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A Thousand Dreams

Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and the Fight for Its Future

Regular price $16.00 CAD
  • ISBN: 9781926812281
  • Tags: Current Affairs & Politics, Larry Campbell, Lori Culbert, Neil Boyd,
  • Published On: 10/01/2009
  • 352 Pages


""In a clear and compelling fashion, [A Thousand Dreams is] a case for governments and communities to work together, to think 'outside the box' and to achieve longer-lasting solutions for complex social problems."" -- Vancouver Sun

In this mix of history, journalism, political analysis, and first-person accounts, former chief coroner and Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell, renowned criminologist Neil Boyd, and investigative journalist Lori Culbert, offer a portrait of one of North America's poorest, most drug-challenged neighbourhoods: VancouverÌs Downtown Eastside.

A Thousand Dreams raises provocative questions about the challenges confronting not only Vancouver's Downtown Eastside but also all of North America's major cities and offers concrete, urgently needed solutions, including:

  • Continued support for Insite, the safe injection site
  • Decriminalization of prostitution and drugs
  • The transfer of addiction services to the Health Ministry, allowing detox into the medical system
  • More government-funded SROs and more affordable social housing
  • "

    Neil Boyd is a professor and associate director of the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. He is a frequent media commentator on drug law, drug policy, and criminal violence, and has completed community impact studies on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Educated in psychology at the University of Western Ontario and in law at Osgoode Hall Law School, he is the author of five previous books, including The Last Dance.

    Larry Campbell was mayor of Vancouver from 2002 to 2005 and oversaw the establishment of North America's first legal injection site. His career as chief coroner for B.C. inspired the Gemini Award-winning TV series Da Vinci's Inquest. He was appointed a Canadian senator in 2005.


    "A Thousand Dreams looks at key moments that helped make the Downtown Eastside the way it is today, such as how drug addiction took a turn for the worse in the 80's and early 90's, as well as the founding of the nations first supervised injection site." -CKWX-AM

    "A Thousand Dreams offers a history of the Downtown Eastside, once the glamorous center of Vancouver's nightlife, to today, when crime, homelessness and the combination of metal illness and drug addiction are thickly woven into the fabric of the neighborhood." -The Province

    "Thousand Dreams focuses on challenges understood by most Canadians - ineffective RCMP funding, back-room maneuvering, high-rise developments, Da Vinci's Inquest - not cat food for dinner, a dirty needle for dessert or a damp parking garage for a bed. The remarkable stories are about the activists, writers, organizers and health professionals who fight for the future of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside."

    "In a clear and compelling fashion, [A Thousand Dreams] is a case for governments and communities to work together, to think 'outside the box' and to achieve longer-lasting solutions for complex social problems." -Vancouver Sun

    "A Thousand Dreams is enjoyable to read and very informative, and anyone interested in the DES in general and the events of the last twenty years in particular should read it . . . If the DES has a thousand dreams, it also has ten thousand voices." -BC Studies

    "The real take-away from this book is that it provides a close-up look at how the Downtown Eastside, for all its seemingly intractable problems, manages to function like a genuine community, filled with people who have devoted themselves with extraordinary energy to a place they call home, warts and all." -Literary Review of Canada