Investigation: Is Vancouver’s Chinatown dying?

By Mike Howell, Vancouver is Awesome, Jun 17, 2021

Pandemic-triggered increases in store closures, street disorder and anti-Asian racism have slammed the historic community, with a contrasting mix of unease and optimism among those who remain and those who left.
For more than a year now, Helen Chu has stood behind the counter of her flower shop in the Chinatown Plaza and hoped for something that rarely occurs these days: a visit from a buying customer.
On a recent Monday morning, over the space of three hours, Chu received four online orders for small flower arrangements, but no walk-in customers. Read more…

A man walks by a heavily graffitied business on Keefer Street in Chinatown, which had a commercial vacancy rate of more than 23 per cent in 2020. Some community leaders suggest the rate is even higher this year. Photo Mike Howell

What it’s like eating Dim Sum out on the Patio/Parking Lot during covid

By Tim Lee

While our restaurants are still not allowed to serve dine-in meals, many places have been creatively using their patios and even their parking lots to offer an out door dining experience. Today, I get a chance to try dim sum outside at Neptune Seafood Restaurant in Richmond BC Canada where we’ll have lots of dim sum dishes, seafood, and an incredible Lobster fried noodles

Michael S. Tan: Pandemic pushes Vancouver’s Chinatown to the brink

BY MICHAEL S. TAN, JUL 13, 2020, The Province

In the next few weeks, there will be an announcement establishing the B.C. Chinese Canadian Museum and its new board of directors. This is the next step following the commitment of $1 million in November from the B.C. government towards the creation of a museum.

The museum aims to commemorate the living cultural heritage of Vancouver’s Chinatown and the significant role Chinese Canadians had in building Canada and would be a vital cornerstone in an application towards a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, the community we know and love as Chinatown has been harder hit than many areas. So much so that if a lifeline is not forthcoming to support the historic area’s businesses, workers, and arts organizations, they will not be building a museum; in fact, they will be building a mausoleum — a tomb to showcase what once was. …read more

The B.C. Chinese Canadian Museum aims to commemorate the living cultural heritage of Vancouver’s Chinatown and the significant…
Jason Payne / PNG

Quirky ‘Tinseltown’ up for sale in downtown Vancouver

Karin Larsen, CBC News, Apr 04, 2019

A central and quirky fixture of downtown Vancouver is up for sale.

International Village Mall, previously known as Tinseltown, has been listed as part of a three property package that includes Paris Square across the street, home of a busy T & T Supermarket.

The third property in the bundle —Henderson Place Mall — is in Coquitlam.

The asking price is not listed, but last year B.C Assessment pegged the value of International Village Mall alone at $45.635 million.

The sales sheet describes the mall as “attractive and well-built … marking the crossroads of downtown Vancouver’s Central Business District, Stadium District and Chinatown.” Read more…

International Village Mall, a.k.a. Tinseltown, is up for sale. (Karin Larsen/CBC)

Fresh-food wholesalers and community groups argue about how to keep Produce Row in Strathcona

JOANNE LEE-YOUNG, September 27, 2018 | Vancouver Sun

Fresh-food wholesalers along Malkin Drive in Strathcona, unofficially known as Produce Row, are worried about their future.

Some are running businesses with roots tied to the early days of Chinatown and farms across the Lower Mainland and in the Fraser Valley. There are also owners and workers who trace family migration routes to southern China’s Sze Yup and Zhongshan counties.

Now, it’s also an area of sharply rising property values with the city planning to take down the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts and Providence Health Care to build a new St. Paul’s Hospital.

All of this has made for an ongoing and heated debate in this East Vancouver community about who gets to decide where new roadways will go. Read more…

Commercial Real Estate: Lobbying to save Chinatown’s heritage

EVAN DUGGAN, The Province, December 19, 2017

Melody Ma retraces the steps she initially took about two years ago through Vancouver’s Chinatown.

The twenty-something freelance web developer and Chinatown activist remembers seeing a construction pit at Gore and East Hastings on that walk.

“There used to be all of these interesting mom-and-pop Chinese retailers occupying that building,” she told Postmedia on a similar stroll through Chinatown in mid-December. “I was thinking to myself that my childhood has literally become a construction pit,” she said, noting the new building lies just outside the Chinatown plan area boundaries, but nonetheless represents changes elsewhere in the neighbourhood. Read more…

Meloday Ma has been a major opponent of the 105 Keefer project in Chinatown. / VANCOUVER SUN

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.