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Vancouver - the seamy side

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  • Vancouver - the seamy side

    A fairly shocking story in the "headlines". Even for those of us who felt they knew Canada well (I lived in Ontario for nine years), this was news. Given the winter weather in most of the country, it is to be expected that the broke and homeless would move to the west coast. Particularly shocking was that 27 women were murdered over many years by one man, and the police apparently did not try too hard to investigate (solve) these cases.

  • #2
    Kind of a random post eh?

    But yes the downtown east side of Vancouver is a true horror show. I have never seen a neighbourhood anywhere in North America that comes close to the seaminess and despair of that part of the city.

    It wasn't always so-in the 1970's my friends and I would go down to that area almost every weekend to shop and just hang out. In those days you had the old, harmless "rubby dubbies" as we called them.

    Now you will see people shooting up in broad daylight, needles strewn down back alleys, people completely out of their minds etc.

    It is definitely a dangerous and very, very sad place. It is out of a nightmare actually.

    A friend of mine once saw a woman, obviously a junkie, doing tricks in a large cardboard box! People just walked by.

    Human feces, vomit etc.-yep it is truly disgusting.
    The police prescence is pretty storng down there but they can't cope with everything that goes on.
    Resources and money have been put into the area but nothing seems to really work-yet. There are safe injection sites too-controversial but the death rate from HIV, etc. is dropping.

    Canada's image as a humane society is sorely tested in Van's eastside.
    It is shameful.

    With the Olympics coming the government is pouring money into fix up old hotels and make them subsidized housing etc. It might be too little and only window dressing but I do think the citizens of that city have had enough. It has reached a crisis point.

    And right next to all this is the vibrant and interesting Chinatown whcih sadly gets some of the overflow from the eastside.

    You can't walk 5 feet without someone begging for money. Most are harmlss and just sad to see but a few are very dangerous and have assaulted tourists.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mojo
      .....
      It wasn't always so-in the 1970's my friends and I would go down to that area almost every weekend to shop and just hang out. In those days you had the old, harmless "rubby dubbies" as we called them.....
      Hmmm.... I remember as a young teenager walking in Vancouver with my father in July of 1962 and he was looking for a shoe store he patronized while in the Army and all of a sudden he said, "don't make any eye contact, just turn around and walk fast," because we had wandered a couple of blocks too far on East Hastings. Plus ça change....

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gh
        Originally posted by mojo
        .....
        It wasn't always so-in the 1970's my friends and I would go down to that area almost every weekend to shop and just hang out. In those days you had the old, harmless "rubby dubbies" as we called them.....
        Hmmm.... I remember as a young teenager walking in Vancouver with my father in July of 1962 and he was looking for a shoe store he patronized while in the Army and all of a sudden he said, "don't make any eye contact, just turn around and walk fast," because we had wandered a couple of blocks too far on East Hastings. Plus ça change....
        Have you been down there since then? It is FAR worse now.

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        • #5
          OK, I have never been to the seedy side of Vancouver, but in reading this thread I can't help thinking that you Canukians have to get out and experience some of the real seedy sides of some of the real seedy cities in the US. You'd start thinking that your seedy side of Vancouver is looking more like Beverly Hills in comparison . . .

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mojo
            Originally posted by gh
            Originally posted by mojo
            .....
            It wasn't always so-in the 1970's my friends and I would go down to that area almost every weekend to shop and just hang out. In those days you had the old, harmless "rubby dubbies" as we called them.....
            Hmmm.... I remember as a young teenager walking in Vancouver with my father in July of 1962 and he was looking for a shoe store he patronized while in the Army and all of a sudden he said, "don't make any eye contact, just turn around and walk fast," because we had wandered a couple of blocks too far on East Hastings. Plus ça change....
            Have you been down there since then? It is FAR worse now.
            Hanging out on East Hastings around Gore and Main in the early 70's?

            You're not thinking about Gastown?

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            • #7
              bad hammy i have seen some of the seedier sides ofsome US cities. :roll:

              I know that Canada's image is one that makes it hard to believe we have anything that rivals a US city but believe me it is worse-there are more heroin and crack users in that part of Vancouver per square mile or whatever than anywhere in the world. The area has the highest HIV-AIDS rate in North America. Americans ho go there say they have seen nothing to equal it in any American city.

              Everywhere you look people are shooting up. Needles are everywhere though diligent workers try to clean up as much as they can.
              Now this is one small part of a large city, overall the US has more seaminess ? but none quite as in your face, as out and out raw as Vancouver's downtown east side.
              I am not going to get into a contest as to has the worse neighbourhoods :lol: AllI know is hell is the downtown eastside of Vancouver. My heart breaks for the people stuck there.

              Per- I don't mean Gastown. We used to go to th Army and Navy and the old Woolworth's which are right down in the eastside. We used to cut through alleys too. Nver saw anything to really scare us.

              Now-my daughters would be killed by me if they ventured into that area -especially at night.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mojo
                Americans ho go there say they have seen nothing to equal it in any American city.
                Well, if the average American ho says that is the worst they have ever seen then I'll defer to their judgment . . .

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bad hammy
                  Originally posted by mojo
                  Americans ho go there say they have seen nothing to equal it in any American city.
                  Well, if the average American ho says that is the worst they have ever seen then I'll defer to their judgment . . .
                  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

                  Yes they would be the authority.

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                  • #10
                    At 11 pm at the end of a long day of driving, from Lake Louise to Jasper to Vancouver, on the heels of a very, very long day of climbing, I rang up my buddy in Vancouver from a payphone, too mentally fried to figure out where I was myself (even though I'd been to Van a few times before), and he asks, "Where are you?" And I say, I don't know, looks like the street sign says Hastings Street or something, and he just laughs and says, great, you're in the red light district. Here's how to get out of there. At the moment, I was pretty oblivious to what was around me .

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mojo
                      Kind of a random post eh?

                      But yes the downtown east side of Vancouver is a true horror show. I have never seen a neighbourhood anywhere in North America that comes close to the seaminess and despair of that part of the city.

                      It wasn't always so-in the 1970's my friends and I would go down to that area almost every weekend to shop and just hang out. In those days you had the old, harmless "rubby dubbies" as we called them.

                      Canada's image as a humane society is sorely tested in Van's eastside.
                      It is shameful.
                      The area was known as Japantown prior to WWII. It was pretty rough after this period but I used to walk from my Dad's office on East Cordova to Chinatown and the downtown shopping areas back in the 1970s. I wouldn't dare do that now.

                      The drugs and prostitution from Davie Street and Yaletown were moved to the Downtown Eastside during the run up to Expo 86. The availability of cheap high quality heroin and crack cocaine in the late 1980s really changed the area for the worse...if that was possible.

                      Not your average American ho but...Link: Dan Rather Spotlight's Vancouver's Poorest Neighbourhood

                      >>"This is as bad as it gets in North America," said Rather. "Having said that, I admire Vancouver and the people here."

                      "We know that in terms of HIV and hepatitis that until recently, and perhaps still this particular HIV and hepatitis, are on the level of Botswana. And to have that happen in North America, this is a disgrace for all of us."

                      He described the level of squalor in the Downtown Eastside as Dickensian. The 76-year-old reporter spent part of Friday morning at Insite, Vancouver's safe injection site."
                      <<

                      cman

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