Vancouver warming centres open as temperature dip
Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 12:51 PM - The City of Vancouver opened emergency warming shelters as temperatures dipped to freezing overnight Monday.
It comes as Environment Canada issued a forecast for wet snow for Vancouver and the metro region.
In addition to four other shelters, the city opened three warming centres Monday night, for people to leave their pets, bikes and carts. Some of the centres were also serving hot beverages and food.
"Right now I'm having trouble with my lungs, so being inside for the night … that's a mercy," said Tim Armstrong, who spent the night at a warming centre in the West End community centre.
Armstrong said this is his sixth winter living in Vancouver and finds it harder to sleep in his usual spot in Stanley Park when the nights get colder.
"You're living in a temperate rainforest and you're gonna be breathing water all night. Here, I don't."
Staff at the West End community centre said more than a dozen people made use of the space overnight.
Other sites like the Evelyne Saller Centre on Alexander Street and the Powell Street Getaway saw crowds of people make their way indoors as the temperature fell to zero.
Armstrong said he's thankful the city makes these options available, but thinks there needs to be more of them.
"This needs to be a long-term solution because there are people that need it long term, like myself," he said.
"I don't want to go into other shelters or SROs with bedbugs, cockroaches, all that."
The city says its prepared to open its temporary shelters when temperatures reach or feel like –5 C.
This article was originally published on CBC.ca.