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

In Vancouver’s Chinatown, tailor Bill Wong sewed his way to success

JUDY STOFFMAN, 19 May 2017

After the Second World War ended, Bill Wong graduated from the University of British Columbia as a mechanical engineer along with his brother Jack, a civil engineer. A recruiter from City Hall came to the campus to offer jobs. What he said when he addressed the class in 1948 was crushing to the hard-working Wong brothers, and they never forgot it: “Tell the Chinese boys in the back not to bother applying or we’ll all be embarrassed.”
Instead of applying elsewhere to work as engineers, they retreated to Modernize, the thriving tailor shop their father opened in Vancouver’s Chinatown in 1913. Having worked there part-time since they were teenagers, they were on familiar terms with its ancient Singer sewing machines, antique button-hole maker and enormous steam iron. In its heyday, the shop employed 20 people and stocked hundreds of bolts of high-quality suiting material. Read more…

Bill Wong sits at his sewing machine in the Modernize tailor shop. Mr. Wong died of heart failure last month, aged 95, after a decades-long tenure at a family business that became a Vancouver institution. COURTESY OF MAURICE WONG

CHOP SUEY NATION

by ANN HUI, Monday, Jul. 04, 2016

About an hour-long ferry ride off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, where the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean crash onto a jutting granite shoreline, is the tiny island of Fogo – a place so remote that conspiracy theorists believe it to be one of the four corners of the Earth. And in a small village on this island – where wooden houses and clapboard sheds dot the shore like Monopoly pieces – is Kwang Tung Restaurant, Fogo Island’s very own Chinese café. Read more …

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: BEN BARRETT-FORREST/THE GLOBE AND MAIL/ISTOCK PHOTO
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: BEN BARRETT-FORREST/THE GLOBE AND MAIL/ISTOCK PHOTO

Vancouver developers and community activists debate Chinatown’s future

by FRANCES BULA, Jun. 14, 2016

The lot near the corner of Keefer and Quebec streets is no historic gem. Once the site of a garage, it is now covered with gravel and a smattering of parked cars.
But it has turned into a Waterloo for Vancouver’s Chinatown, with a wide range of groups viewing whatever is built there as the indicator species for the future of this small historic neighbourhood. Read more …

Godfrey Tang, a 73-year-old Vancouver resident who lives in Chinatown and has joined the opposition to its development, says it’s ‘not correct to build expensive condos there.’
(Ben Nelms/The Globe and Mail)