The City of Vancouver was wondering what to do with the “hippies” who were concentrated largely in the Kitsilano area. A committee of “aldermen” from Vancouver City Hall called a “three man Council team” in the Vancouver Sun on October 12, 1967 “generally disclaims charges by Kitsilano ratepayers last summer when the Fourth Avenue population was at its peak that hippies constituted a serious moral, sanitary and legal threat”.
The report concluded that “more active interest should be taken by assisting hippies to get work and decent places to live, sending them social workers, inviting them to express their views before Council and by re-assessing youth activity programs in schools, churches and community centres”.
Sadly, the report also recommended “the acceleration of urban renewal programs and revitalization of depressed and blighted areas where hippie communities thrive”. These were the programs that would decimate Strathcona and threaten Chinatown in the early 1970’s.
Here’s a really weird clip of a show from 1968 hosted by commentator Bill Good. On a show called “Lets Go” there is a very twisty set of interviews that are not too focussed, but do give a taste of opposing views at the time.
A youthful but conservative Mr. Good interviews Kitsilano’s ‘Hippies’ but does not really name them except for the late Doug Hawthorne who managed the “Psychedelic Shop” on 4th Avenue.
The show compares the 1960’s 4th Avenue “scene” to that of the great music and drug scene in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury, and then does surprising segues talking to people like singer Pat Boone, comedian Richard Pryor, Little Richard and even the Maharishi Yogi. Richard Pryor has the best line, saying that more people smoke pot than eat peanut butter sandwiches.Read more »