Stand up for Chinatown and Hogan’s Alley for Northeast False Creek Plan

Issue Overview

The City of Vancouver is removing the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts to make way for a new waterfront community called Northeast False Creek (NEFC) that stretches from Stadium to Main St. The removal of the Georgia viaducts opens up two City-owned blocks on Main St (800 Quebec & 801 Main Street and 898 Main Street) that is adjacent to Chinatown and at Hogan’s Alley (898 Main St).

Historically, as the City stated in their report: “Chinatown and Hogan’s Alley were greatly impacted by the building of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts through the cultural, social and physical destruction that occurred to make way for Vancouver’s controversial and ultimately unsuccessful effort to create a freeway network through the city. The NEFC plans offer the opportunity for cultural redress and provide affordable housing for if planned properly. However, the City is currently plannning to develop the majority of the public land into market condos for sale instead of affordable housing to address the housing crisis we're currently in. We need to stand up for Chinatown and Hogan's Alley.


Policies Overview

There are many NEFC policies that are specific for Chinatown and Hogan’s Alley, but also shared ones too. This is what the City has planned for Chinatown and Hogan’s Alley:

Chinatown

Urban design

Other policies

  • Securing heritage funding in NEFC’s public benefit strategy to use for capital and cultural funding towards living heritage and cultural assets in Chinatown (4.3.1)
  • Seek opportunities to name assets within Northeast False Creek based on the history and contribution of the Chinese Community (4.3.3)
  • Explore opportunities to designate cultural space within Northeast False Creek for story-telling and other activities. (4.3.4)
  • Continue to translate materials and offer interpretation services at public events and information booths whenever possible. (4.3.5)
  • Support the Chinatown Community with cultural programming and walking tours in Chinatown (4.3.6) 

Hogan’s Alley

Urban design

  • Designation of 898 Main St block as Hogan’s Alley Block
  • Establish a Cultural Centre on the 898 Main Street block (Hogan’s Alley block) (4.4.2)
  • Main Street African Canadian Cultural centre
  • Exploration of land trust and other affordable housing model

Other policies

  • Acknowledge and work to further the Hogan’s Alley Working Group ‘Principles of Development’ that include Recognition, Honouring, Access and Inclusion, Security of Tenure, and Investment. (4.4.1)
  • Continue to work with the Hogan’s Alley Working Group to establish the long term involvement and investment of the Black Community in the future life of the block through the exploration of land trusts, long term leases, or other arrangements as appropriate. (4.4.3) 


Background Resources

1. Northeast False Creek

2. Rezoning documents for subarea 6D

3. Chinatown-specific

4. Hogan’s Alley-specific


What needs improved in the NEFC Plan

  1. Public land should be for the public: The City-owned Main St blocks used to be the original Hogan's Alley and part of Chinatown, but homes and businesses of those neighbourhoods were destroyed to make way for the viaducts. Both City-owned Main St blocks should be used to maximize housing affordability and rentals. The Hogan's Alley group is calling for 100% rental with at minimum 70% non-market housing owned and operated by non-profit housing providers. The City say they want to reconcile historic wrongdoings, but The City is currently planning on developing the majority of the two blocks into market condos, leaving only 300 units of social housing, which is too few. There is need for housing for seniors and low-income people in area. These are last of the few of the City-owned large blocks of residential land near downtown that can be used to achieve economies of scale for social housing. City should continue to achieve deeper affordability levels by advocating for funding from senior-levels of government. Public land should be used for the public! (15.1.4)
  2. Retail should be secured and curated: Retail on both City-owned Main St blocks should be secured and curated by non-profit operator for cultural redress. 
  3. No chain supermarket that will destroy Chinatown's affordable grocers (Chinatown-specific): Large grocery store planned for 800 Quebec & 801 Main Street block that will negatively impact independent Chinatown grocers. Potentially similar negative effects of what T&T did to Chinatown grocers when it entered the neighbourhood.
  4. Smaller scale fine-grain buildings (Chinatown-specific): 800 Quebec & 801 Main Street block buildings should be broken up into more smaller scale fine-grain buildings (CHAPC recommendation)
  5. Better access and transportation into Chinatown (Chinatown-specific): Transportation into Chinatown should be improved because Carrall and Quebec access points into Chinatown are proposed to be cut off. Ideally, Carrall and Quebec should not be cut off in order to provide vehicle access points into and out of Chinatown.
  6. Commitment to work with the Hogan's Alley Working Group (Hogan's Alley-specific): The City should make a commitment to work meaningfully with Hogan's Alley Working Group on the execution of the NEFC Plan with the Black community taking a leadership role in delivery and stewardship of the Hogan's Alley block.
  7. Commitment to work with the Chinatown community (Chinatown-specific): The City should make a commitment to work meaningfully with Chinatown community on the execution of the NEFC Plan with the Chinatown community taking a leadership role in delivery and stewardship of the 800 Quebec & 801 Main Street