Wild night in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Almost 150 people required hospital treatment and close to 100 were arrested after rioters swept through downtown Vancouver following a Canucks loss to the Boston Bruins in the decisive Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.

Vancouver Coastal Health spokeswoman Anna Marie D’Angelo said Thursday three stabbing victims have been admitted and an unidentified man is in critical condition with head injuries after a fall.

She said most of the rioting victims were treated at St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver, while about 40, including the stabbing cases and the head injury patient, were being treated at Vancouver General Hospital.

Rioting and looting left cars burned, stores in shambles and windows shattered over a roughly 10-block radius of the city’s main shopping district

Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu said nine officers were injured, including one who required 14 stitches after being hit with a thrown brick. Chu said some officers suffered bite marks. He said 15 cars were burned, including two police cars.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said “organized hoodlums bent on creating chaos incited the riot” and noted the city proved with the 2010 Winter Olympics that it could hold peaceful gatherings. A local business leader estimated more than 50 businesses have been damaged.

“They were here to make trouble and they succeeded,” Robertson said.

Vancouver city councilor Suzanne Anton said the rioting has shaken the city and overshadowed the hockey team’s playoff run.

“I would never have believed that Vancouver would be a city where there would be looting,” Anton said. “I just feel such a profound sense of disappointment. We like to think we live in paradise here in Vancouver. It’s hard to imagine here.”

It was similar to the scene that erupted in the city in 1994 following the Canucks’ Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers.

Anton said there was no loss of life or police brutality in this latest incident. She said dozens of volunteers patrolled the city’s entertainment strip on Thursday, picking up debris and garbage.

One of the volunteers, Al Cyrenne, carried his broom downtown to clean up the damage.

“I’m all choked up,” he said, as he surveyed broken windows and debris on a downtown street.

“I can’t believe the scene. Just talking about it bring me to tears. I can’t believe the people of Vancouver would do this. It’s just a few idiots.”

While police said it was mostly young thugs responsible for the mayhem overnight, an equally young crew turned up in jeans and rubber gloves, some with Canucks jerseys, all carrying plastic garbage bags.

Dozens of remorseful and dismayed commuters crowded around the smashed and plywood covered display windows at the flagship Bay store, a historical building that was the first focus of rampaging looters Wednesday night.

Someone had tacked a rough, hand-painted sign that read: “On behalf of my team and my city, I am sorry.” People waited in line to sign it.

Across the street at London Drugs, the windows were also smashed.

Wynn Powell, the president and CEO of London Drugs, estimated the damage there at $1 million alone.

Powell, sounding angry, said the looting wasn’t the random consequence of a mob mentality.

“The rioters attacked us for two hours before they got into the store. They were down attacking the stores of Vancouver to try to steal product.”

TV footage showed a man being beaten after he tried to stop looters from smashing windows at the Bay department store.

Looters were seen grabbing T-shirts and anything else they could get their hands on. Young women were seen escaping with MAC cosmetics, with one carrying out part of a mannequin. The landmark building was filling with smoke as people, their faces covered in bandannas, continued the violence.

The looters turned their attention next on a Future Shop store a few blocks away, smashing windows and flooding up the stairs to the second-floor store, only to turn around quickly. One witness said police were at the top of the stairs.

Sears and Chapters stores were also looted, their glass fronts smashed. For many, the ugly chaos made the Cup loss an afterthought.

“What I’ve seen is a complete disgrace,” said Beth Hope, 28, who is originally from England but has lived in Vancouver for two years. “I’m a Canucks fan, but my jersey’s in my bag. I’m ashamed to be a fan right now.”

Hope said she saw a parking structure on fire and cars ablaze.

“It’s insane, it’s absolutely insane,” she said. “What’s the point? Our team lost. Why destroy your own city? I’m afraid.”

NBA star Steve Nash, from nearby Victoria and the brother-in-law of Canucks forward Manny Malhotra, sent a Twitter message imploring the fans to stop the violence. “We’re a great city and have a lot of class. Our team is great and our championship will come. Soon,” Nash wrote.

Some seemed to revel in the rampage, recording the vandalism on cell phones and video cameras. A few congratulated those who tried to attack police, and others erupted with cheers every time something was damaged.

More on the riots
The Vancouver Sun has collected 18 videos of the chaos from YouTube and posted them on its website.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A man was injured and a woman found dead Sunday night after an RV fire in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)
Man burned, woman found dead after RV fire in Marysville

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office and Marysville Police Department were investigating the cause of the fire.

Herald publisher Rudi Alcott
A note from the publisher

The Daily Herald publisher Rudi Alcott discusses our new publishing schedule and newspaper delivery by mail.

A section of contaminated Wicks tidelands on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port acquisition marks next step in toxic cleanup on Everett waterfront

Private owners donated land near the contaminated Wicks Tide Flats to the Port of Everett. Cleanup work could begin within the year.

A person and child watch seagulls on the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Cold weather returning to Western Washington

Nightly temperatures in the 20s with highs in the 30s were expected this weekend. Cold weather shelters will be open.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown and the victim of a brutal attack in 2018 answer questions from reporters on Jan. 27, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Jake Goldstein-Street / The Herald)
White supremacists sentenced for racist beating at Lynnwood bar

A federal judge handed out stiffer sentences than prosecutors had asked for in a series of sentencing hearings Friday.

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Democrats advance assault weapons ban, new rules for gun buyers

The measures passed a House committee without Republican support. They are part of a broader agenda to curb gun violence.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)
Boeing settles with Everett security guard claiming chemical exposure

Holly Hawthorne was assigned to Building 45-335 at the south end of Paine Field, while employees used aerosolized chemical sprays nearby.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring is this year's winner of the Henry M. Jackson Award given by Economic Alliance Snohomish County. Photographed in Marysville, Washington on April 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marysville State of the City address set for Feb. 1

Mayor Jon Nehring will highlight 2022 accomplishments and look to the future. Questions from the audience will follow.

Construction continues on the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Paved path, plaza coming to Mountlake Terrace near light rail

The public space additions are envisioned as boosting access to the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center.

Most Read