Upon the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish people, the present-day Downtown Eastside is where the historic roots for the city of Vancouver were planted over 125 years ago. Formerly the main business and retail heart of the city, the Downtown Eastside (DTES) continues to undergo real changes that affect diverse stakeholders, while presenting both challenges and new opportunities.
There have been and continue to be complex issues at play in the DTES similar to those shared by other inner-city communities throughout North America, but there is also an equal amount of determination. compassion and creativity to meet those challenges from local community groups, entrepreneurs, enterprising non-profits, residents, and culture creators of which HxBIA has en masse.
Despite the challenges, the DTES is becoming increasingly attractive to new businesses due to its relatively affordable retail/commercial spaces, and its location. The Downtown Eastside’s proximity to Gastown, Yaletown, Chinatown, Downtown and its accessibility to transit create an ideal economic area.
The Downtown Eastside Plan provides an outline of strategies to help improve the quality of life for residents and community members in the DTES. It was created by the City of Vancouver and the Local Area Planning Process (LAPP) Committee, which consisted of representatives from the community. HxBIA plays a role in managing change and creating a sustainable economy that matches the needs of the local community.