As the Most Liveable City in the World looks for more sites, it is moving east and Chinatown is front and centre, as the City decides on Historic Area Heights Review, determining which buildings merit a heritage designation and which can be redeveloped into 15 storey hi-rises.
Of course, as progress marches on, there are those who embrace it and those who reject it.
That’s right, Chinatown — historic home of the city’s Chinese-Canadian community and recent magnet of a string of new Waves coffee shops and posh-looking venues to eat and drink (Cafe Brixton, London Pub).
According to the DTES Neighbourhood Council (DNC), a handful of Chinatown residents met on Saturday at the Lore Krill co-op about the proposed building of high-rise condo towers in their area. Many residents were hearing about the proposed condos for the first time and expressed fears of increased rent in the neighbourhood
DNC board member Ivan Drury says of the 15 people who showed up to the meeting, most had never heard about the proposed condos.
“No one had been consulted in advance about the condos,” says Drury.
“Chinatown is also historically low-income and working class,” he says. “It’s not just about how much the buildings are worth, but also about the assets of community — friends, neighbours, family.” He says he hopes that those involved in the condo proposal will understand the value of community which will be lost when the area is opened up to high-income condos.
A public hearing about the condos will be held on March 17. If you’d like to express your thoughts at the hearing, register by phone before 5:00 pm, March 17 by calling Tina Hildebrandt in the City Clerk’s Department at 604.873.7268.