Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography
Ann Turner is Financial and Budget Manager at the University of British
For such a tranquil spot, Vancouver’s world-famous nude beach has had a surprising amount of media coverage over the years. Its setting below the University of British Columbia on the tip of Point Grey is idyllic and secluded, shielded from public view by eroding cliffs of sand over 200 feet high and accessible only by footpaths down the cliffs or by sea. It became known as a nude beach in the 1960s, and newsworthy controversy has swirled around it ever since. This well-researched study describes the beach as it is now, its history and culture, and the efforts of the Wreck Beach Preservation Society (WBPS) to save it from destruction by UBC, the Vancouver Parks Board, the Greater Vancouver Regional District, and groups of concerned citizens over the years. Wreck Beach has a certain cachet derived from lurid reports of nudity, sex, drugs, booze, and wild parties there, but for the most part it is a quiet, serene place where individuals and families can enjoy the sun and sand in a tolerant and safe clothes-optional setting. Black and white photos illustrate views and activities with only a couple of instances of full frontal nudity, and the many quotes from long-time users and members of the WBPS make this a lively and informative read which raises awareness and concern about the long-term future of the beach in the face of development all around it.