1,000 signatures reached
To: Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, B.C. Premier Christy Clark, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Protect the Heart of Vancouver's Chinatown!
Protect the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown by:
1) Reject Beedie's 105 Keefer Rezoning Application and
2) Acquire the 105 Keefer St. site and
3) Develop the site to meet community's needs, including low-income seniors housing and an intergenerational community space!
Why is this important?
Chinatown is under siege. A proposed market rate development on 105 Keefer Street threatens the cultural and economic fabric of Chinatown.
“Our Chinatown is being bought up by developers. What’s going to be left in Chinatown for people like me when the dust settles?” protested Ivy Su, a resident in the neighbourhood. Ms. Su’s concerns are real. Vancouver Chinatown was not-so-honoured to be designated a Top 10 Endangered Places List according to the National Trust for Canada. Intense market development pressure has pushed small businesses out and housing costs up. Chinatown is really under siege.
And now, to add insult to injury, Beedie Group proposes desecrating the cultural heart of Vancouver Chinatown with a dominating luxury high rise development at 105 Keefer Street.
How is the 105 Keefer site at the heart of Vancouver Chinatown? It is surrounded by the culturally significant Chinese-Canadian war veterans and railway workers monument, the Chinese Cultural Centre and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. The site is close to the National Historic Site where important heritage buildings such as the Chinese Benevolent Association and the Chinese Freemasons are located.
A luxury market development at this site would violate/disrespect Chinatown's distinct character as well as the livelihoods of the people living here. Gentrification is already severely overrunning the entire Downtown Eastside and the plan by the Beedie Group to build a complex at 105 Keefer will only worsen this problem, which we and groups dedicated to saving Chinatown have been battling against for the past few years.
On the contrary, Chinatown residents and organizations are proposing the site be used for low-income seniors housing and an intergenerational community space. Ms. Su offers a brighter future: “We hope that the government will purchase the land to provide housing for us so that we are not without homes”. Ms. Su continues, “We’ve seen Chinatown change so much over the past years, but the changes are overwhelmingly for the higher income people moving in. We need more developments that meet our needs for affordable housing and for spaces to socialize with each other.”
We can’t afford to lose more of our precious Chinatown!
(Photo Credits: Christina Lee)