moody Farmers Market – the winter market at the Port Moody Rec Centre is operating, but only with food vendors as of the beginning of December.
- Richmond Indoor Paintball – the Lower Mainland’s only indoor paintball facility has reopened.
- Reifel Bird Sanctuary – the migratory bird sanctuary is open in Delta.
- Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – visitors can enjoy the exhibits and outdoor walking tours once again as of November 27th.
- Stewart Farm – while the farmhouse remains closed, guided outdoor tours begin July 14th.
- Vancouver Zoo – the Greater Vancouver Zoo is back in business as of June 1st, 2020.
- 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.
- West Vancouver Aquatic Centre – the fitness centre is open to those who book times online. The leisure pool reopened as of September 8th.
- Whistler-Blackcomb – the resort reopened for summer activities like mountain biking as of June 29th and for skiing since November.
- 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 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.
Whatever you do in Vancouver, be responsible and stay safe! Don’t make your bubble too big, maintain appropriate physical distancing, stay home if feeling sick, and wear a mask when needed. Have fun, but stay safe (and help keep others safe too). Together we can beat this thing!
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.
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.)
- Ambleside Park in West Vancouver – the waterfront route from the Capilano River to Dundarave is open for people to enjoy.
- Bear Creek Park in Surrey – the miniature train and miniature golf have been closed, but the park and playgrounds are still available for exploring.
- 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.
- Central Park in Burnaby – the forested trails are open, as is the Pitch and Putt Golf Course.
- 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.
- Elgin Heritage Park – the park in Surrey has remained open throughout the pandemic (although Stewart Farm has been operating under limited conditions).
- Inter River Park in North Vancouver – the sports fields were closed for a while, but all the walking and hiking trails have remained open.
- John Hendry Park in Vancouver – Trout Lake is still open for people to walk around.
- Kitsilano in Vancouver – the ocean-front park and beach remain open.
- Lighthouse Park – the parking lot at this West Vancouver park was closed for a number of weeks last year but it has since reopened.
- Mundy Park in Coquitlam – the trails at the park remain open.
- Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver – the park is beautiful this time of year.
- Rocky Point Park in Port Moody – the park is open, as are its walking and cycling trails.
- Spanish Banks – the beach near UBC remains open to the public.
- Stanley Park in Vancouver – most of the facilities at the park have reopened, as have all its roads to cars. Cyclists can ride their bikes along the seawall once again. The Vancouver Aquarium, however, is closed for the foreseeable future.
- 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.
- Boundary Bay Regional Park – the children’s playground has now reopened. The beach and trails at the park in Tsawwassen are also open.
- 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.
- Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – the trails and parking are open to the public once again.
- 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.
- Alice Lake Provincial Park – the park near Squamish re-opened for day-use as of May 14th and camping as of June 1st.
- Bridal Veil Falls – the provincial park up past Chilliwack re-opened for day-use as of the middle of May.
- Cultus Lake Provincial Park – the park in the Fraser Valley opened for day-use. Its campgrounds are also open again beginning on June 1st.
- 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.
- Kilby Provincial Park – the Kilby Museum is closed for the season until April of 2021. Parts of the campground, however, remain open to the public.
- 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.
- Rolley Lake – the provincial park north of Mission has reopened to the public for day-use. Campgrounds there have been 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.
- Stawamus Chief Provincial Park – the popular hiking spot in Squamish was closed but has now since reopened.
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.
- Central City – Surrey’s second largest mall remains open.
- IKEA – the Swedish home furnishing retailer’s Coquitlam and Richmond stores reopened for in-store shopping on June 1st, 2020.
- Guildford Town Centre – the mall in Surrey remains open.
- 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.
- McArthurGlen Outlet Mall – the shopping centre near the Vancouver Airport in Richmond remains open.
- Metropolis at Metrotown – the Burnaby mall has remained open.
- Pacific Centre – the downtown Vancouver mall also remained open, although many of its stores closed initially.
- Park Royal Shopping Centre – the West Vancouver shopping mall remains open.
- Tsawwassen Mills – most, but not all businesses at the outlet mall in Tsawwassen are open.
Several major department stores closed initially. Most though have now reopened.
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.
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.
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:
- Best Places for Shopping
- Lower Mainland Parks & Nature
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Lower Mainland Hiking Trails