Remaining campers evicted from Belle Park
Roughly a dozen remaining people who had been living in a makeshift campground in Belle Park since May have been removed by the City.
Bylaw officers, police and personnel from the City's Housing and Social Services and Addiction and Mental Health Services evicted campers Tuesday. The City said the campers were offered assistance to move their belongings along with free transportation to the 24-hour Integrated Care Hub drop-in centre that has been set up at Artillery Park Aquatic Centre.
At its peak, roughly three dozen campers moved into the park after shelter space became limited because of COVID-19, while some found it a safer option, but City Council voted to remove the campers earlier in the spring, citing the unsuitability of living conditions at the park, which is on the site of an old landfill site. The deadline for eviction had twice been pushed back.
The city said in a statement that "municipal staff and a team of community partners have worked to support the people at the encampment and assist them in transitioning to one of a number of interim housing options," before and since Council's final deadline of July 31 passed.
It added that public works staff are working to clear the area to make the park safe and accessible public use.