National Post | News

Clarence Taylor is 57-years-old.

He has a home now, a roof over his head, but for three years he lived on the streets. Circumstances knocked him down and it was out beneath the stars on Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach that he preferred to sleep because, as he told local reporters this week, he was “horrified” by the drugs and violence and decrepit hotels of the city’s notorious Downtown Eastside — and because Kitsilano was not Surrey.

“Just because I’m homeless, why should I leave?” Mr. Taylor said. “I don’t like Surrey.”

Surrey, a Vancouver suburb, self-styled as the “City of Parks,” has two rivers running through it, several thousand hectares of green space and, in bygone years, owned the dubious distinction of being the “car theft” capital of North America, and that’s not where its bad rap ends.

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Today — a sprawling suburb of big box stores, congestion and…

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