Repeating the historic riots which occurred in Vancouver's downtown area on June 14, 1994, after
the Canucks lost in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final in New York against the Rangers, a
riot erupted in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday night following the Canucks' loss to Boston in
the Stanley Cup Final. Rioters flipped cars, started fires and smashed windows. Riot police fired
tear gas, pepper spray and flash bombs to try to disperse angry rioters who set cars on fire, looted
stores and taunted police officers.
While there was a mass exodus of people before the end of the second period - when the Canucks
were already down by three - tens of thousands of people were still downtown when the crowd
turned ugly. When the third-period buzzer went, fans started throwing bottles and cans at the
massive TV screens set up at the Georgia and Hamilton intersection. The drama began in front
of the Canada Post building where a vehicle was overturned and its bumper and doors ripped off
before people jumped on the top of it and set it on fire. A second car was also set ablaze.
Police used batons and also turned police dogs on the rioters, slowly pushing the crowd back along
Georgia Street from Hamilton Street to Cambie Street.
Two police cars were also set on fire in a parking lot on Cambie Street near one of the areas where
police were being confronted by a few dozen people among the hundreds present who were
throwing debris at officers.
Glass windows were broken at the Bank of Montreal on West Georgia and at the Hudson's Bay
Company. Widespread looting was reported at the Bay store, at the downtown London Drugs,
Chapters, Sears and Future Shop.
Many were disappointed with the turn of events. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson
said, Vancouver is a world-class city and it is embarrassing and shameful to see the type of
violence and disorder we've seen tonight.
You don't ever hope for a situation like this, said Vancouver police Const. Jana McGuinness.
Officials say dozens of people were injured, but most were being treated for tear gas or pepper
spray exposure. Vancouver General Hospital officials said there were two major traumas, three
stabbing victims and one head injury.
It's expected the damage from Wednesday's riot will far exceed that of 17 years ago.