A hazmat team was called to Stanley Park's Second Beach on Sunday morning after park rangers found mercury in a public washroom.
Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services said park rangers were opening up the washroom when they found a substance that looked like mercury on the ground.
The hazardous materials team responded around 8:45 a.m and confirmed the substance was mercury, an element that even in small amounts may cause toxic effects and serious health problems for humans if contact occurs.
"The mercury was kind of spread around, it was in fine droplets," said assistant chief of operations Trevor Connelly, who noted the toxic substance was spread around the floor and in the toilets.
"It was a tedious process for the hazmat team to clean it up, but after an hour or so they did get it all cleaned up and the washroom was opened."
Connelly says the amount of mercury was consistent with what you might find in an older type of thermometer.
He said occasionally the fire department will attend a mercury spill in industrial settings, but it's rare to see a mercury exposure in a public place.
"I really don't pretend to understand the intent of anyone doing that," said Connelly.
He said the City of Vancouver's park rangers are following up on the incident.