The 100 Block of East Hastings has been at the heart of the DTES fight against gentrification and for dignified, social housing. It has been the center of community battles over safe injection sites and against the worst slumlords in the city. The Regent and Balmoral still stand as empty monuments while the city wrestles over what to do with the property and thousands continue to sleep on the streets.
In preparation for the City of Vancouver’s upcoming decision on the future of the hundred block of East Hastings, CCAP and the SROC hosted a Community consultation.
Named the 100 Block Rock because of the atmosphere, volunteers gave out hundreds of plates of food, took note of peoples ideas and invited the community to dream of what they thought should be done with the stretch of street.
Ideas included an outdoor community lounge, less clinical overdose prevention, more green spaces, memorial trees for those lost to the opioid crisis, low-income affordable housing and fewer lanes of traffic. It was amazing to see how thoughtful the community’s responses were, obviously they had been thinking about these ideas for a long time and had never been given the chance to be heard. It underlines the importance of including the community in these planning processes and trusting residents to know what is best for themselves.