Once a revered historic tourist attraction with exotic restaurants and specialty stores to visit and a great place to walk around has changed in to a ‘No-go area’ as homeless people and junkies have taken over the area.
Dozens of new comments left on trip advisor describe it as ‘Hell on earth’, ‘Does not feel safe’, ‘No go area’ and ‘AVOID AVOID AVOID – SHOCKING – SLUMS – SAD’ reviews left by by tourists from India, the Netherlands and the U.K. Other tourists have also mentioned the random violence the city has seen an increase of including widespread graffiti and dire conditions for the homeless.
Almost all of the comments have the same theme mentioning the open drug use and violence in the area.
The city has been grappling with worsening conditions as illegal occupations, so-called ‘tent cities’ pop up. Recently a large unsanitary and crime plague ‘tent city’ has been given aneviction notice and told to clear out and to take down makeshift shelters on East Hastings Street between Main and Carrall Streets due to fire safety concerns.
In response to a suspect who set fire to an apartment before attacking its tenants with a machete on Sunday, the mayor urged the provincial administration to overhaul the justice system to cope with repeat offenders who harm public safety.
According to the Vancouver Sun some international bands that book at venues in Chinatown and Gastown have said conditions in the Downtown Eastside rank alongside streets in rough areas of San Francisco or Detroit and it has gotten worse with their buses being vandalized with graffiti and drug addicts overdosing under the bus.
Lorraine Lowe, executive-director of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden said they have seen an increase of vandalism, and garbage and feces regularly left at their gate. She also mentions counterparts in Democratic (Liberal) run cities such as Portland and Seattle said they are reporting a similar situation with the concentration of poverty and drug treatment services.