How did this happen?

People posting messages on The Bay's boarded up windows. Photo: Zerlene

People posting messages on The Bay's boarded up windows. Photo: Zerlene

With the sun shining in Vancouver today, we’d normally be talking about the weather. Instead, we’re talking about yet another riot after a game seven Vancouver Canucks loss in the Stanley Cup final.

Shock, dismay, anger, bewilderment and embarrassment are just some of the feelings Vancouverites have expressed so far after watching or witnessing the destruction of a large part of the downtown core.

After weeks of cheering our team, celebrating peacefully in the streets and getting swept up in Canuck fever, a few hours of mayhem forever changed the world’s impressions of our city. It won’t be easy to forgive or forget.

The average, law-abiding citizen is asking a multitude of questions today. How did this happen, and why? Who are these idiots that started the riot and where did they come from? Are they proud of themselves today? Did they make their parents proud? What point were the culprits trying to make? Do they have a conscience?

As Vancouver residents, all we can do is pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. We can look back at a terrific hockey season and thank our team for entertaining us all year. We can also show our appreciation for the people who risk their lives to serve us. They are the men and women of the Vancouver Police Department (with support from surrounding municipalities), Fire Service, Ambulance Service, doctors, nurses and others. We can also thank City of Vancouver employees who worked throughout the night to return our streets to some sense of normalcy for the good citizens and visitors to enjoy.

As much as it hurts to see our team lose, it pains us even more to see how some responded. That said, we are a proud city and I see evidence of that on this beautiful, late spring day as regular folks have been on the streets helping with the clean-up. That’s the Vancouver that I know and love. #ThisIsMyVancouver

Messages posted on the "Citizen's Wall" at the Bay


Vancouverites cleaning up

True Vancouverites pulling together to clean up. Photo: JuilieRobe


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16 Responses to How did this happen?

  1. lee

    THIS IS WHO WE TRULY ARE…We come together in these trying times…We can do this.We should not forget of our Great Nation.We should be proud to be CANADIANS..I AM

  2. Greg

    We support and love our Vancouver Canucks, win or lose; how sad that a few disillusioned people, who are not at all the real representation of Vancouver and who it seems have nothing better to contribute to a society other than chaos and destruction, and whose actions can divert attention from the true reason we all came together in the streets in the first place..
    on the flip side, it’s the true spirit of Vancouver to pitch in, without being asked, to help clean up and restore this beautiful city in which we are so priviledged to live … perhaps we will learn a lesson from this.

  3. walter

    You (I’m a wannabe Vancouverite) can do more than come together and clean up. Everyone should turn in pictures and videos of the miscreants and identify them and, if called on to do so, testify at any criminal or civil proceedings.

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  5. Mike

    Well, I watched the game last night from my home in Massachusetts. While watching our team take turns holding the cup, I couldn’t help but think how hard it must be for you folks to have had this loss – particularly at home. As hard as that was, no doubt such a reaction undertaken by a few angry, uncaring people is harder still.

    I’ve spent some time in Vancouver in the past – and I remember it as a beautiful city filled with wonderful people.

    That has not changed.

    • Susan

      Very well said, Mike.

      From another MA resident.

  6. Armando

    After all that destruction in my favorite city of the world, tears came down for the sadness of seen how those idiots destroy the beutiful Vancouver! My beautiful Vancouver! Im not Canadian but every time I visit I feel like being part of that wonderful city and always wish I was part of the beautiful people that live there. I hope all this people are ashame for their rest of their lifes, Vancouver will never forget and the world will never do either, but hope the city raises again with its own shine and beauty as it always been. vancouver, you have my support!

  7. Paula

    THANKS for restroring my faith in the people of Vancouver.

  8. Ken

    A former Vancouverite, I have always missed the city I have loved best of anywher I have lived.

    Now? I was booked for a flight there for a week with friends, the second such trip in the last two months.

    I have paid the change charge to head to Seattle instead and enjoy their unerring hospitality, peaceful civility, and, yes, maturity.

    I am now ashamed to say that I ever had anything to do with a city that cannot take a loss (1994, 2011) with grace and class. Say that it’s yahoos from Surry or Delta; it does not matter. This was allowed to happen not just by the police but by the citizenry who does not hold such yahoos to account.

    This is an irreparable ‘blot’ that will lead many, many people to the conclusion that Vancouver is not a world-class city. It is just a City that lacks class.

    As for the stain on the reputation of Canada as the Peacable Kingdom, justify this all you want: you have a city that cannot control its worst elements for the common good.

    See you sometime after you have proven that you can control people from embarrasing the country…say when you lose the Stanley Cup in 2018.

    Appalled, ashamed, and angry.

  9. Juliana

    It still makes me smile to look at your mountains; it brings me peace to stare at the most beautiful skyline of nature and city life mixing together in a complete harmony, your rain makes it all greener when the sun comes out again.

    I love you Vancouver, and I will never let you go. How your streets make me feel at home, I will never know how your shady trees embrace me and your heartbeat under my feet brings me new life it’s a mystery. But I thank you for being, for me, the only place I call HOME.

    • Ken


      “How your streets make me feel at home…”?

      Check it out, if you want to see how the world view “the complete harmony” of Vancouver.

      This is not the Vancouver I onced called “home” and find difficult to imagine anyone defending it, mystical rain notwithstanding…

    • pamela millar

      Juliana: love and echo your sentiment. Vancouver is beautiful in so many ways and the citizens who have given their time to clean up shows what kind of heart the city really has.

      Peace and Love to you Vancouver. You are the best x0 xo!

  10. ali

    Embarrassed at the small group of people who destroyed my city.. But PROUD of over 14000 people who went to go clean it up today.. Nobody is perfect, but we sure know how to apologize.

  11. The Vancouver riots were news in Sweden yesterday, and this makes me so very sad. My favourite city and my home country being presented this way in another country I love is very hurtful.
    That said, I am proud to hear about the people cleaning up the aftermath, and stories of bravery, like this man:

  12. yongeandcollege

    Toronto > Vancouver

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