Opinion: Vancouver’s Chinatown and redrawing the lines in the ‘City of Optimists’

Andy Yang, Vancouver Sun,June 26, 2017

In the reverberations following the 105 Keefer St. rezoning rejection, the hearings lay bare the painful realities of city life in Vancouver. Amongst the gleaming towers and $6 lattes, life for many Vancouverites is increasingly vicious, indifferent and cruel. The public hearing became a sign of the growing frustrations and shortcomings of civic governance.
However, 105 Keefer offers lessons from which a person could even develop a sense of optimism.
What can be learned? Read more…

Opponents of the Keefer Street rezoning celebrate City Hall’s decision not to let a tower be built in Chinatown. ARLEN REDEKOP / PNG

Growing Up Chinese Canadian: A Century of Stories

By Christopher Cheung, Jul 3 2017 | TheTyee.ca

“You’re so Asian!”
“You’re so white-washed!”
Natalie Poon remembers hearing this a lot in her Chinese Canadian peer group when she started high school a decade ago in Richmond, a city bordering Vancouver. Whether you find this language funny or offensive, Poon and her peers consider it an easy way to talk about cultural differences. “That’s just how we talked,” she said. “It’s not meant to be discriminatory.” Read more…

Natalie Poon, age 4, practising her alphabet on one of many plane rides she took during her childhood between Richmond and Hong Kong. Photo by Christopher Cheung.

Photos: Vancouver releases concept plans for post-viaduct False Creek

SCOTT BROWN, Vancouver Sun, June 6, 2017

The City of Vancouver and Vancouver Park Board have revealed conceptual plans for the future of Northeast False Creek, including a new park and the removal of viaducts.
In 2015, Vancouver City Council approved a $200-million plan to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, which connect False Creek with downtown Vancouver. Read more…

Museum, shops and seniors’ housing: The 105 Keefer that might have been

Jen St. Denis, Metro, Jun 14 2017

Council’s decision to turn down an application to build a 12-storey condo in the heart of Chinatown has some thinking about what could be, although the fate of the site is still very much up in the air.“There was a site that had been vacant for a long time and it was the last large, vacant site left in the community,” said Nathan Edelson, a former Vancouver city planner who worked with the late architect Joe Wai on an alternate vision for the site at 105 Keefer St. Read more…

Beedie Living’s proposal to build a 12-storey condo at 105 Keefer St. (currently a parking lot) was denied by council on June 13.

Canada 150: Yip Sang, the unofficial mayor of Chinatown

JOHN MACKIE, Vancouver Sun, June 13, 2017

You can’t overstate Yip Sang’s importance to Vancouver’s Chinatown. Working as the superintendent for the Kwong On Wo company in the 1880s, he imported 6,000 to 7,000 Chinese labourers to work on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Yip Sang held several positions: bookkeeper, timekeeper and paymaster. Legend has it he used to pay the Chinese CPR workers by riding his horse to the Chinese campsites carrying a sack of money, and a gun, just in case. Read more…

A 1916 photo of Yip Sang, middle, with some of his 24 children and grandchildren. HANDOUT

Vancouver city council votes down 12-storey Chinatown tower

By Justin McElroy, CBC News, Jun 13, 2017

105 Keefer St. development rejected in 8-3 vote; councillors note how proposal divided the community.
A much debated proposal for a 12-storey tower in the heart of Chinatown was voted down by Vancouver city council Tuesday afternoon. The 105 Keefer Street development was rejected by a margin of 8-3, with Mayor Gregor Robertson and five of six Vision Vancouver councillors joining NPA Coun. George Affleck and Green Coun. Adrianne Carr in opposition. Read more…

Artist’s rendering of the residential tower Beedie Development wanted to build at 105 Keefer St., in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. (105keefer.com)

A new battle for Chinatown

KERRY GOLD, June 2 2017

Back in the sixties, they battled a freeway. Today, it’s pricey condos that threaten to wipe out Vancouver’s historic enclave. Suelina Quan and Larry Chan’s heritage house at 658 Keefer St. represents the survival of the Strathcona neighbourhood in which it sits, as well as neighbouring Chinatown. Read more…

Residents fear a gentrifying path of condos will erase the ‘heart and soul’ of Vancouver’s Chinatown.
RAFAL GERSZAK/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Chinatown fight over 12-storey condo has deep roots

Mike Howell, May 31, 2017

Council to decide June 13 on Beedie’s proposal for ‘heart of Chinatown’. One of the first stories I wrote when I joined the Courier some 15 years ago was about how merchants and business organizations wanted to revitalize Chinatown. It was dying, they said. Read more…

Residents wait to speak Monday at one of four public hearing sessions held at city hall on a 12-storey residential development planned for property at Keefer and Columbia streets in Chinatown. Photo Dan Toulgoet – See m

Is a condo building like a tree? Speakers have their say on controversial Chinatown proposal

Jen St. Denis, May 26 2017

It’s a condo building proposal that has come to represent the gentrification fears of an entire community. Tonight is the third night of public hearing for a 12-storey building proposed for 105 Keefer. In return for extra height, Beedie has offered to sell 25 apartments to BC Housing for low-income seniors and offer a discounted rate for a seniors’ cultural centre space on the ground floor. Read more…

Chinatown is home to many businesses that sell traditional and affordable Chinese food. But those shops have been disappearing as commercial rents rise in the neighbourhood. (WANYEE LI)

In battle over future of Canada’s largest Chinatown there are fears of a ‘freeway of condos’

Douglas Quan, May 28, 2017

VANCOUVER — In this city of towering glass, it could easily have been overlooked as “just another condo.”
But a proposed 12-storey condominium in the heart of Vancouver’s iconic Chinatown has stoked a red-hot debate unseen in this city for years, pitting those who believe the development is needed to revitalize the neighbourhood against those who fear the project will further erode the area’s unique character. Read more…

Shirley Chan’s family played a pivotal role in stopping the freeway project