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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 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


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

Exploring Chinatown: 5 things you may not know about Vancouver’s historic district

CBC News, October 29, 2016

It’s one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city — and home to some local legends. If you take a walk around Vancouver’s Chinatown, there are a lot of things that might catch your attention. For one, it’s the only neighbourhood in Vancouver with red lamp posts. But there’s a lot more to Chinatown than meets the eye — in fact, its rich history is the subject of a walking tour taking place at this year’s Heart of the City festival. If you don’t have time to take the tour, here are five fascinating facts about the historic neighbourhood. Read more…

Vancouver's Chinese New Year parade is famous for its lion and dragon dances. (Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver)
Vancouver’s Chinese New Year parade is famous for its lion and dragon dances. (Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver)

DINER | Chef Douglas Chang To Open Ai & Om Knife Store On E. Pender Street In Chinatown

by Andrew Morrison, MAY 11, 2016

Vancouver cooks of every stripe – be they amateur, professional, or utterly hopeless – will soon have a chef-owned knife store to call on for all their edged-tool needs. Located at 129 East Pender Street in the heart of Chinatown, Ai & Om is being launched by chef Douglas Chang (formerly Bambudda, Sai Woo). His passion for hand-crafted Japanese knives is decades old, kindled in tutelage by a master of the art when he was a young chef de partie in New York. Read more …

The history of Vancouver’s Chinatown, documented in menus

Jordan Peterman Jul 11th, 2016

Last time you held a Chinese restaurant menu, you probably missed something. It wasn’t the daily special or the egg rolls, but the personal stories, community histories and transnational relationships that are peppered throughout. We rarely read between the lines, but the stories are there. Read more …

Imogene Lim sits in a Chinese Restaurant with an assortment of menus. Photo by Rebecca Blissett.
Imogene Lim sits in a Chinese Restaurant with an assortment of menus. Photo by Rebecca Blissett.

Grandniece of last emperor of China showing paintings at Art! Vancouver

by KEVIN GRIFFIN, May 24, 2016

As a youngster growing up in China, Cecilia Aisin Gioro knew better than to talk about being related to the country’s last emperor. What stopped her was social pressure against acknowledging she was the grandniece of Puyi Aisin Gioro, or Henry Pu Yi, as he was called in the West. Read more …

Cecilia Aisin-Gioro, artist and director in her fine art gallery. She stands before the oil on canvas named ‘The Bride,’ depicting her lifting her red veil. KIM STALLKNECHT / PNG
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