After 2.5 years, British Columbia is reopening its side of Peace Arch Park, which crosses the border

One of the last COVID-19 closures in British Columbia has finally been lifted.

Peace Arch Provincial Park, the nine-hectare park that straddles the B.C.-Washington state border south of Vancouver, reopened on Monday after being closed more than two years ago amid lockdowns in borders related to the pandemic.

A statement released by BC Parks says it has worked with the local First Nation, the Canada Border Services Agency, the RCMP and other agencies « to ensure that the reopening of the park is carried out in a safe and respectful ».

The Department of the Environment, which is responsible for BC Parks, had said reopening the Canadian side of Peace Arch Provincial Park was a priority, but the « open nature » of the park made it difficult to ensure visitors respected border regulations.

The park is unique in North America because it is the only one where people from Canada and the United States can meet without crossing the border.

US officials have kept the Washington side, known as Peace Arch Historical State Park, open throughout the pandemic.

It has become an extremely popular gathering place for families and loved ones separated by the border closure, which has raised concerns in British Columbia about large gatherings of unvaccinated people.

A woman on the US side of Peace Arch Provincial Park in July 2020. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)


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