What Is Chinatown Vancouver?
Chinatown Vancouver is an ethnic enclave in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. The area was a former Gold Rush town. The original settlement, Kitsilaw, was created in 1869. As development increased on what was already a growing Vancouver Island, Chinatown came along. Today it’s one of the most vibrant areas in the city and it’s right next to Coal Harbour.
While in the past, Kitsilaw was bustling with activity, today it’s quiet. There is still some activity, however, at night when the strip malls and high-rise towers come alive with dancing clubs. Many locals call this place the “Greenwich Village of the West”. Jars of dried fruit, spices and fresh produce line the shelves of Chinese grocery stores, while special vintage shops, antique shops, and hip cocktail bars share the main streets with independent bookstores, coffee houses and vintage clothing boutiques.
Vancouver Chinatown is not like any other neighborhood in Canada. Unlike many of the inner cities of Vancouver, it is ethnically diverse. About 70% of residents are of Chinese descent, with the remainder hailing from other ethnic groups. This means you’ll find everyone from Kijiji store vendors to French and Korean restaurants. You will also find Vietnamese, Indian, Sri Lankan, and other foreign-sounding cultures.
But perhaps most importantly, you will find a thriving Chinese community here. There are more than twenty groups in the area, ranging from kindergarten clubs to work teams to full-fledged marriages and families. In addition, there are numerous Bai Shui Fairs, as well as traditional festivals and food events. Many events take place at the Simogo Festival, as it is an all-out celebration of colors, luck and culture. If you’re looking for a Vancouver event that combines all the above-mentioned features, then look no further than the Simogo Festival.
Chinatown Vancouver is the cultural, educational and spiritual center of the city. The only district in the city where the two concepts are blended together is what is now known as Granville. This area is home to many theatres and educational institutions. Also, the area is a hub for the performing arts. An entire theatre company called the “Enthusiasts” even practices their art here!
The “Chinatown” district of Vancouver is rapidly growing into a hot spot for tourists, especially those who have an appreciation for Asian food and cuisine. However, the area is not without its critics. Some say that because the area is so diverse, there is little coordination among the districts, but other people love the vibrancy and creativity that the area brings to their lives.