DTES Historic Plaque Gone Missing: By Jean Swanson
The plaque is about the death of Olaf Solheim in 1986. Solheim lived at the Patricia Hotel for 60 years where he was surrounded by a community of friends. He was forced out in 1986 when the Patricia Hotel, along with about 14 other hotels, evicted their long term low-income tenants to make way for Expo ’86 tourists. Solheim died on April 21, 1986, shortly after he had been evicted. The Vancouver Medical Health Officer ruled that Solheim’s death had been caused by eviction.
The current owner of the Patricia Hotel took over in 1984.
The plaque was installed by a city crew on March 21st. By evening of the same day it was missing. On that day 11 other historical plaques commemorating perseverance, resistance and the struggle for inclusion in the Downtown Eastside were put up. Six of the plaques are about labour struggles. The others, in addition to the one about Solheim, are about the missing and murdered women, Chinese Head Tax, first safe injection site, CRAB Park, and the fight for housing at Woodwards.
If anyone knows where the missing Solheim plaque is, or what happened to it, could you please contact Jean Swanson at (604) 729-2380.