Vancouver's hazmat team was called out to the 1100 block of Seymour Street around 11 p.m last night.
After the elevator was sprayed, the noxious substance spread throughout the building as the elevator travelled up and down between floors.
Several ambulances were called to the scene. Several people were affected by the spray, but none seriously.
Officials say they were not impressed by the call.
"The resources were stretched pretty thin," said Battalion Chief Rod MacDonald.
"I know that B.C. Ambulance has just been worked off their feet, as well as VPD. An incident like this, we don't need this stuff happening in the city.
"It really puts a strain on the resources, and we have a lot of citizens that get affected. We're not happy about it."
Vancouver police are now in charge of the investigation. No one has been arrested in connection with the incident.