Travel Blog

15 Jun

Car Free Day in Vancouver Takes Back the Streets this Weekend

Car Free Vancouver Day 2017

Image courtesy of Car free Day Vancouver |

What would the world be like without cars? This weekend, we’ll be given a chance to experience it when Vancouver’s largest car free festival takes over three of the busiest streets in the city to host daylong community parties. These normally car-heavy streets will be shut down on Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18 (Father’s Day!) to make way for festivities featuring food, music, arts and crafts, and more surprises.

Car Free Day is celebrated in four neighbourhoods in the city: Kitsilano, Main Street, Commercial Drive, and the West End. Local community organizers run each festival, which allows for a unique flavor for each event. The Kitsilano, Main Street, and West End festivals will be held this weekend, while the Commercial Drive Car Free Day has been moved to July 9, 2017.

Here’s an idea about what will be happening in each of the neighbourhoods:

car free vancouver day festival 2017

Image sourced from the Car Free Vancouver – West End Facebook page


In the West End of Vancouver (near English Bay), Denman Street will be blocking off car traffic from Robson Street to Davie Street for a lively street festival that is fun for the whole family. There are music stages and jam sessions to listen to, art being exhibited and created live on the street and plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or something to drink. In past years, a pet parade has been the most popular event – here’s hoping it’s back for 2017!

  • When: Saturday, June 17 from noon – 7pm
  • Where: Denman Street (Robson to Davie)
  • More info: Facebook event page

car free day kitsilano 2017

Photo sourced from


For Car Free Day, the neighbourhood of Kitsilano does things a little differently. Instead of closing off a major street (they’ll be doing that for the upcoming Kahtsahlano Festival!), people throughout the neighbourhood host block parties. These parties are as individual as the people who pull them together. Some have dancing, some have music, some have couches, chairs and carpets in the middle of the street and some share chips and a drink together. You never know what to expect, which is what makes Kitsilano Car Free Day so fun.

  • When: Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18
  • Where: Various locations in Kitsilano
  • More info: available here

car free day vancouver 2017

Photo Credit – thirteencentpinball (flickr)


With over 21 city blocks closed down for Car Free Day, Main Street has one of the longest stretching parties going on this weekend.This is a fun, family-friendly event with kid-zones, skateboarders, funky artisan shops and popular food vendors. Come hungry, because there will be extended patios from many of the unique, neighbourhood restaurants where you can park yourself to watch the crowds flow by.

  • When: Sunday, June 18 from noon – 7pm
  • Where: Main Street from Broadway until 30th.
  • More infoFacebook event page

car free day vancouver 2017

Image courtesy of asalaver |


This is where it all began. As the originator of Car Free Day, Commercial Drive always goes all out for the festivities. On July 9, Commercial Drive will host their own independent 15-block festival that will be packed with amazing local artisans, vendors community groups, delicious food, and tons of entertainment and activities for all ages. Expect drum circles, bike races, a parade, swordplay demos, and so much more!

  • When: Sunday, July 9 from noon – 7pm
  • Where: Commercial Drive from Grandview to Venables
  • More infoFacebook event page

With over 400,000 people attending all of the festivities, Car Free Day(s) in Vancouver is one of the most popular events of the summer. In fact, it’s consistently won awards as the Best Local Street / Community Festival for 8 years running.

If you’re not sure what to do this Father’s Day in Vancouver – head to a car free festival to spend some quality time experiencing the unique neighbourhoods of Vancouver. If you’re heading to the festivities, don’t forget to walk/bike/transit in spirit of the event!

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