First Vancouver street named after a South Asian—Jack Uppal—getting an extension

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      Jack Uppal Street is about to get longer.

      It currently runs East Kent Avenue North and Sawmill Crescent in Vancouver’s River District.

      The street was named after Jagat “Jack” Singh Uppal, a Sikh pioneer and businessman, in 2016, becoming the first road in the city to be called after a South Asian Canadian.

      There’s going to be an extension of the street, which will go from East Kent Avenue South to North Arm Avenue, and council has received a recommendation to have the entire stretch named after Uppal.

      The move complies with the city’s guidelines for a continuous street name system, according to a report to council.

      The report recalled that Uppal “came to British Columbia as an infant in 1926 and dedicated his life to his company and his community, especially in regard to issues of racism and discrimination”.

      “Mr. Uppal founded Goldwood Industries on Mitchell Island, a connection to the lumber industry on the Fraser River that fits well with the River District’s sawmill history and honourably represents the large number of Sikhs who worked at the Canadian White Pine Mill,” according to the report.

      The report also proposed naming another street that runs between East Kent Avenue South and North Arm Avenue as Oolichan Way.

      “Oolichan, also referred to as candlefish, are small smelt-like fish that were once prolific along the river and coastline and prized for their oil,” the report explained. “For thousands of years they were one of the most valuable trade items for Coastal people and are an important source of food for the local indigenous peoples.”