Downtown Eastside, Vancouver

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  • Downtown Eastside
    by Herwig1961
  • Downtown Eastside
    by Herwig1961
  • Lineup of Homeless People at East Hastings
    Lineup of Homeless People at East...
    by jamiesno
  • pwraggcan's Profile Photo

    Experience

    by pwraggcan Written Apr 4, 2013

    It's good to go to these places to experience what they're like. You can't close your eyes to the east side of Vancouver because it would leave you ignorant and inexperienced in your knowledge about the city. Don't look for altercation and you won't find it. In my opinion it's a must see when visiting this beautiful city.

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  • Hastings&Main

    by jenniferch Written May 17, 2012

    Hello my friends & Travelers"
    This wounderful world we live in,we have a place called ",The best place on earth" Vancouver bc. Beautiful wounderful green and amazing.I have to say its true.Then again we have are ups and downs like any other country mabe a little newer too the crazzie stuff we have been brought to except.With all the multiy cultrul peps. Are amazing young lands is now becomin old as the rest of every other country.,drugs ,hunger ,hate.Soo anyway hastings isn t a bad place ,just a place the ones who have been beaten down, down like hard. We as a commumity should be more ashamed as to not pull together,As I have a homeless uncle who does not collect welfare or any support from any hand outs.He is fine yet he let the society go and also family. As whn he was child they hung him upside down in a toitet out house, I mean for many hours ,many days, many years, and yet he dont care yet he aint a user.He was not a bad person, but was showed that he never ment notnin. From young never will no better so how or any judge. East hastings may be a bad place true ..But for the forgotten ones its a home .They are comfortable the peps make it welcome ,and when I find my uncle again >I hope too so ,
    I can hugg and tell him I love him ..as he is just as werthy as me xox jenn

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  • DTES- note to ignorant people

    by smashley101 Written Mar 29, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    this is a common sight..stay out of the alleys
    1 more image

    Of course if you have heard about the downtown eastside, its probably the best place to stay away from unless you are either a practicing drug addict in need of a fix, or someone who really wants to help, if you are neither of the above, stay away. i used to live here and they can smell a tourist coming down the block. Dont think that everyone down there is souly interested in doing drugs, remember these people need money for drugs and you can and probably will be targeted if you are stupid enough to venture down to "see the sights" all the sights to see down there are just as easily accessed in the latest episode of "Intervention".
    On the other hand, thanks to our wonderful government, they closed down a huge mental hospital and then subsidized all the patients to live there, and yes, thats exactly what walking down the street feels like. Even the cops fail to bother doing anything unless there are cameras around.
    To the person who lives there and wants to kill them all, with that attitude, you better start packing now, you are the type of person whom they justify their actions upon. Its a sick attitude to have dude. I was brought down there to be used and sold by my own canadian father, and i was surprised by the feeling of community there really is there, you dont have to be addicted to be part of it, just dont treat them like freaks, and be smart when you are there.
    ***Tourists****
    DO NOT
    go to east hastings to sight see, you will be robbed if not conned...
    point and stare at the addicts, a person who has just shot crack may look really f*&ed up, but believe you me, they can and will tear you to pieces
    DO
    come to vancouver, dont let one area stop you from enjoying all that the city has to offer
    not everyone is addicted to drugs or a gangster

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  • hastings esat side

    by mehawk Written Mar 14, 2012

    hi i lived there most my life , and it was a great place to live , its not as bad as people say it is , its sad to see the system treat them like that , as i was one of them and hooked on drugs , and i have been away know for 4 years, and i do miss the coast

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  • V6A the poorest Postal Code in Canada

    by rbweegie Written Feb 5, 2012

    I've been reading some of the entries here on this website as I'm preparing a speech on this topic.

    Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada to live in and yes, the cost of living is high especially since the government drags it's feet to increase the minimum wage.

    But in all the times that I've walked down the streets of the Downtown Eastside, I've never felt that I've ever been in danger. The people there are in trouble.

    I'm not going to blame "the system" or any other reason for the homless being there. They're there, it is what it is.

    There are drug addicts, mentally ill people, physically ill, abused, emotionally disturbed, the list goes on and many of them don't want to live there. But for most, it's the only place they can find for themselves because our system doesn't give them an opportunity to get out.

    There are only two men who I know that broke free from the drug-addicted life style and went on to become stellar citizens and men of integrity. Billy Weselewski and Joe Roberts.

    I'm ashamed of Ditsy Clark and her Liberal government and how they continue to ignore these people. They're somebodys children!

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  • DTES Hastings st East

    by pattyboii Written Sep 2, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    hey, i am a 18 year old that grew up in the DTES area, im from East hastings, my appartment building was the dirtiest and worst building on the street, it is not as dangerous as people may say, the people down there are not out to get you, if you notice, they are treated worse than they treat you, they are human beings aswell, but they just have money issues or crazy addictions, when i lived there it was a very scary place for a kid but i never got hurt once, actually, when i was 7 i was walking with my mom up a flight of stairs, i slipped backwards and before i hit the ground a homeless person cought me and picked me up and carried me to my mom, they are nice people. most of them have families to that they need to support, yes it is scarry out there but unless your out there trying to prevoke people, you should be safe. i can honestly say, i miss living there and i would move back if i could. here homeless, not gangsters. although there is some dangerous people there but y would they choose you.

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  • DTES Hastings st East

    by pattyboii Written Sep 2, 2011

    hey, i am a 18 year old that grew up in the DTES area, im from East hastings, my appartment building was the dirtiest and worst building on the street, it is not as dangerous as people may say, the people down there are not out to get you, if you notice, they are treated worse than they treat you, they are human beings aswell, but they just have money issues or crazy addictions, when i lived there it was a very scary place for a kid but i never got hurt once, actually, when i was 7 i was walking with my mom up a flight of stairs, i slipped backwards and before i hit the ground a homeless person cought me and picked me up and carried me to my mom, they are nice people. most of them have families to that they need to support, yes it is scarry out there but unless your out there trying to prevoke people, you should be safe. i can honestly say, i miss living there and i would move back if i could. here homeless, not gangsters. although there is some dangerous people there but y would they choose you.

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  • hamiltonartist's Profile Photo

    overblown

    by hamiltonartist Updated Aug 16, 2011

    Just returned from Vancouver, including a couple of stops in the E. Hasting & Main area... actually bought my daughter a nice backpack at the store just south of the intersection, so in other words, if you go about your business like 99 percent of the people you'll have no problem.

    i laughed at the Aussie couple's review where they mentioned the neighbourhood was worse than any other city in which they'd traveled (i'm guessing they're trip to NYC didn't include the south Bronx?). as for Blood Alley (so named because the old butcher shops used to take their deliveries from the alleyway), they missed Salt, one of Van's best restaurants!

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  • Great People

    by haedis Written Jul 20, 2011

    This is a great place to see. My mother used to take me here all the time and I've always been safe. It's a very interesting place to see, not very common in all of the world. The people here are mostly down and out and struggling with addiction issues, so I wouldn't say it is a highly dangerous area.

    I shop here at least once a week for groceries at Sunrise Market (powell/gore.. great prices) and you know what? The people here are amongst the friendliest. They actually speak to you, engage you, it's all very real and no fakery.

    You are safe here alone during the day (I am a woman and do it all the time) but at night you should be with at least one other person and avoid any alleys.

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  • Downtown Eastside Vancouver

    by michmonty Written Mar 23, 2011

    DTES in Vancouver also known as the poorest postal code in Canada is not as bad
    as you think. Yes there are several poor people who are abusing substances BUT
    there are resources in place to help them if they choose. I was in downtown
    Vancouver yesterday morning and it was busy in front of and inside the Insite
    office. These folks are not dangerous per say. It is better to just hangout in
    the Chinatown area instead. I think that the government, police, community
    groups and Vancouver Coastal Health need to have more meetings together.

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  • if u grew up poor you would what is going on

    by checho503 Written Jan 16, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    well, the DTES is not as bad as people would think, if you don't do drugs, or have any bad habits, nobody will bother you.. I live down hre, i walk down the Hastings every day. No problems, the people here are just trying to make a buck. I don't know if anyone reading this ever grew up poor, but these people are not looking for problems. we are a real community, and there are people living here because this is all we can afford, If you came down and met the people, said hi, you will be safe.. as an inner city community. do not judge. When you see me. don't judge... DTES IS MY HOME

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  • Downtown East side

    by socheid Updated Aug 30, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was warned to avoid this area by hotel reception. I was in Gastown and needed an ATM at one point and stumbled into the edge of this area by mistake.

    If you imagine a mixture of something like 'Zombies: dawn of the dead', 'Thriller' and 'V the visitors' then you'll get the picture.

    Sad but who said life was perfect?

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    Area to (no longer) avoid *Updated Aug 2010

    by SfumatoPants Updated Aug 21, 2010

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    *Two years after having posted this rant, I am happy to say that it is no longer accurate. The Downtown Eastside of Vancouver continues to be an area where street smarts are required, but by and large the ongoing gentrification of the area has tamed it's most outstanding problems. Property crimes have dropped, as well as violent crime. The area is now quite habitable and is in fact the best neighborhood in the city. For tourists wanting to party the Vancouver way, Gastown is it. The bridge and tunnel paradises of Granville street and Yaletown can't compare. Come on down, no need to fear, just remember to keep your city wits about you.

    I live in the immediate area and I often have problems with the street animals, but I'm used to it and have learned to live with it by developing "Street Smarts". Yes, the Downtown Eastside is hell. Vancouver has a higher crime rate than New York city these days, so if you feel like a big confident smart ass, please consider that fact first. Never park a car in the area, you are better off to park far away and walk in or take a cab. It's as simple as that. Your car will be broken into. Although I would say that generally you will be OK during daylight hours, although scared, you should NEVER walk along or use a street that Crosses Hastings between Cambie and Main, after dark. If you have to cross from Gastown into downtown, use Cambie or better yet a street West of Cambie, even if that means adding extra distance to your trip. Worst case to leave Gastown is to use Main street at the East. The area in Question is about a four block strip of Hastings from Cambie to Main. You should be generally wary of the entire area though.

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  • Not really that dangerous

    by someguy45 Written Aug 18, 2010

    I lived in Vancouver for almost 6 years and worked at the Bourbon nightclub for over 2 years and thats right in Gastown/Downtown Eastside.

    Are there disgusting zombies walking down the street? Absolutely.

    Do they pose a threat to you? Not really.

    In terms of blatant drug use and its the worst I've seen in any city though.

    You'll get asked for money a lot, asked for or offered drugs, but I never once had or saw anything close to a violent confrontation on the streets there. Typical bar fights, yes. Muggings, beatings anything like that on the street, I never saw one. Its a sad and depressing addiction situation for sure but there are no street gangs like other cities and thats really where the major violence comes in. There is the odd shooting in Vancouver clubs but thats every city. Not even remotely comparable to NYC, LA, Detroit, etc...where neighborhoods exist that you absolutely do NOT walk around in at night.

    Property crime there is a *** though, in all of downtown not just the eastside. Thats definitely related to the drug problem. My car was broken into an average of once every 6 months. Didn't help that I worked in bars and my car was there in the wee hours. Do not leave anything valuable in your car and if you have out of state/province plates I would just leave it unlocked. They'll ransack your car but you won't have to pay for a broken window.

    The real violence in BC in the suburb of Surrey, which a tourist would have absolutely no reason to visit.

    Overall though Vancouver really is an absolutely beautiful, amazing city with a pretty decent non-douche to douche ratio. The proximity to nature and world class mountain resorts really can't be beat in north america.

    And as far as major cities go, its about as safe as they come.

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  • Not as bad as they say

    by jbat Written Mar 10, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Im from Vancouver and I work as a social worker in the downtown east side. I have lived and or worked in the down town east side for five years. On the surface its a pretty rough neighbourhood but its bark is worse than its bite. it is a problem we are trying hard to resolve in Vancouver with billions of dollars being spent in social programs and social housing. However there are still many unique challenges left to overcome. I never feel unsafe in the down town east side. There is massive police presence. Especialy at night. People do not "get mugged" in the down town east side unless you are looking for drug dealers in the alleyways. which hopefully you are not!
    Vancouver just hosted the Olympics and did a lot of work in the down town east side to improve it. I dont think any city's slums or ghettos are really a tourist option anyway. But there is not a lot of violence in the down town east side towards strangers. There is a lot o mentally ill and addicted people down there, but they are pretty harmless. Hope that put things in perspective. J

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Comments (1)

  • Pinkbow92's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    I used to hang out out in downtown eastside and was a drug attic too. But since I stay in surrey (where I live) i stay out of trouble and am clean off it and stay away from danger... Im even too scared to come back to chill. Its not fun. For 8 months from November 2012 to June 2013 I hung out there. Even whalley callled "The Strip" is like Hastings area but less crowd and dealers. Its scary. But now my life changed, Im free!!! :) remember people, STAY AWAY FROM THERE!!!!

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