A 74-year-old man spent his final hours last week in a spot where he had spent much of the last years of his life: at a nook in a Vancouver Tim Hortons.

Witnesses said the man, Ted — whose last name is not known — may have been slumped at his table, unresponsive, for several hours before he was noticed.

In the city with the most expensive houses in Canada, 24-hour restaurants have become a means of survival for many people. Advocates and experts say that Ted’s death is an indictment of a system that has failed to provide shelter for the city’s most vulnerable.

“Fast-food places take the place of the shelters that we don’t have,” said longtime homeless advocate Judy Graves.