Exterior facade and sign of the Balmoral Hotel

Balmoral Hotel demolition

The Balmoral Hotel was a Single Room Occupancy hotel in the Downtown Eastside, located at 159 East Hastings Street.

Following years of neglect and disrepair by the building’s former owners, an ‘unsafe to occupy’ order was issued to the Balmoral Hotel requiring the immediate evacuation and closure of the building. 

History

The City took ownership of the building in December 2020 and underwent extensive consultation in an attempt to upgrade the building to a livable standard. However, due to decades of underinvestment and mismanagement by the building’s former owners, the building is no longer safe and has deteriorated to the point that it poses a danger to the public and adjacent buildings. 

In February 2022, an order for its demolition was issued. This is a complex process and staff are conducting studies to determine the most appropriate approach to safely demolish the building. 

Community engagement 

We recognize that the Balmoral, prior to its closure, was a site of harm and trauma. The history and current state of this building is representative of systemic failure to meet the needs of low-income, marginalized residents and communities. As such, we recognize the emotional impact that the demolition of this building may have for former residents and their families, friends and community. 

We are committed to and have begun reaching out to community to seek guidance and involvement in providing respectful, healing, and culturally appropriate support and ceremony throughout the demolition process, and that a replacement project will have reconciliation and equity as guiding goals.

The demolition of the Balmoral Hotel is part of the wider renewal of the 100 block of East Hastings which includes the redevelopment of the Regent Hotel, another former SRO Hotel.

Timeline

Below is a timeline of the building to this point including next steps on the demolition.

  • July 2017

    Due to fire and safety concerns, the City issued an evacuation order – all residents moved to other buildings in Vancouver.

  • December 2020

    The City took ownership of the building and, with VFRS, has conducted regular safety and fire inspections of the building.

  • February 2022

    The City’s Chief Building Official determined that the building poses a risk of injury to the public and persons adjacent to the building in the event of a fire or similar incident.

    The Chief Building Official subsequently issued an order to the City requiring the demolition of the Balmoral Hotel due to numerous life and safety concerns arising from his review of these reports.

  • We are here
  • June 2022

    City begins engagement process with community

    Neon blade street sign removed June 26 due to imminent safety concerns

  • Fall 2022

    Demolition begins

  • Spring 2024

    Demotion completion and interim community services uses in place pending redevelopment

Contact

sro@vancouver.ca

604-829–9275