Chinatown business group cancels 2018 Night Market to protest ‘neglect’ by city

CHERISE SEUCHARAN, StarMetro, April 29, 2018

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association (VCMA) has cancelled this year’s Night Market to protest what it calls the city’s “neglect of Chinatown’s merchants.”

The group alleges that the city is pandering to “anti-development” social housing activists who dont’ have a real stake in the historic neighbourhood.

In news conference held with the Vancouver Chinatown Business Improvement Area Society (VCBIA), the merchants’ group said it was concerned about Vancouver’s development policy update for the area, calling the plan “detrimental” to the success of the neighbourhood. Read more…

The Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association has announced they will be cancelling this summer’s Chinatown Night Market. The annual event, pictured here in 2013, attracts thousands of visitors to the neighbourhood. ( HELEN ANDERS)

New arts center helps reclaim a piece of Chinatown

Adrian Walker GLOBE COLUMNIST MAY 14, 2017

Glance out a window of the newly opened Pao Arts Center in Chinatown, and the view is dominated by concrete — specifically, an expressway entrance ramp that nearly six decades ago ripped a hole in the neighborhood’s soul.

The just-opened arts center is conceived as part gallery, part classroom, and part meeting space. It occupies space in a mixed-use development called One Greenway, a lovely but generic-looking high-rise that hardly feels like part of an ethnic neighborhood.

That’s because it is in an area that was snatched away from Chinatown under the banner of urban renewal. The homes of an estimated 200 to 300 Asian families, which once stood on the site, were demolished during the early 1960s. Read more…

Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy performed at the grand opening of the Pao Arts Center in Chinatown earlier this month.

Past and future of Vancouver’s Chinatown showcased at new restaurant

CBC News, February 18, 2018

At the height of the Lunar New Year celebrations, in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, the proprietor of a new restaurant is working to revitalize a neighbourhood that has seen many traditional businesses disappear in recent years.

The City of Vancouver has been exploring ways to sustain the culture of Chinatown — local food suppliers like grocers, butchers and fish shops have been closing, often replaced by proposed condo developments and coffee shops.

The City says this is due to many factors, chiefly rising real estate prices and high property taxes. Read more…

Chinatown BBQ is decorated with second-hand furniture from other, now closed, restaurants in the neighbourhood. (Michelle Eliot / CBC)

City of Vancouver to pursue UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for Chinatown

Kenneth Chan, on November 1st, 2017

Vancouver City Council has unanimously approved a plan that will direct staff to initiate a process to pursue a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for Vancouver’s Chinatown district.

The desire for the prestigious designation is one of the approved steps outlined in a reconciliation report that addresses the discrimination experienced by early Chinese Canadians in Vancouver.

In its World Heritage Site program, UNESCO – short for the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization – selects landmarks or areas that have a cultural or historical significance, and such sites are legally protected by international treaties once formally designated. Read more…

City of Vancouver to pursue UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for Chinatown

Kenneth ChanNov 01, 2017

Vancouver City Council has unanimously approved a plan that will direct staff to initiate a process to pursue a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for Vancouver’s Chinatown district.

The desire for the prestigious designation is one of the approved steps outlined in a reconciliation report that addresses the discrimination experienced by early Chinese Canadians in Vancouver.

In its World Heritage Site program, UNESCO – short for the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization – selects landmarks or areas that have a cultural or historical significance, and such sites are legally protected by international treaties once formally designated. Read more…

The gateway into Vancouver Chinatown. (Shutterstock)

Vancouver searches for ways to preserve ‘legacy’ businesses in Chinatown, other areas

FRANCES BULA, DECEMBER 10, 2017

The Gain Wah restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown is small and unremarkable from the outside, with its battered red canopy covered with yellow Chinese characters.

But Andrew Leung and his wife make their barbecue pork the old-fashioned way – marinated overnight. And they hand-cut the pork for their wontons, the way they’ve always done it at this restaurant since it opened in 1981.

The Gain Wah is the kind of business that Vancouver planners are looking at these days in an effort to figure out how to support and preserve what are being called “legacy” businesses, starting with Chinatown but eventually in other parts of the city. Read more…

The Gain Wah Restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown, as photographed on Dec. 10, 2017. RAFAL GERSZAK/RAFAL GERSZAK

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