News / Vancouver

Vancouver hosts forum on future of Chinatown legacy businesses

City staff will present initial findings of a study on neighbourhood's displacement of local shops

Urban planners and Chinatown advocates in Vancouver worry that aggressive rezoning will make it impossible for small businesses like this, one of the few remaining Chinese herb stores in the neighbourhood, to survive.

Wanyee Li / Metro Order this photo

Urban planners and Chinatown advocates in Vancouver worry that aggressive rezoning will make it impossible for small businesses like this, one of the few remaining Chinese herb stores in the neighbourhood, to survive.

The City of Vancouver is hosting a community forum where staff will talk about their initial findings about a study focused on Chinatown's disappearing legacy businesses.

Advocates have raised concerns about new businesses geared toward wealthier clients replacing old shops that served the neighbourhood's elderly Chinese residents.

As a result, city staff gathered feedback from local residents and merchants this past summer and are looking at ways the city can support legacy businesses. Staff will present their initial findings at the community forum, according to a city press release.

A study by the Hua Foundation released in August found more than half of the community’s ‘cultural food assets’ have disappeared since 2009.

Overall, there are only three barbecue meat shops left in Chinatown (down from eight in 2009), six green grocers (down from 11) and 20 Cantonese restaurants (down from 36), according to the organization.

In the last seven years, 21 Chinese dry good stores have closed.

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