December 21, 2021

Vancouver’s Barge on the Beach Not Washed Up At All

It’s taking up some pretty prime real estate on one of the most coveted beaches in Vancouver. And like many visitors, it has not yet moved from its venue.

If you have gone down to have a look at the barge plonked on Vancouver’s  Sunset Beach since November 15, it’s much bigger than you would expect, and it really does become the view. It has its own security guard sitting in a nearby vehicle, and it has its own floating accompaniment of engineers and boats trying to figure out how to move it along from its beach perch.

It has its own twitter account under English Bay Barge and there are limericks made about it.  And last week the barge claimed total and complete triumphant landmark status  with the Park Board erecting a “Barge Chilling Park” sign near its landing site.  There are already over 200 reviews giving this new park over four stars online.

The English Bay Barge twitter account posted this image below with the word “Victory” above it.

The local CBC Radio pundits had in November got the well known and loved  Bard of the Beach (Artistic Director Christopher Gaze) to be photographed with his (nearly) namesake Barge on the Beach. Of course  Mr. Gaze created a a new version of the St. Crispin’s Day Speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V to honour the barge.

Written as of Monday, December 13 by Christopher Gaze

(with apologies to William Shakespeare)

This day is called the Barge on the Beach day
We that shall live this day and come safe home
Will stand a tiptoe when this day is named
And rouse us at the sight of the Barge on the rocks.
West End residents that shall live this day and see old age
Will yearly feast their neighbours
And say, tomorrow is the bedevilled Barge Day –
Then will we declare ourselves that we’ll meet
And share the memories of these unique and unusual days.
Old Vancouverites forget, yet all shall be forgot
But we’ll remember with advantages
What stories we learned today.
Then shall we remember the failure of the King Tide on December the Sixth
That would have lifted the Barge like Noah’s flood
And been towed away by the tug boat specialists, away from Sunset Beach and the West End onlookers
This disappointing moment will be in our flowing cups freshly remembered.
These memories shall we, the recorders of current history
Will teach our children
And the marooned Barge on the Beach
shall remain in our minds from this day to the ending of the world
And will always be remembered.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters
For those that overlook this Barge with me today shall be my siblings.
And those that are too late to barge in, shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And count their lost opportunity a heavy cost
Whiles any speaks that met with us
As we watch the Barge stuck in English Bay – it’s like a Shakespeare play!

While it now appears that the barge will be a fixture on Sunset Beach and may leave sometime in January, here is a YouTube video of its arrival in Vancouver. Take a look at how miniscule the park bench is in comparison in the image below.



Images KenOhrn,CBC,Twitter

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  1. I just saw the Barge in real life for the first time yesterday, from across False Creek, and you’re right – it is so much bigger than the photos suggest! I’d love to read something from a marine engineer about why it’s so difficult to free the Barge. As a landlubber it seems like, just wait til a really high tide and then, a couple of big jacks and a couple of tugboats, and give ‘er a good shove…but clearly it’s more complicated than that. Please enlighten.

  2. From Michael Coyle on Twitter:
    “Every day that barge doesn’t have Christmas lights is a failure of society to reach its true potential.”

    1. Post
  3. Just waiting for the CoV to start charging it an Empty Homes Tax and property taxes!

    How is it the City and Parks Board is so quick to act to remove homeless encampments from Eastside parks and yet not only seem to to be OK with monstrosity sitting there but appear to actively support its presence ?

    How long do you think could someone park their RV (home) on Sunset Beach parking lot before it got towed and get billed for it?

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