While it’s a much-loved summer pastime to jump off the floating swimming raft at Dundarave Beach in West Vancouver – no one will be making a splash off it this year.
The District of West Vancouver has confirmed there will be no raft at the popular beach for the summer of 2021, first making the announcement to residents on June 9, saying it would not be installed this year due to COVID-19 constraints.
With pandemic restrictions starting to ease, North Shore News checked back in with the district to see if the raft would now make an appearance, with the response that funds aren’t available to put the float out on the water.
“Due to the uncertainty of provincial reopening plans and timing, the district did not allocate funding in the 2021 budget for the swimming raft to be installed this year,” Michaela Garstin, district communications advisor, confirmed in an email to North Shore News on June 17.
The cost for the swimming raft during 2019 was $34,000, according to Garstin. This includes the rental of the raft, delivery, set up, and take down.
“We are hoping to bring the raft back in 2022,” she said. “We have heard from the community over recent summers how much they enjoyed the raft.”
Garstin reassured residents the beach will still be a great place to cool off from the summer heat, with lifeguards set to be on duty Monday to Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., with the service dependent on weather conditions.
“We appreciate your understanding and hope you enjoy West Vancouver parks and beaches safely this summer,” she said.
Elisia Seeber is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.