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

Downtown Eastside Plan

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.

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What's happening

Summary on the implementation of the DTES Plan

October 2020 – We're pleased to share the three-year Summary on the implementation of the DTES Plan (2017-2019), which covers in-depth information on plan implementation achievements, as well as a detailed summary of what we heard from the community. The summary includes:

  • Overview of background and context
  • Public consultation
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • City-wide initiatives
  • Implementation highlights
  • Emerging three-year priorities and funding

The appendices include:

  • Summaries of City of Vancouver and Parks Board initiatives
  • Engagement with community groups on various components of the DTES Plan
  • Overview of DTES Capital Grants

View the full summary
(7 MB)

Council has also received the Memorandum of the DTES implementation (2017-2019) (326 KB).


DTES retail continuity policy review

September 2020 - Retail continuity policies support active and vibrant pedestrian-focused streets by maintaining and reinforcing continuous retail and other similar activities of ground floor storefronts. Within the DTES, retail continuity policies apply in the Victory Square and Downtown Eastside Oppenheimer District. 

The DTES Plan requires a review of retail continuity policies with the goal of increasing pedestrian activity, commercial and service uses, and general vitality to Hastings, Main, and Powell streets as well as removing barriers to new enterprises, development, and creativity (policies 6.5.9 and 10.3.1).

Conditions in the DTES have changed considerably since the retail continuity policies were first introduced in 1982 including social health challenges, high vacancies, reduced retail interest, and increased need for community-serving uses. As part of the Employment Lands and Economy Review, staff is proposing a quick start action to update and improve retail continuity policies to:

  • Allow more flexibility in uses for storefront spaces
  • Lower barriers to community-serving organizations seeking space in the neighbourhood
  • Help fill vacant ground floor stores

Find out more about the proposed changes (228 KB)

Learn more about the Employment Lands and Economy Review

The proposed changes will go before Council to be referred to Public Hearing on a date to be determined. To learn more, contact us at dtesplan@vancouver.ca


Apply for a matching grant for your DTES community project

March 31, 2020 - The deadline to apply is extended to Friday, July 31, 2020.

We will provide matching funds for projects that meet the criteria as outlined in the DTES Plan. Supported projects will:

Each proposed project will also be evaluated for its impact on residents who face structural barriers.

Apply for a matching grant

Infographics of the DTES Plan

By City of Vancouver

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

DTES Plan implementation summary (7.34 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 (26.36 MB)

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

Local Area Profile (12.05 MB)

Use baseline information about the DTES to help you engage with local projects.

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.