Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Items on sale at the Downtown Eastside Street Market in Vancouver on April 20, 2014. (Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail)
Items on sale at the Downtown Eastside Street Market in Vancouver on April 20, 2014. (Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail)

In pictures: 8 things you can buy for $10 in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Add to ...

The goods are cheap and the setting unpretentious.

But every Sunday for the past four years, buyers and sellers have showed up at the Downtown Eastside Street Market, a city-sanctioned weekend event at Pigeon Park where vendors sell goods such as paperbacks, clothing, shoes and vinyl record albums.

Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail

The market is an officially approved outlet for “binners” – people who salvage items from garbage bins and alleyways across the city for potential sale. Shown here: Chinese cassette tapes.
Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail

Those goods include TV remotes and VHS tapes – prized by neighbourhood residents whose rental rooms have older-model televisions with VCRs.
Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail

Police routinely patrol the event to keep an eye out for stolen goods such as bicycles or electronics.
Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail

By providing a safe, legal space for neighbourhood residents to sell such goods, the market supports economic independence and “microentrepreneurialism,” supporters say. Shown here: a rug depicting the Last Supper.
Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail

The market is backed by groups that include the Central City Foundation, which last year provided a $25,000 grant for tables, tents and cleaning supplies.
Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail

An estimated 200 to 300 vendors show up every Sunday, organizers say. Shown here: A rifle case.
Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail

But the market operates only one day a week. That means people who sell their goods on other days, unless they have a permit, are breaking the law. Shown here: pregnancy tests.
Ben Nelms for The Globe and Mail

Vancouver-based advocacy group Pivot Legal is challenging the city’s bylaw against street vending, saying it violates individuals’ right to security under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeBC

In the know

Most popular video »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most Popular Stories