Alright, Vancouver, we’ve got another heatwave coming up, and now is the time to prepare. Before you look at the temps and start scouring for an air conditioner that’s likely already sold out, why not check out some fun (and economical) alternatives? We’ve rounded up some of the best tricks of the trade – so let’s get into it.

Here are some cheap tips and tricks to cool off this summer.


vancouver summer

Photo via Leon Wang / Shutterstock

Chill near a body of water (and in the shade)

So you still want to be outside, huh? First off, good for you. Second, while hanging out on a beach/by the lake is a great idea, keep in mind that old Mr. Sun isn’t messing around either. At the very least, be ready to swap between the sun and the shade, and bring about four times as much water as you think you’ll need, in addition to absurd amounts of sunscreen.

Visit a spray park or outdoor pool

For a quicker way to cool off, Vancouver has more than a few free-to-access, first-come-first-serve spray parks to take advantage of as well. There are in fact 14 different spray parks around the city to visit, meaning that one is probably in your neighbourhood or at least nearby!

And if spray parks aren’t your thing, there’s always one of Vancouver’s beautiful outdoor pools. Get some exercise in at Second Beach or make an extra big splash at the Kits Beach Pool when it reopens this weekend.

Get some greenery in your life

Vancouver might be the city of glass, but it is also most likely an ‘urban heat island’. Basically, asphalt and gravel absorb more heat than grass/other natural landscapes. So, you’ll find some relief by getting out of the city, although this heat dome is a real doozy pretty much throughout the province. We recommend mixing it with a trip to a river or alpine lake, for a double-whammy of relief. But sprawling out a picnic blanket at Queen Elizabeth Park is always an option!

Recent Posts:
You’ll find six white-sand beaches & tide pools at BC’s picturesque island escape
“Fast-ferry” from Vancouver to Nanaimo launching soon & here’s how much fares will cost


vancouver summer

Photo via Shutterstock

The old ice water trick

There are two ways to help cool your home using just a dish of ice or ice water. Placing it on a windowsill or in a doorway will give a little bit of relief, but more for serious results just set it down in front of a fan pointed towards you. Lacking an ice maker? Pretty much anything cool with help, from rolled-up towels to a bag of frozen peas!

Throw a few sheets to the wind

Speaking of ‘cool stuff in an airway’ we’re throwing in a variation of the ‘Egyptian Method’. Basically, take a large-scale piece of fabric (sheets, a mat, or a blanket), wet it with cold water, and hang it in front of a door or a window. The larger the piece, and the colder it is (freezer hint), the longer the effect will last! Great way to cool your place while you’re sleeping.

Focus on fruits and veggies

This is not the week to try and make a lasagna. Instead, focus on cold dishes (salads, spreads and charcuteries) that still provide all the vitamins and minerals to keep your body in tip-top shape. Bonus points for anything with a super high water content, like oranges, melons and pineapple!

If you need a little (or a lot of ice cream) to keep you cool and your sugar craving satiated, though, we don’t blame you a bit. Especially with all the frozen treat options around the city!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vancouver Art Gallery (@vanartgallery)

Get your culture on

In addition to it just being nice to visit movie theatres, art galleries and libraries once more, they all feature some seriously high-level air conditioning. Catch your first summer blockbuster in over a year, learn about cool artists (especially at admission by donation spots) or just browse around for a new novel to read!

And that’s our roundup of some great ways to cool off in Vancouver and beat the heat. Stay cool!