Canadian Underwriter

Vancouver riots cause millions in estimated damages

March 19, 2012   by Suzanne Sharma, with files from The Canadian Press

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The Bay in Vancouver was the target of malicious rioters following the Canucks Game 7 loss on June 15, 2011.

Vancouver businesses are surveying millions of dollars in damage inflicted by rioters after Wednesday night’s post hockey-game mayhem in the city’s downtown.

This week’s rioting is similar to the post hockey-game riots in 1994 when the Vancouver Canucks lost Game 7 to the New York Rangers. The damages then were estimated at $1.1 million, but this week’s chaos will likely surpass that amount.

Wynne Powell, CEO of the London Drugs chain of stores estimates damage to his store alone is about $1 million.

Powell said he’s grateful police arrived within 10 minutes of being called to ensure store employees were safe as about 200 thieves rushed in and cars burned just down the street. Looters smashed glass and stole computers, cameras, make-up—anything they could get their hands on.

Charles Gauthier, head of the downtown Business Improvement Association, said he’s dismayed and shocked by the damage to about 50 properties.

FirstOnSite Restoration is already on-hand cleaning up the damage. The restoration company has had more than 40 workers on the ground since 4am Thursday morning.

Restoration experts repair a display case at The Bay in Vancouver.

“We are dealing with one of the major retailers in town, Hudson’s Bay Company,” said Joseph DeAngelis, vice president and general manager, BC Region at FirstOnSite Restoration. “We have also responded to other claims in the area for businesses that suffered glass damage.”

DeAngelis told Canadian Insurance Top Broker there was substantial damage on the ground floor at The Bay. Glass was smashed, there were fire extinguishers that were set off inside and the sprinklers were also activated, soaking some areas of the store.

“Our water specialists were brought in [Thursday] morning to clean up the damage caused by the water,” he said.

DeAngelis painted a grave picture of the situation. He said company trucks had been parked outside the store all day on Thursday, and crewmembers report hearing how saddened Vancouver residents were by the scene.

A FirstOnSite employee cleans up damage at one of The Bay's inner boutiques.

“If you tour the affected area now, you’ll see messages of support on the boarded up windows—a stark difference from the images of [Wednesdsay] night.”

Watch Canadian Insurance Top Broker for updates on this story.

This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.