In the first two months of 2017, Vancouver’s public-facing seating options for men were up from about 5,000 in 2016 to almost 7,000 this year, according to a city-commissioned report.
Some of the city’s most popular lounge chairs, including the chair pictured here, were created by a Toronto-based furniture manufacturer.
(Karen MacIsaac/CBC)The increase in public seating options was largely due to a shift in the way the city uses its public spaces.
Now, when there’s a new event happening on the cityscape, such as a fireworks celebration or an ice cream truck, people often congregate in the city centre for a better view.
But in the past, the city didn’t allow the public to bring chairs into the city center to enjoy.
That’s now changing.
The city has been piloting new public-viewing spaces and has been working with the industry on how to make the chairs more comfortable and easier to use.
In 2016, for instance, the City of Vancouver was the first city in Canada to have a designated public space for public-sitting chairs, which can be found in the west side of the plaza near the Main Street Bridge.
It’s also making strides to make chair seats in public more comfortable.
“The new chairs that we’re seeing are being made to the highest standards and the highest quality standards, and we’re very pleased to see that trend continue,” said David LeBlanc, the vice-president of the Toronto-area chair company IBC, which made the chairs.
The chairs are made of a high-quality, non-porous wood that has been custom-designed to be more comfortable for people with disabilities.IBC chairs are available for purchase online for as little as $35.
The company said it’s working with several manufacturers to create the best chairs possible for the city.
The city is also looking to increase the number of public-service announcements that can be made from public seating to encourage people to come out.
A lot of people who walk into the plaza for a new show don’t know what to expect, said James Tod, who is the director of the City Centre Development Corporation.
“If they come to see a new festival, they don’t have a lot of idea what the vibe is like,” he said.
With all the activity taking place, it can be hard to know where to sit.
And while it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle, it’s important to remember that chairs aren’t for everyone, said LeBlanche.
“We’ve all been there, so we know what it feels like to sit,” he explained.
You can get a sense of what chairs are like by taking a look at what the city is doing with public space, said Tod.
For instance, he said the city has started creating new public spaces for the public on the east side of downtown Vancouver.
The new spaces will have benches for people who are wheelchair-bound and people with other physical needs.
The spaces are expected to be up and running by the end of the year.
Tod said the new public space will also help people who have special needs feel more comfortable, including those who have vision problems, autism, hearing problems, and chronic pain.