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Old June 2nd, 2005, 09:28 PM   #21
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Wow, these pictures are amazing. The pictures of the needles and whatnot are especially emotional. Thanks for posting.

Rabboussamai fikarrajjaii - Fi ainaiha aralhayati - Ati ilaika min haza lkaaouni - Arjouka labbi labbi nidai
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 09:47 PM   #22
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Thanks for sharing.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 06:00 AM   #23
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nice pics
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 11:52 AM   #24
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While I appreciate the extreme honesty and truthfullness in the photography, and while I do think that this is the best photo tour of the East Side i have EVER seen, I caution the original poster, and everyone else NOT TO GET CARRIED AWAY.

Yes it is a black spot. Yes it is a disturbing area. But let's also not make it into something it is not. Walking through this area is NOT a considerable danger. I have walked through it a number of times and never felt unsafe. Yes there is drunks, junkies, and if confronted they would be prone to violent behaviour. But don't think for a second that the vancouver downtown east side is a place where "trouble finds you". There certainly are areas like that in North America and around the world, but the DTES isn't one of them. Oh you can find trouble. And certainly stepping barefeet onto a needle can be a life-threatening experience. But generally speaking trouble will NOT find you.

I mention this because somebody mentioned how they don't want to accidentally stumble into that area. Seriously this isn't a problem. If you accidentally find yourself into this area, you will not be in any danger. Granted, some of the locals might not look too kindly on you asking for directions, but don't worry - you'll be able to see the shady characters who you shouldn't approach - from a MILE away. It's not a case of "whoops I'm in the downtown eatside, and i have no idea, and now if i talk to somebody they'll bash my skull. If only i had that map to know to avoid this area."

If you find yourself there, you will know where you are, and if you have ANY street smarts whatsoever - even a minimal amount - you will never need to be concerned for your safety or wellbeing.
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 02:38 PM   #25
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Wow, great photos.

The last pics of that guy are almost surreal, I can't believe how rampant hyperdermics are and it amazing how it's confined to this small area.
The shops, are most abandoned or was it an off day?

Anyway, I still think Vancouver is a beautiful place.
See whats happening in BRISBANE!
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Old June 8th, 2005, 04:07 AM   #26
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nice one. the "real" aspects of a city are always far more interesting than the pictures u see on postcards.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 05:01 AM   #27
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When I walked through there I thought, this is it? Typical rundown area but rather small, and I've seen worse.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 05:55 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by nikko
The shops, are most abandoned or was it an off day?
The shops are unfortunately abandoned. There's not enough traffic & middle-income earners passing through the area to support retail.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 07:39 AM   #29
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You forgot to take pictures of the needles in the trees

Believe it or not, I actually felt safe walking in and around the downtown east side at around midnight (don't ask why we were doing it)...It is not known for violence, just drugs.
...and all your wishenz will come true...
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Old May 29th, 2009, 07:47 PM   #30
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Very Real Portfolio of Vancouver; Portrait of a Large Port City; Metorpolitan Center of some 2.5 million souls. My family had two businesses in the city center and unfortunately, this is just a glimpse at what really goes on in Downtown Vancouver...nothing that doesn't happen in any other city. All they try to do is camouflage it...or at least they did try the years when I lived there. I haven't been in Canada for one dozen or so years..but I've heard this are just getting worse. I think you are right my friend...it's about time Canada wakes up and smell their coffee and see what they can do about it. But to be realistic....in a city this large all you can do is try to contain it. Very well done..bring on more portfolios of your work!

Originally Posted by rt_0891 View Post
C|2azyCanuck, excellent tour!

If only all Canadians wake up, smell their morning coffee and get a chance to view your photo essay. Given that a dissproportionate percentage of Vancouver's drug addicts & homeless are from out of town (like SF, it's due to the mild weather), it's a prelude to what can happen all across Canada if the nation's homeless & drug problems are not dealt with properly.

Already, the problem is spreading West into downtown and WestEnd.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #31
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i was also born and raised in vancouver. i was lucky enough to live in the westside where it is was much safer and cleaner. but it is nice to see that you show a side of vancouver which is very apparent,many people assume vancouver is only pretty as u see in photos many put here.truth is vancouver is getting big and people must realize that there are problems there and they should face them head on and try to stop bashing other cities ,(specially ones in usa )so they can feel better about themselves there
also vancouver is usually cloudier on more days than the nice sunny days in which photos i see people usually put up here ,so again i like ur pics here cuz it shows a side of vancouver many dont wanna show
i prefer warmer places so i am not in vancouver any longer but its nice to see whats happening in my old hometown
more pics please
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Old May 31st, 2009, 08:43 AM   #32
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Wow.. that was a pretty brutal tour.
'Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood."
-architect Daniel Burnman
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Old May 31st, 2009, 10:49 AM   #33
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Interesting and looking nice neighborhood of Vancouver; thanks for sharing those photos
Urban Showcase: Athens Kalamata Trikala Thessaloniki
Cityscapes: Paris Barcelona Dubai, U.A.E. Monte Carlo, Monaco
General photography: Castles of France - Chateau de France and, since May of '08: Greece!
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Old May 31st, 2009, 10:53 PM   #34
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I advise that everyone who visits Vancouver takes this tour. The neighborhood is not dangerous but has a very delightfully seedy flavor and smell that gives the city character. I thought the DTE was the most fascinating neighborhood in Vancouver. Architecturally, there are some real gems. Pwright1 is correct. It is a small patch and I thought the same thing. This is it? I've seen much worse areas in the US even in some of the nicest cities. I hope they restore the area instead of knocking down the beautiful old buildings. In Paris, the Rue de Clichy looks a little DTE.

The DTE is like a mini version of K & A in Philadelphia. It seems really dicey visually but when you walk around you realize that people are not out to get you. They just have a different standard of living.

Last edited by philadweller; June 1st, 2009 at 01:37 AM.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:04 PM   #35
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Some shots of K and A to give you a perspective.

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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:26 PM   #36
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wow, what a reality check...
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Old June 1st, 2009, 02:15 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
so, did you get the gummer or what?

seriously, thanks for the great photo tour. You did take a few risks... don't do it again! My god, that dude with the pipe could have messed you up.

DTES defies all explanation, as far as I can see. In Vancouver, of all places. There is nothing in the rest of Canada that compares... Brantford Ontario has a boarded-up downtown, but there's no rampant drug or poverty problem. I've lived in a notorious neighbourhood in Toronto, and have visited the worst parts of it (work related)... none of it touches what I see in some of these photos (though, to be fair, TO did technically have a shantytown slum a few years back). Theres nothing wrong with grit, every city has it. Alot of those pics illustrate urbanity in it's utilitarian, honest glory. But this is something far worse.

again, great pics.
I lived in T.O's Parkdale (aka Crackdale).
Where was the shantytown you speak off??
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Old June 1st, 2009, 05:17 AM   #38
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Youch, a brutally honest and fantastic photo essay. I'm quite glad that Auckland, for all its sins, doesn't possess any areas like this.

EDIT: My Mother is off to Vancouver at the end of this month to visit friends. It'll be interesting to see how she finds Vancouver.

Last edited by Svartmetall; June 1st, 2009 at 05:26 AM.
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Old June 1st, 2009, 07:43 AM   #39
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I remember seeing this photo tour a few years back. DTES photo tours are certainly rare so it was nice to see and I greatly appreciate the effort that C|2azyCanuck put into it. It is one thing to casually pass through the area but to spend hours taking photos there is something else.

It was especially interesting seeing this photo thread the second time around as it has now been 4 years and there have been a lot of changes in that time. The area has really started to see a lot of investment in the last few years. It is in a fairly early stage of gentrification but the changes so far have been quite rapid. There have been several heritage restorations including both renovations on social housing as well as the creation of new market loft spaces (the Paris Block, Flack Block, and Pennsylvania Hotel for example). There are several new developments underway in the area (such as the Paris Annex and most notably the large Woodward's development which is nearing completion) as well as some demolitions in preparation for new developments which have yet to be started (mostly due to current market conditions). The City also has the Carrall Street Greenway being finished off in the area which includes new sidewalk treatments, bike paths, and a redesign of Pigeon Park. A lot of old decrepit sites have been bought up by developers and all signs indicate this trend will continue and if anything accelerate (especially once the market improves). Additionally, with a bit of luck, there could be a new streetcar line running through the neighbourhood in a few years as well.

It is hard to say what effect all this investment will have on the area. It may just displace people and push the problems further east but perhaps having a critical mass of new citizens in the area will help to bring more attention to the issues there and set things in motion for some real change. At the very least it should help save some of the old architectural gems in the area before they crumble to a point beyond saving and perhaps give the downtown a new historic neighbourhood that the average person will be able to enjoy without fearing for their safety.

Here are some examples of the changes happening in the neighbourhood since this photo thread was made:

C|2azyCanuck's photo of the Pennsylvania Hotel...

The restored Pennsylvania Hotel...
image hosted on flickr

by roland at flickr.com

new lighting feature on the sidewalk outside
image hosted on flickr

by FearlessCity at flickr.com

Paris Block restoration (already complete)
image hosted on flickr

by The Blackbird at flickr.com

Paris Block with the Paris Annex being built next door (I think it may already be finished too)


The very large, mixed-use Woodward's development:


Towers to the right
image hosted on flickr

by ecstaticist at flickr.com

The restored Flack Block
image hosted on flickr

by Bob_2006 at flickr.com

Carrall Street Greenway - this photo from the completed Chinatown stretch
image hosted on flickr

by Bejan at flickr.com
Terminal City
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Old June 17th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #40
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A good documentary on drug use filmed in the DTES

One of the people interviewed was a victim of Pickton, the infamous pig farmer I'm sure you've all heard of. Btw, Philadweller, where is that section of Philadelphia, I can't find a neighborhood profile or anything, does it have a legitimate name?
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