People gathered at Victory Square to watch a music concert, with heritage buildings along Hastings Street in the background

Downtown Eastside Plan

Did you know?

Parts of the DTES and Strathcona area, called Ḵ'emḵ'emel̓áy̓ (Ḵ'em•ḵ'em•el̓•áy̓), meaning maple trees in the Squamish language, was an Indigenous summer settlement site for many generations.

The Downtown Eastside Plan, approved by City Council in 2014, provides a vision, policies, and strategies for the Downtown Eastside (DTES) that focuses on ways to improve the lives of low-income DTES residents and community members.

The plan was developed in partnership with the DTES Neighbourhood Council (DNC), Building Community Society (BCS), and the Planning Committee.

Through each phase of the planning process, there was a range of community engagement opportunities, where residents, business, community groups, and stakeholders shared their ideas and feedback.

Since 2014, implementation and monitoring of the DTES Plan has been taking place along with updates to Council every three years.

What's happeningJune DTES newsletter

June 2022: The 13th issue of the DTES newsletter includes updates on poverty reduction, SRO and social housing projects, the Downtown Eastside market call out, the Special Enterprise Program, transportation improvements in Strathcona, the grants for non-profits and arts, DTES parks improvements, updates in Chinatown and Blood Alley, policy updates, extreme heat response, and more.

DTES grants

June 2022: The DTES Plan Matching Grants Report was approved by Council on June 8. The grants support community based projects in the DTES that achieve objectives of the DTES Plan, with a particular emphasis on supporting programs for residents who face structural barriers.

Infographics of the DTES Plan

By City of Vancouver

DTES Implementation 2014-2019 (241 KB) and DTES Plan summary 2014

DTES Plan implementation summary (11.65 MB)

View the three-year summary of the implementation progress of the DTES Plan from 2017-2019.

Jobs and economy (2.22 MB)

View a snapshot of the jobs and economy in the Downtown Eastside.

Full community plan (30.08 MB)

A longer read about managing future change in each area, housing, culture, economy, health, parks, transportation, heritage, and more.

The Downtown Eastside Plan was developed in four phases.

  1. Reviewing: We identified what the key issues were and what assets we had to work with.
  2. Planning: We developed planning strategies and corresponding action plans. We also identified what would be accomplished, how, and when.
  3. Feedback and approval: We got feedback from City Council and the public, and after incorporating all of the feedback, we presented the plan to Council for final approval.
  4. Monitoring and evaluation: We will measure our results to determine whether we've made a difference and achieved our goals, and assess what's left to do.

View a detailed timeline of the planning process

Previous planning efforts in the Downtown Eastside have served to revitalize the area.

In April 2005, City Council approved the Carrall Street Greenway that now connects Gastown, the Downtown Eastside, and Chinatown. The greenway facilitates economic revitalization and community development in the Downtown Eastside.

On September 22, 2005, the Housing Plan for the Downtown Eastside was adopted by Council. The plan presents a vision for the future of housing in Chinatown, the Downtown Eastside Oppenheimer District, Gastown, the Hastings Corridor, the Industrial Lands, Strathcona, Thornton Park, and Victory Square. It addressed specific housing types: SROs, social housing, market housing, supportive housing, and special needs residential facilities.

From 2008 to 2011, $10 million was given to the Downtown Eastside to celebrate its heritage, culture, and history as part of the Great Beginnings: Old Streets, New Pride initiative.

The Downtown Eastside Plan was approved by City Council in 2014. Since then, implementation and monitoring has been taking place with updates to Council every three years.

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