Visiting Vancouver

Our event is taking place in the Downtown Eastside (DTES), steps from the heart of Chinatown in the City of Vancouver. DTES is one of the oldest neighbourhoods, including an original civic centre right around our event venue, with the original industrial area further east with the port along the waterfront. The City has further details and context about the neighbourhood today:

In recent years, the Downtown Eastside has struggled with many complex challenges including drug use, crime, homelessness, housing issues, unemployment, and loss of businesses in the community.

Getting around

Vancouver is easy to travel around by public transit, bicycle, and on foot around the event venue.


Cycling even as a visitor is possible with Mobi, a city-wide bike share program owned by Rogers, which has an app and a system map with bike stations throughout the downtown area. Both are membership and pass based. There are monthly passes for $49 which include unlimited 30-minute rides or, or pay-per-ride pricing that starts at $3.00 and is priced per minute. Otherwise, plenty of local bike shops also offer week long rentals.

Please note, wearing a helmet while bicycling is the law in British Columbia and you can be fined ($29) for failing to do so. You can learn more about cycling in the province from HUB Cycling.

Public transit

Public transit is operated by Translink and the network includes automated rapid transit called the Skytrain, Seabus ferries, commuter rail, and bus. Translink has a trip planner and route maps to aide passengers, and routes are searchable from most transit apps.

Fares are for the whole system and allow transfers on 90 minute trips. You can pay by cash, tap, and load funds on a Compass Card. There are three fare zones, with a single 1-ZONE trip costing $3.15 by cash or tap and $2.55 by Compass.

The airport is Vancouver International airport (YVR), you can travel to downtown Vancouver or across the Metro area from it via Skytrain on the Canada Line. There is an additional $5 fare for taking the Skytrain from the airport.

Staying in Vancouver

For those looking at accommodations, including short-term rentals on platforms like Airbnb, we wanted to provide context about the current housing market.

Vancouver is an expensive place to live and visit. Like many cities around the world, Vancouver is experiencing an affordability crisis compounded by a decades-long housing crisis, in part driven by housing that would otherwise be available to rentals being treated as speculative investments for the operation of short-term rentals. As a result, Vancouver rent is the most expensive in Canada and there has been an increase in bad-faith evictions. The Vancouver Tenants Union has members who live in the 50% of the city that is rentals and collectively ensures their rights as tenants are respected.

As of May 1, 2024, B.C. has new rules that apply to Vancouver: short-term rentals are restricted to the home the operator lives in and they must be rented out for less than 30 consecutive days at a time.

Inspired by 4S 2019 in New Orleans, we have once again provided information on ways to mitigate the impact of short-term rentals as well as notes on how to make your own guides.

Unionized hotels

We checked Fair Hotels, and these hotels are unionized and less than $500/night, roughly ordered by lowest price and distance:

In addition, Unite Here Local 40 has asked that people do not cross their picket lines at the following locations:

  • Sheraton YVR Hotel
  • Marriott YVR Hotel
  • Hilton YVR Hotel
  • Radisson Blu YVR Hotel

Hostels, non-profits, and summer residences

Here are some lower-cost options based around the city, roughly ordered by distance:

Small-business or IBPOC-owned hotels

We searched and could not confirm a directory of accommodations that are small businesses or IBPOC-owned in Vancouver. If you know of any, please contact us at

Mitigate the harm of short-term rentals

Considerations for short-term rentals:

  • Ensure the listing includes a business license
  • Check to see if the operator allows you to book for longer than 30 days
  • Avoid listings for entire homes, usually condo units, as those tend to be owned by investors
  • Avoid hosts with multiple listings

Would you like to make a guide like this for your event or city? If so:

  • Search for reports from local housing justice organizations. Read them carefully, summarize their insights, and link to them. Use their recommendations to craft your suggestions
  • Categories of hotels to look for include: unionized hotels, small businesses, indigenous-owned hotels, black-owned hotels, as well as latino- and POC-owned hotels. There are U.S. lists, however for Canada we searched based on city
  • Use any of the text above for your conference in Toronto without need for attribution. Please include this note on how others can approach making one for their event or city
  • After you’ve read the reports, distilled their findings, listed unionized hotels and hotels owned by structurally marginalized people, and crafted a first draft of your document then share it with local housing justice for feedback (We’re working on this!)