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Vancouver Park Board renames beach after celebrity barge that drifted loose during floods

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Park Board signs off on English Bay barge sign' Vancouver Park Board signs off on English Bay barge sign
The Vancouver Park Board has erected a new sign near that notorious barge that was grounded in English Bay during last month's storm. The new temporary name Barge Chilling Beach is a nod to Vancouver’s Guelph Park and its famous Dude Chilling Park public art. The new temporary name Barge Chilling Beach is obviously a nod to Vancouver’s Guelph Park and it’s famous Dude Chilling Park public art. – Dec 15, 2021

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation has renamed a section of beach along the seawall after the barge that drifted there during last month’s floods.

On Tuesday, it erected the new ‘Barge Chilling Beach’ sign on the shoreline in front of the vessel, which has not yet been towed away due to “technical difficulties.”

Click to play video: '‘It’s like a friendly new neighbour’: Vancouverites starstruck by infamous barge stuck since major storm' ‘It’s like a friendly new neighbour’: Vancouverites starstruck by infamous barge stuck since major storm
‘It’s like a friendly new neighbour’: Vancouverites starstruck by infamous barge stuck since major storm – Dec 9, 2021

Read more: Floating crane renews buzz around English Bay barge, but city says no timeline for removal

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“We thought at the park board we’d try and make the best of a bad situation and add a little bit of fun to it,” said Stuart Mackinnon, chair of the Vancouver Park Board.

“This is as a result of all of the interest from the residents of Vancouver and this is a way of the park board saying, ‘Happy holidays, have some fun, be safe.'”

The barge has been somewhat of a sensation in Vancouver since it crashed into the seawall near Sunset Beach on Nov. 15 amid record-breaking rainfall.

Countless people have taken photos next to it and it has inspired both memes, swag and calls to become a permanent feature of the landscape.

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Read more: Concerns raised about derelict and scofflaw vessels in Vancouver’s False Creek

The park board’s tweet introducing Barge Chilling Beach prompted some speculation that the sign was fake, but Mackinnon confirmed Tuesday the name change is real, but temporary.

“We really hope someone doesn’t take it,” he said. “This is a gift to the residents of Vancouver hoping to make a bad situation better.”

It’s unclear when the park board will remove the sign, just as it’s unclear when the barge itself will be removed from the shoreline. Previous attempts have failed.

Transport Canada has asked the barge’s owner, Sentry Marine Towing, for a detailed removal plan and a timeframe.

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