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Warming centres, shelter beds open on North Shore as temperatures drop into deep freeze

Community centres and libraries are open. Emergency shelter is also open overnight at North Shore Neighbourhood House.
A worker rolls out mats at the Lookout shelter on 2nd Street in North Vancouver in 2018. |Mike Wakefield, North Shore News

Community warming spaces and emergency cold weather shelter beds will be open on the North Shore this week as temperatures head into the deep freeze.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement, advising that arctic air would start to descend on B.C. beginning overnight on Friday, bringing a major temperature shift. Temperatures are expected to drop drastically on the south coast on Saturday, dipping to -5 on Sunday night on the North Shore. Those cold temperatures are also expected to come with outflow winds that will bring additional wind chill. Temperatures are expected to stay up to 10 degrees below normal until Wednesday.

On the North Shore, municipalities and the Lookout Housing and Health Society, which operates the North Shore emergency shelter, are preparing for the frigid temperatures.

Recreation centres, libraries open

All North Shore recreation centres and libraries provide community warming spaces and will be open during regular hours of operation during the cold weather event. During this period, those times range from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Lookout, which operates the North Shore’s primary emergency housing shelter at 705 Second Street West in North Vancouver, has also opened its extreme weather shelter program at North Shore Neighbourhood House at 225 Second Street East.

The emergency shelter at Neighbourhood House has a capacity of 16 mats to provide a warm place to sleep overnight. Another 10 mats will be made available at the shelter’s main location if needed.

Extreme weather shelters in operation

The extreme weather program, staffed by the Lookout society and funded by BC Housing from mid-October to mid-April, is focused on getting people inside for the night in the coldest weather. The program also provides a hot meal and attempts to connect those who use it with further services.

Through a partnership with local municipalities and First Nations governments, three additional outreach workers have been added to the regular outreach worker at the shelter this winter. Outreach workers, as well as local police officers, are regularly checking on people and encouraging them to come into the shelter.


The people who need shelter might be camping in parks, beaches or in the bush on the outskirts of North Shore communities, or they might be living out of their cars if they have one and they can’t find anywhere else to live.

Sometimes people aren’t aware the shelter is available, said Lookout staff. Others are resistant to coming in.

The following warming centres will be open during the cold snap on the North Shore:


West Vancouver Memorial Library

  • Saturday – Sunday 10am-6pm
  • Monday – Wednesday 10am-8pm

Lynn Valley Library

  • Saturday – Monday 10am-6pm
  • Tuesday-Wednesday 10am-8pm

Capilano Library

  • Saturday – Monday 10am-6pm
  • Tuesday – Wednesday 10am-8pm

Parkgate Library

  • Saturday – Monday 10am-6pm
  • Tuesday – Wednesday 10am-8pm

City of North Vancouver Public Library

  • Saturday 9am-5pm
  • Sunday 1pm-5pm
  • Monday – Wednesday 9am-9pm

Recreation & Community Centres

West Vancouver Community Centre

  • Monday – Saturday 6am – 9pm
  • Sunday 8am – 9pm

Gleneagles Community Centre

  • Monday – Friday 6am -8 pm
  • Saturday 8am – 6pm
  • Sunday 8am – 3pm

Seniors’ Activity Centre

  • Mon – Thu 8:30am – 8pm
  • Fri – Sun 8:30am – 4pm
  • (Café open 9-3pm everyday)

Delbrook Community Recreation Centre

  • Saturday 7am-10pm
  • Sunday 7am-6pm
  • Monday – Wednesday 5:30am-10pm

Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre

  • Saturday 8am-4:30pm
  • Sunday CLOSED
  • Monday – Wednesday 6am-7pm

John Braithwaite Community Centre

  • Saturday – Sunday 8am-4pm
  • Monday – Wednesday 7am-9pm

Karen Magnussen Community Recreation Centre

  • Saturday – Sunday 9am-5pm
  • Monday – Wednesday 6am-8pm

Lions Gate Community Recreation Centre

  • Saturday – Sunday 8am-5pm
  • Monday – Wednesday 7:30am-9pm

Parkgate Community Centre

  • Saturday – Sunday 8am-5pm
  • Monday – Wednesday 6:00am-10pm

Ron Andrews Community Recreation Centre

  • Saturday 7am-8pm
  • Sunday 8am-8pm
  • Monday – Wednesday 5am-10pm


North Shore Neighbourhood House

  • 225 2nd St E, North Vancouver
  • Emergency Weather Response phone number: 778-953-5684

North Shore Housing Centre

  • 705 West 2nd Street, North Vancouver
  • Emergency Weather Response: 778-953-5684

Emergency managers advise everyone to reduce the amount of time they’ll be outdoors over the next several days and dress in layers that are wind resistant.

If the wind chill is significant, get out of the wind and limit the time you spend outdoors.

Make sure you stay dry – wet clothing chills the body rapidly.

Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Children and the elderly are more susceptible to the cold – check on your relatives and neighbours.