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Vancouver's Chinatown


Blog by Ian Watt | November 5th, 2006


Vancouver's Chinatown district is rich with culture and history and has played a key role in the shaping of Vancouver's cultural identity.

But the neighbourhood has also experienced many challenges over the years, including community conflicts, economic hardships, shifting population trends, and the decline of nearby areas.

Today, Chinatown is embarking on a new future, being led in part by the City of Vancouver's Chinatown Revitalization Program, which seeks to preserve Chinatown's unique heritage while bringing new life into the community. Watch a video about the Chinatown Revitalization Program.

About chinatown

Chinatown began to develop in the 1880s on the edges of False Creek around the intersection of Carrall and Pender Streets. The community was established and fostered by the many Chinese immigrants who moved to Vancouver -- years before the City's incorporation in 1886 - to work as labourers in local industries.

Chinatown became one of the city's earliest commercial and residential districts. In the 1950s a highway was proposed to run through the Chinatown area, but strong public outcry convinced government to abandon the project. In 1971, the provincial government designated both Gastown and Chinatown as historic districts.

While Chinatown is no longer the only Chinese community in the region, it remains home to the Chinese Cultural Centre, Museum and Archives and still has a strong identity that is evident in its community vision for the future.

Learn more about Chinatown's history.
Learn more about the Chinatown Revitalization Program.
Take a virtual tour of Chinatown's attractions and heritage buildings.