Second Life for Vancouver’s Japantown?

According to CanadianNikkei, a presentation on the future of Japantown is scheduled for Tuesday February 5, 2008, 6:30pm at the Japanese Hall. Hugh McLean, Planner, Central Area Planning, with the City of Vancouver will give a talk on the history of the Powell Street area, including its cultural components, buildings, features and people. The presentation will also provide an update on the historical and cultural review.

From the City of Vancouver:


The objective is to achieve a greater understanding of the area’s historical and cultural components that ultimately will allow for a more comprehensive planning strategy to be developed.

The intent is to discover what is of importance to the community from an architectural, historical, cultural, social and spiritual perspective. A context statement is derived from these values; broader themes are developed and priority places are identified that reflect the themes. This will include community consultation.

Historic Resources and Cultural Importance

There are 53 buildings and one site (Oppenheimer Park) within the study area identified as worthy of further evaluation: 21 are on the Vancouver Heritage Register, and seven are legally protected. Within this there are several distinct areas: the Powell Street commercial corridor, the religious, cultural and institutional uses along Cordova and Alexander Street and remnants of original housing around the perimeter.

The two most significant cultural groups are the Japanese-Canadian community that settled here beginning in the 1890s and whose businesses thrived in the early 1900s, and First Nations communities that have called this home for a number of decades. It remains a distinctly working-class neighbourhood, proud of its identity, with a strong immigrant component.

The review of the area’s historical and cultural significance is based on this context.


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Filed under Architecture, Culture, Heritage, Neighbourhoods

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