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Vancouver’s recent denial of a development permit for Beedie Living’s 105 Keefer project has reinvigorated conversations about Chinatown’s future, and particularly the adjacent and important public space surrounding the intersection of Keefer and Columbia.
That’s where the Chinatown Memorial Plaza, The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Chinese Cultural Centre and the northeast corner of the new False Creek park (in design) come together. Many see it as a future entry to Chinatown.
But whose Chinatown? Preservationists and a new generation of Chinese Canadians want to protect Chinatown’s unique character and history. Recently listed as a National Historic Site of Canada, it’s also a candidate as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But some of the very buildings that give Chinatown its character are in need of expensive structural and life-safety repairs, while new developments along Main Street, out of scale and character with the neighbourhood, created an uproar.
Could Keefer and Columbia be Chinatown’s future? What might it look like, and who gets to decide? Could any economically practical development of 105 Keefer be compatible? Our presenters, guiding us through this complex tangle are Helen Lee, Chair of the city’s Chinatown Historic Area Planning Committee; Gordon Price, former Vancouver Councillor; and we’ve invited one other.
Then it’s time for your questions, observations and opinions. Please join us, and feel free to bring your lunch. It’s a conversation!