The Thistle has closed its doors after nearly 15 years! you can read all about it here: /letter-to-the-community/

thank you for being part of the project! See you in the streets and in our homes!

For up-to-date News check out our blog!

Important news here: the future of the Thistle


read up about the Thistle Film!


Contact Us!

Call 604.255.2838
Write info@purplethistle.ca
Visit 260-975 Vernon Dr. | Vancouver, BC
Coast Salish Territory | V6A 3P2

photo of thistle main room

Located in East Vancouver, we are a free place (both free-of-charge, and we are interested in freedom) where youth can engage with each other and their community. The Centre is a physical space to root ourselves, a place to work together, and a site to learn new ways for radical organizing for social change.



We co-edited a book!

You canbuy it from us: it’s $20 bux and all proceeds go to the Thistle! (use paypal donation button on the sidebar)

here is an interview with carla bergman about the making of the book!

Stay Solid: A Radical Handbook For Youth





Or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


On physical accessibility in to the centre (and some other access information)

1. there are 16 stairs that are 38 inches in width, with a railing

2. we have no elevator

Please do contact us to discuss ideas on how to combat these challenges.

3. There is one gender inclusive washroom at the space. (and two outside in the hallway)

4. There are two comfortable couches to sit on; a variety of chairs (sizes and styles) as well.

5. There is access to cups and water and lots of free tea! sometimes there is coffee and often some snacks are around for everyone.

6. please do let us know any needs that might help to make your time in the space better for you.

7. there are a couple small surveillance cameras outside the building. we have no control over them.


**UPDATE: new one coming… but the short story is: we are currently in a holding pattern with our desire to move to a more physically accessible space**

dear friends and community,

a note about our space:  Recently we found out that the move downstairs has fallen through (no space opened up as expected). We are next on the list for a sweet spot on the ground floor, but for now we have to stay in our current location, up a flight of stairs. We are very sad that our hard work over the past 3 years to move the Thistle to a more accessible site has been delayed again.

Physical accessibility is an extremely important piece of the accessibility puzzle. We share the struggles of access for all and the desire to keep our program free-of-charge to as many youth and community members as possible. Paying rent is a real challenge and finding a space with a supportive landlord in this town is near impossible. We’ve been able to keep the Thistle programs mostly entirely free for the past 12+ years, in part because of the luck of landing in a building with a landlord who is now working with us to find or build a more accessible space for the Thistle.

In short, we have these efforts to increase accessibility on the go:

  • We are working with the building manager and writing grants to see if we can get funding for a lift or a ramp in the Mergatroid (where the Thistle is). – ON HOLD
  • We are committed to continue to program larger events and workshops with partners in the community who have physically accessible spaces such as: the Dogwoood (which we built a ramp for), Gallery Gachet, the (old and new) Rhizome, Cafe Deux Soleils, VPL, and others.
  • We offer concrete support in all the ways we can: via granting, making tshirts, workshops at other folks spaces, etc.,this is for our allies, friends and comrades.
  • We are eager to connect with accessible spaces, so if any of you have a lead for individual public programs or a more permanent location, please connect with us. We’ll also be actively seeking such spaces ourselves.

Thanks for reading and feel free to contact us at anytime.

love and solidarity,

the Purple Thistle crew