British Columbia

Lion Hotel heating still broken, Vancouver tenants left shivering

There's still no heat at the Lion Hotel, on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, where some tenants have been shivering for months, despite orders from the city to fix the problem.

'I might as well be in an snowbank in Edmonton,' says resident Ron Kuehike

Lion Hotel tenants sort through clothing and blankets donated after the heat went out at the Downtown Eastside building.

There is still no heat for some at the Lion Hotel, where tenants have been shivering for months, despite orders from the City of Vancouver to fix the faulty heating system.

Nearly half the residents at the Downtown Eastside hotel still have no heat in their rooms, relying instead on donations of blankets, warm clothing and space heaters.

"I've actually had to sleep in my … jacket and toque and gloves," said Ron Kuehike. "I mean what's that all about? I might as well be in a snow bank in Edmonton."

Tenants say the heating system hasn't worked well for years. City inspectors say the heating system was improperly installed.

The building's owner was originally given until Christmas Eve to fix the hotel's heat system or face legal action. That deadline has since been extended to Jan. 26.

Boilers broken

Majid Khalaj, a plumber who's been trying to restore heat at the building, said two of the building's four boilers are still broken and he can't perform miracles.

Last month, city inspectors found several deficiencies in the building, which houses about 74 residents on Powell St.

The city says if the problems aren't fixed by the end of January, it will do the repairs and bill the owner for them.

The owner of the building did not return calls on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Khalaj said he's trying his best to restore the heat, but the building needs a new $50,000 heating system.

With files by Natalie Clancy