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Paid parking at Vancouver's Spanish Banks Beach sparks public outcry

"We already are paying way too much for parking everywhere in this city," said one person who signed an online petition against paid parking at the popular beach.
view from spanish banks
The view from Spanish Banks. Paid parking could be coming into force as early as June 2024.

Vancouver’s only free parking beach could soon require people to pay up if they want to park at it. 

Spanish Banks Beach has 744 free parking spaces at four parking lots. There's also nearby street parking that’s free. 

On April 8, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation staff brought forward paid parking at the lots. Such an idea was put on hold after backlash in 2018.

At the earliest, paid parking could come into force this June.

More than 600 people have signed a petition opposing the plan for charging hourly parking along Spanish Banks Beach. 

“We already are paying way too much for parking everywhere in this city, along with gasoline, rent and housing costs,” says Linda Christensen, who signed the petition.

The proposed idea means that paid street parking would also take place at the same time and rate. 

At the April 8 meeting, it was stated that the minimum the city has for paid parking is $1 per hour, as set by a bylaw. Commissioners will have the opportunity to vote on a report later this year. 

Susan Gavel is another person who signed the petition.

“I have mobility issues and very much enjoy driving to Spanish Banks and sitting watching the ocean,” says Gavel. “I don’t want to have to pay for this small pleasure."

As previously reported by Vancouver Is Awesome, there was concern over the parking. 

"This is going to cause a riot, right, if this comes down?" asked Commissioner Tom Digby.

The petition hopes to garner 1,000 signatures.

The person who created the petition says other parks have limited parking whereas Spanish Banks Beach is long and has lots of parking.

"People come to Spanish Banks by car because it is by far the easiest way to get there, especially for large families, the elderly, disabled or people with barbecues or other beach gear,” says the individual. “It’s a rare treat. Let’s keep this area free for all.” 

For reasons why paid parking is being suggested now, read this previous story. For more information on the petition, visit

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