Okay, beach bonfires are technically illegal and not allowed and all that nonsense. But, what is summer without a beach bonfire? Bonfires warm and fun, and as long as you’re smart about it and don’t cause a massive forest fire, then you’re not hurting anybody.
So, if you don’t mind risking a $500-1,000 fine, and you’re smart about it, it’s pretty easy to find a few locations for bonfires on the beaches of Vancouver. If you do get caught, plead innocence and ignorance, don’t be an asshole–put out your fire. Or, just run away.
So, if you’re looking for a nice beachy area to set up a campfire for the evening, try out these locations around town:
The go-to! This beach is very (very!) close to Wreck Beach, but has less people due to its lack of sand. Access to the beach is via a long stairway (similar to Wreck Beach, but easier and shorter). The beach is rocky, but has lots of good places to sit. Best of all, the area is very secluded, so there’s a good chance you won’t get a visit from the boys in blue. There are also no neighbours nearby, so you can be a bit loud if you so wish..
The lawless aspect of Wreck Beach makes it pretty easy to set up a beautiful bonfire after nightfall. Many UBC students have been doing it throughout the year. The only thing that might stop you is the local law enforcement doing their nightly rounds, or a concerned citizen who doesn’t like the look of your crowd. As long as you respect the area, don’t get too rowdy and annoying, and clean up your mess, you should be good to go. There are also no neighbours nearby this beach either, so you can sing koombaya to your heart’s content.
In front of the mansions on Point Grey Road
Did you know you can walk down to the beach from several access points along Point Grey Road in Kitsilano? Granted, the beaches aren’t that great and sometimes the tide goes all the way to the huge cement walls. However, this area is a pretty good place to have a bonfire if you play your cards right.
Many of the mansions along this road seem to sit empty, so if you pick the right location, your smoke will likely go unnoticed. Problems could arise with rising tides or an overzealous neighbourhood watch, but it’s got nice views and privacy.
Just kidding! Good luck having a fire here.
Third Beach in Stanley Park is much more secluded than the nearby options. However, it’s also pretty visible from the Stanley Park road, so be wary of drive by cop mobiles. If you don’t plan on sleeping on the beach, remember to have a good exit plan. The park gets dark at night, and we hear there’s lots of shenanigans happening in the shadows.
If all else fails, why not construct yourself a fire raft? What’s a fire raft? Why, it’s exactly what it sounds like! Build a raft out of driftwood, wade out into the water and set your raft alight! It may be a pretty cold way to have a bonfire, so this may be a better option if you want to burn things during the day. Not sure how this would work with the bylaw police, but you’re not technically having a fire on land, so…
Got any other locations that might be a good place to have a bonfire? Let us know in the comment section!