A late-night walk downtown

Mid-30s guy here. I've lived in Vancouver for the better part of two decades, and used to spend a lot of time downtown around Granville and Davie and Robson. I live in Olympic Village nowadays, and don't get downtown as often as in my twenties. Went for a walk last night, down Granville to Davie, to Denman, and then down Robson to the Canada Line. Jesus. The abandoned storefronts. The plethora of cannabis shops and no-name Chinese junk stores. Everything from Davie and Nicola down to English Bay obliterated. Half-built condo towers with fencing and hoarding everywhere. Ruined view-cones. The dozens and dozens of empty restaurants and bars. The teeming masses of people clearly not from the area, pushing and shoving their way down the streets. Do we really need more of them in this city? What's happened to downtown, and the West End in particular? I remember it being vibrant and exciting even fifteen years ago. Now it just all feels depressing. Am I alone?

28 Comments

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You’re not alone

Mar 25, 2019 at 9:25am

I spent 2 decades as a resident in the West End in the 80’s and 90’s.
I remember the awesome beaches, great restaurants, great neighbours. The cool vibe.
Now it’s just as you say in your awesome post, just a very depressing place now.
I was going to sell my New West condo and move back when I retire and rent but forget it. Besides turning ugly the neighbourhood isn’t safe.

47 8Rating: +39

It’s called change

Mar 25, 2019 at 9:51am

“Teeming masses of people clearly not from the area”: how would you know unless you checked their ID for their address? Just because you think people don’t “look like” they’re from the area doesn’t mean anything. Empty shops? Well if your office is anything like mine, everyday we get mountains of packages from couriers and Canada Post from people shopping online. If people don’t support local shops, the bricks and mortar stores shut down. Things are constantly changing here for better or worse. Personally I don’t see myself living here in the next 10 years as I’ve outgrown it.

It's happening everywhere

Mar 25, 2019 at 11:52am

It has to do with automation. All the stores and malls are closing all over North America and the world. Stop blaming immigrants for everything.

"masses of people clearly not from the area... Do we really need more of them in this city?"
Exactly the question the natives were asking when your people came here: it was much better before you arrived. Newsflash: this land doesn't belong to you.

You could help by...

Mar 25, 2019 at 1:06pm

Stop supporting Amazon and it's predatory pricing and other online shopping sites. This is why the Europeans are going after the Google, Facebook and Amazon. They're monopolies. Only the monopoly wins.

38 9Rating: +29

Yeah yeah

Mar 25, 2019 at 1:17pm

everything was better 'back in the day'

@Yeah Yeah

Mar 25, 2019 at 2:44pm

I would agree that people look at their pasts through rose coloured glasses because they were younger and having more fun etc.. But the area of Vancouver is definitely going through a transitional phase and is pretty shit right now and won't recover without affordable housing and a "retail renaissance". The problem is that the cost of living is too high for a city of Vancouver's stature. We have lower first tier city prices in a lower second tier city.

A major correction must be made or we will continue to lose young people, the creative class and young families. What kind of city is left when all you have is affluent boomers and empty apartments owned by people hiding their money from their governments? A pretty lame city, IMO.

65 7Rating: +58

Mitch

Mar 25, 2019 at 3:12pm

Says the guy "living in Olympic Village"...lol

Sindy

Mar 25, 2019 at 3:14pm

Davie used to be where the LGBT community felt safe...now that community feels comfortable just about anywhere so that's one part of the "different vibe"..

@ yeah yeah

Mar 25, 2019 at 3:54pm

>it was

17 9Rating: +8

Samson

Mar 25, 2019 at 5:26pm

The "Brain Drain" is not happening so stop spreading that myth.Smart energetic people are doing fine in Vancouver.

9 41Rating: -32

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