Chinatown economic-revitalization action plan draws Sid Tan's criticism


Sid Tan is suspicious. The community organizer says he smelled “something really rotten going on” when he learned about a public workshop that is being organized by City of Vancouver planners for June 29 at the Floata Seafood Restaurant at 180 Keefer Street.

The event will see staff make presentations about a Chinatown economic-revitalization action plan that is still on the drawing board. For Tan, it’s another step in what he considers an unrelenting assault against poor people in the Downtown Eastside.

“They’re using Chinatown as a hammer to gentrify [the Downtown Eastside], to raise real-estate prices and force low-income people out,” Tan told the Straight in a phone interview.

Last April 19, the Vision Vancouver–controlled council voted to allow higher buildings in Chinatown despite concern by residents and anti-poverty advocates about the impacts of high-rise developments in the historic neighbourhood.

As a result, developers are now allowed to put up nine-storey buildings south of Pender Street, 12-storey structures in Chinatown South, and 15-storey towers along Main Street.

Online information put out by the city regarding its Chinatown revitalization program identifies “residential intensification” as a “key goal” in Vancouver’s vision for the neighbourhood. According to the city, one of the plan’s objectives is to come up with actions that can be implemented in one to two years to achieve “business retention, expansion and attraction”.

The Straight made a request with the city’s communications department to interview a staff member involved in this particular program but no one called before deadline.

Comments (4) Add New Comment
It is so incredibly depressing to live in a city where people think that limiting housing supply is a great way to keep housing affordable.
Rating: +2
Sid Tan
My intention in speaking out is not to limit housing supply but to secure the needs, assets and tenure of low income residents of Chinatown and area. Revitalization of what for who and why the hurry? Follow the money in the run up to upcoming civic election...
Rating: +5
Sid Tan
You need to RSVP...

Wednesday, June 29, 5:30 - 7:30pm
Presentation starts at 6pm, followed by small group discussions.

Floata Seafood Restaurant, 180 Keefer Street, 4th Floor
Entertainment and light dinner will be provided. Parking is complimentary.

Pre-registration to the workshop is required by June 27.
You can register by replying to this email ( or calling 604.673.8294. Please indicate if you require translation in Chinese at the event.
Rating: +2
D Lam
Sid - Please participate honestly before criticizing. Your "shoot first - ask later" approach may jeopardize a process that may be an opportunity to get what you and most everyone on all sides of Chinatown wants. Your continued use of this tactic undermines your ability to contribute meaningfully and credibly to the discussion, and it would be a shame to have voices lost in this self-destructive manner.
Rating: 0
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