Vancouver has a very large population and the downtown area was known as one of the most thickly populated areas between Davie Street, Robson Street and Denman Street. In any big city there is crime. It is just smart to know what key areas to avoid when visiting. Vancouver as a whole is a very safe place to live or visit. The downtown core area is usually busy at all times throughout the day with the Vancouver transit, tourists, locals and bustling shopping areas. The West End is known as one of the safest areas in Downtown and it is very laid back and scenic.
Personal safety is extremely important to Vancouver and stabbings, muggings, shootings and other crimes are very seldom. Here are some tips to keep street smart when visiting Vancouver.
#1 Try to avoid the Downtown’s Eastside. This is considered anywhere from Main Street, the North of Chinatown, East Hastings, and the east side of Gastown. These areas have lower income families, undeveloped properties, and some low individuals. It is not particularly a violent neighborhood and you can walk through it in the day, but you might be very unhappy when you encounter drug addicts, beggars, prostitutes, open drug use, and others.
It can be quite disturbing to visitors as they did not know what to expect. The area itself is not extremely dangerous and is thought to be more dangerous than it turns out to be. Stay away if you want to only see the beauty of Vancouver, and not its darker side. If you do walk through then keep your street smarts. There is hope that the 2010 Olympic Winter Games will help clean up this area of Vancouver.
#2 Vancouver is constantly ranked as one of the best cities in the world and new buildings and construction is creating new homes for people. Gastown is booming with tourists, shopping and tasty new restaurants, so make sure you visit this area. There have been some shootings in Vancouver at a few restaurants recently, but they are isolated scenarios. Do not let this keep you from dining as local Vancouverites dine out more than any other province in Canada. They do not feel threatened by these types of incidents in any way.
#3 Never leave valuables in your rental car, or car. Car break ins are very common in Vancouver, so it is best not to take the chance with your cameras, watches, CD’s, passports, or purse. This only attracts criminals. This has also been related to Vancouver’s drug problem as the addicts break into cars to sell items for drugs. Take your valuables with you, roll up the windows completely and lock all the car doors!
#4 When you are visiting world-famous Stanley Park it is best to go in the day time and avoid late night walks. Just like with most popular parks across the world, it is good to be aware that random attacks have happened after dark. They are usually not serious, but just a heads up. In the daytime, this park is very safe for families and travelers.
In the Event of an Emergency where it is a life threatening injury or illness call 9-1-1 from any phone. Give them your emergency, location, and name and wait for them to get to you.
Vancouver also has an urgent care centre, but it is not for life-threatening illness. If you have a sprains, a need for stitches, or a rash you would go here.
UBC Hospital Urgent Care Centre
2211 Westbrook Mall
Hours: Daily, 8 am to 10 pm
No appointment necessary
Vancouver has hospitals that you can go to for help and emergencies.
Vancouver General Hospital
855 West 12th Avenue.Vancouver B.C.
St.Pauls Hospital (Downtown)
1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC.
Main Switchboard: 604-682-2344
Children and Woman’s Health Centre of British Columbia
Family Practice Maternity Service
BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre
Room 1U29, 4500 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3N1.
Telephone: 604-875-3436 (1st appt and general inquiries)
604-875-2160 (follow-ups and lab results)
Cambie Surgery Centre
2836 Ash Street, Vancouver, BC.
Canada V5Z 3C6
If you need any help during your stay here are a few contact numbers:
We all practice safe travel but sometimes we get hurt or sick while traveling. Vancouver has a wide range of medical care clinics, hospitals, physicians, private doctors, and emergency rooms. Travelers usually prefer to go to the urgent care clinics, emergency rooms, and walk-in clinics.
Kits Medical Clinic
206-2678 W. Broadway
1055 Dunsmuir.Bentall Centre
Open Monday-Friday 8-5 pm
1623 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, B.C.
Open Monday-Sunday: 9am to 9pm
Khatsahlano Medical Clinic
2689 W. Broadway,Vancouver, BC
Open Monday to Friday: 8am-8:45pm
1175 Denman Street, Vancouver, BC
Monday -Sunday: 9am-9pm
Granville Medical Clinic
2578 Granville St.Vancouver, BC
Open Monday to Friday: 8:30am-9:00pm
Open Saturday-Sunday: 9am-5pm
5619 Victoria Drive. Vancouver, BC
Open Monday-Friday: 9am - 9 pm
Park Royal Medical Clinic
Park Royal North Shopping Centre
West Vancouver, BC
Open Monday-Sunday: 9am-9pm
University Village Medical Clinic
228-2155 Allison Rd. Vancouver, BC
Yaletown Medical Clinic
1296 Pacific Blvd. Vancouver, BC
Open Monday to Friday: 9am-8:30pm
Open Saturday toSunday 10am-5:30pm
You can find more medical clinics here.