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Chinatown geographies and the politics of race, space and the law Chow, Catherine W. 2007

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C H I N A T O W N A N D T H EPOLITICS  GEOGRAPHIES  O F RACE, SPACE A N D T H EL A W  By C A T H E R I N E W.  CHOW  B . A . , The University of Calgary, 1994 L L . B . , The University o f Calgary, 1997  A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF L A W S in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A October 2007. © Catherine W . Chow, 2007  i  A B S T R A C T  Vancouver's Chinatown has a dual personality: it is constructed by Chinese Canadians for themselves, and for and by a white settler society. Its material and symbolic constitution reveals an equal social order: the constitution o f the space o f Chinatown reproduces racial hierarchies through spatial and legal mechanisms. This thesis explores how place becomes race through law. Building from historic or cultural examinations o f Chinatown, this thesis investigates the place-based mechanisms o f law on the racialization o f Chinatown in the 1960's. During this dynamic period o f Chinatown's growth, the City o f Vancouver initiated three construction projects: slum clearance, beautification and the freeway. Within these projects, there were intense struggles over the identity o f Chinatown, and the Chinese. Chinatown's resistance against and complicity with these place-based legal mechanisms has been geographically articulated in its landscape, accounting for its dual personality.  T A B L E OF  CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  i  T A B L E OF CONTENTS  ii  LIST OF TABLES  iii  LIST OF FIGURES  iv  A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S  v  DEDICATION  vi  C H A P T E R O N E C H A P T E R T W O  INTRODUCTION -  PROPERTY:  1  PRIVATE, PUBLIC, C O M M O N A N D IN-BETWEEN  13  A.  T Y P E S OF P R O P E R T Y  13  B.  SOCIAL A S P E C T OF P R O P E R T Y  19  C.  T H E PRODUCTION OF S P A C E  21  D.  SPATIALIZATION - P L A C E BECOMES R A C E  24  E.  U R B A N P L A N N I N G - B R A N C H E S OF L A W ' S P E R V A S I V E N E S S  28  F.  L A W AND GEOGRAPHY  32  C H A P T E R T H R E E -  RACE/SPACE A N D T H E L A W : T H E STRUGGLE  FOR  TERRITORY  A.  38  R A C E / S P A C E F R A M E W O R K S WITHIN A L E G A L G E O G R A P H I C A L ANALYSIS  38  B.  A F R I C V I L L E , N O V A SCOTIA  39  C.  S T A N L E Y P A R K , BRITISH C O L U M B I A  47  D.  C O M M O N T H R E A D S IN A F R I C V I L L E A N D S T A N L E Y P A R K  56  C H A P T E R F O U R -  A.  C H I N A T O W N PROJECTS IN T H E  1960'S  60  S T R A T H C O N A S L U M C L E A R A N C E PROJECT: REDEVELOPMENT A R E A A  61  B.  D E S I G N P R O P O S A L FOR I M P R O V E M E N T 1964  77  C.  F R E E W A Y P R O P O S A L 1967  88  D.  S P O T A ' s RESISTANCE  C H A P T E R FIVE - V A N C O U V E R ' S CHINATOWN:  103 RACE/SPACE  L E G A L  GEOGRAPHIES C H A P T E R SIX -  REFLECTIONS  GEOGRAPHIES  BIBLIOGRAPHY  109 O N RACE/SPACE O N RACE/SPACE A N D L E G A L  OF V A N C O U V E R ' S C H I N A T O W N  1  21  126  LIST O F TABLES  1.  Urban Redevelopment Projects Approved under the N H A , 1948-1965  iv  LIST O F FIGURES  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.  Area o f Study - "Tourist's Chinatown" Vancouver's Chinatown, 1964 Stage One - Rerouting o f Heavy Traffic Stage T w o - Provision o f Off-Street Parking Stage Three - Redevelopment o f Area between Pender, Columbia and Pender/Keefer Diversion Stage Four - Sketch Plan 1 - Limited Traffic Proposal Stage Four - Sketch Plan 2 - Pedestrian M a l l Scale M o d e l Illustrating the Improvements Proposal Vancouver's Proposed System o f Freeways Photograph o f Protesters  78 79 80 81 82 83 84 87 91 99  V  A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S  This thesis is an expression o f my love for dirt. It is a reflection o f my passion for all the aspects o f real estate - the commercial, personal and esoteric. This thesis gave me an opportunity to delve into questions about the intersection o f race, space and the law as a Chinese Canadian woman. I want to thank an inspiring group o f mentors, while not directly involved in this thesis, have helped me greatly to become a lawyer and scholar. These folks are the Honourable Justice Patricia Rowbotham, Honourable J i m Prentice, Q . C . , J i m Rooney, Q . C . , Dr. Sheila Martin, Q . C . , Jonette Watson-Hamilton, and Dr. E l i Silverman. I owe great thanks to my parents A l i c e and Louis, who came to Canada in 1976 with a dream for gender and racial equality for their daughters. This thesis is dedicated to you both for your love and support. A n d thanks to my sister Winnie, from whose own dedicated legal career and highest ethics I continue to learn so much. M y thanks also goes to Yvonne, whose loving mothering and support has vitiated the " i n law" part. M a n y thanks go to all my friends and colleagues who have heard repeatedly, "I am close to being done!" Thanks to Anna Asgill-Winter, Tony Wong, Karen L u k , Betty Marshall and T A ' s o f 2002/3 for your friendship and support. Thanks to Karen Butchko, who ran my R E L S business in Calgary, and to devoted clients like Paul, and friends like Deb, who have stuck with me while I have been on this journey. Thanks to K i m Pate, Teresa Woo-Paw, the women o f colour collective, M a u i A 5 0 5 , M S L 3 1 4 , Chinatown Revitalization Committee, and Keggers. I am indebted to my husband Curtis for his love, support and patience. I wrote this thesis while working full-time and running a busy practice - he has encouraged me never to give up by his own dedicated example. Finally, I want to thank my thesis supervisor, Dr. Doug Harris, and my external reader, Dr. Renisa Mawani, for their time, patience and thoughtful advice.  This thesis is dedicated to my little "bean".  1  C H A P T E R  O N E  -  INTRODUCTION  M y love affair with Vancouver's Chinatown began in 1977 when my family drove 989 kilometers from the flatlands o f Calgary through the peaks o f the Rockies to Vancouver's Chinatown, arriving at the doors o f K a m K o o k Yuen for late night wonton noodles and crispy barbeque pork.  Vancouver's Chinatown felt both  comfortable and foreign to me, and until I delved into this research, I did not understand why or how.  Chinatown has a dual personality:  it is constructed by  Chinese Canadians for themselves and for and by a white settler society. Its material and symbolic constitution reveals an unequal social order: the constitution o f the space o f Chinatown reproduces  racial hierarchies  through  spatial  and  legal  mechanisms. This thesis explores how place becomes race through l a w . 1  I chose to investigate Vancouver's Chinatown because my connection to Vancouver's Chinatown was not only personal but political. Vancouver's Chinatown was, at first reflection, just an annual summer pilgrimage for the C h o w family. However, the connection and source o f identity it posed for me as a Chinese Canadian woman was more compelling and political.  The history, contemporary  representations and discourse o f Vancouver's Chinatown suggested more than just neighbourhood chronicles o f Chinese settlers. Indeed, my research into Vancouver's Chinatown contestations,  evoked  historical  narratives  articulated through  revealing  legal mechanisms.  social  and  geographical  These place-based  legal  mechanisms were in turn grounded in the equivocal nature and allocation o f property in land.  Hence, I wanted to explore how the representations o f Chinatown and  Chineseness are equally ambivalent and mutable. 1  Sherene H . Razack, Race, Space, and the Law (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2002).  To start a discussion about places like Chinatown, I begin in Chapter 2 with an exploration o f the concept o f property in land. A s geographer Nicholas Blomley writes, "property in land is a right to some use or benefit o f land. Such a right is relational, being held against others."  2  Legal theorist Jeremy Waldron explains that  property rights are relational because such rights vary depending on the identity o f the owner (such as a natural person, the Crown, an individual, or an Indian band), the subject matter o f the property (i.e., material versus intangible goods), and the nature of the benefit (i.e., right to exclude, prohibit activities, grow crops, travel over, or sell).  3  Hence, property is not a thing at all, but an expectation o f a right over a thing.  Property rights create social behaviour. When certain social behaviours over property are recognized by the collective, a system o f social ordering is created. This social ordering is sometimes even more powerful than codified property rights. Abstractly, property in land requires collective consent. Taking this analysis further, property theorist Carol Rose suggests that property should be described as relationships rather than things.  4  In this view, legal  rules about property are a set o f shared understood guidelines, language o r symbols such as a fence, painted line, an original duplicate certificate o f title or even a garden. Taken together, the guidelines, language and symbols o f property in land are a set o f social rules about the use and allocation o f land and places. Whether the rules are customary or colonial in origin, people have individual responses and experiences in  Nicholas K. Blomley, "Law, Property, and the Geography of Violence: the Frontier, the Survey and the Grid" (2003) 93(1) Annals ofthe Association of American Geographers 121 at 121 [Blomley, "Law, Property"]. Jeremy Waldron, The Right to Private Property (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) at 30. Carol M . Rose, Property and Persuasion: Essays on the History, Theory, and Rhetoric of Ownership (Colorado: Westview Press Ltd, 1994). 2  3  4  and around places.  O n a whole, places then take on distinguishing characteristics,  feelings, moods, and identities by the organic interaction o f people with places. When places develop into distinguished areas, we need to employ the term "space" to adequately recognize the material and discursive enactments o f property, as opposed to the more generic term "place" which delimits social connotations. Spaces are thought to develop organically and evolve into the neighbours or enclaves in which the inhabitants seem to naturally belong. Chinatown is thought to have emerged simply because Chinese people in sufficient numbers converged i n one locale, deciding to live and work together.  However, i f we take sociologist Sherene  Razack's suggestion and reject this view that spaces simply evolve, and consider spaces to exist separate from the subjects who imagine and use them, then two interesting theoretical possibilities result.  5  The materiality o f space is the result o f  social practice and, in turn, the symbolic meaning o f space constitutes those social practices. According to Henri Lefebvre, social space is perceived, conceived and lived space.  6  When analyzed in this way, we understand how the symbolic and the material  work through each other to constitute a space and its subjects.  Spatial experiences,  practices and representations cement patterns o f social hierarchy, discursively and materially.  In the instance o f Chinatown, the pattern o f a white settler society is  performed in the social order: permitting and prohibiting selective representations o f Chinese Canadian history. These representations are played out both geographically and legally.  5  6  Supra note 1 at 8. Ibid, at 9.  4  When I refer to the pattern of Canada's white settler society, I examine the nation-building mythologies that are premised upon a peaceful, nostalgic arrival of white explorers to an "empty" land. This is a racial story, deeply spatialized in the ways in which historical records and popular media install white Euro-Canadians as the hearty enterprising homesteaders while indigenous Aboriginal societies are rendered transparent, merely part of the natural environment.  7  These nation-building  mythologies also omit the countless other non-European settlers such as Chinese Canadians whose lives and labour also developed this land. For example, the official 8  photograph of the Last Spike contains only one Chinese Canadian worker.  *  This  selective representation of Canadian confederation history reveals a concerted effort to perform the myth of a white settler society.  If the important contribution of  Chinese Canadian railway workers to confederation was recognized, then the national mythology of needy migrants of colour finding refuge in white Canada's bounty would be in jeopardy.  Such disruption to the national mythology of the white settler  society is to challenge its primary claim to the land, and the right to rule. The primary claim to land and the right to rule are entitlements that flow from the dominance of the white settler society over peoples of colour. Racial dominance relies upon the concept of "races" as being intrinsically, biologically or morally distinct and determined based upon phenotypic differences.  Nonetheless, the  erroneous concept of distinct races endures and is sustained by structures of domination. 7  Race and racial categories operate materially in places and places  Ibid, at 3 and 5.  On November 7, 1885, Sr. Donald Smith was given the honour of driving in the last spike for the last tie which would join the east and west lines of the railway in Craigellachie, British Columbia. http://www.collectionscanada.ca/trains/kids/h32-1050-e.html 8  5  become racialized. The resulting space continues in turn to recreate and maintain racialization. In this thesis, I examine the legal and geographical processes by which racialization installs and maintains a white settler society. The role of law is squarely implicated in the production o f racialized space. Property law and its branches o f zoning and planning laws regulate the uses o f land. Initially, the legal regulation o f land uses was confined to the separation o f agricultural from non-agricultural uses, which broadly included industrial, residential and commercial uses co-existing side-by-side.  B y the early twentieth century, city  officials and architects were influenced by bold aesthetic movements such as the Garden City and City Beautiful movements that addressed increasing urbanization.  9  Local municipalities began adopting land-use zoning laws that further defined nonagricultural land uses because it was believed the  cities could be  designed  scientifically to be more efficient. The role o f law in the production and regulation o f space increased significantly with the rise o f planning departments across North America and the adoption o f seemingly innocuous land-use bylaws. Through land-use regulation, City planners dictate "desirable" behaviour in specific places.  Executed through laws, certain behaviour is encouraged  (e.g.,  industry, recreation) and others discouraged or outlawed (e.g., pedestrian-only streets (no driving), daytime-use parks (no camping)).  L a w creates spaces where only  certain activities are enjoyed, and in turn, excludes or even outlaws other activities rendering them undesirable. In other words, land-use regulation pervades all aspects o f private, personal, commercial and social activity. Ebenezer Howard, Garden Cities o/To-Morrow (London, 1902. Reprinted, edited with a Preface by F. J. Osborn and an Introductory Essay by Lewis Mumford.) (London: Faber and Faber, 1946) 138147.  9  6  For example, the advent o f data tracking systems at points o f sale has enabled commercial retailers to track consumer patterns to places o f residence by integrating sales data, postal codes and income information from Census studies.  Businesses  use this consumer pattern data to produce and reproduce attractive services and commodities in that area and to that demographic.  10  Through bylaws, local  municipalities w i l l approve o f those uses. In response, developers w i l l build certain types o f housing at particular price points for a selective demographic in a specific place, and then other businesses respond to deliver lifestyle goods and services, and people respond by living or frequenting that "place".  Land-use regulation thereby  transforms geography (places) into cognitive environments (spaces). Nicholas Blomley suggests that the relationship between law and geography is more than two unidirectional oppositional processes o f cause and effect.  11  L a w and  space are interwoven i n legal/spatial representations.  According to Boaventura de  Sousa Santos, legal knowledge is spatially located.  The locality o f law is fertile  ground for further investigation.  12  Indeed, the critical edge o f geographic inquiry  challenges one to examine legal and spatial representations, unmask the construction  New real estate development or redevelopment applications generally begin by the assembly of a lifestyle profile based upon Census data, and in the US, P R I Z M data. Once an appropriate "mix" of business, services and residential group is identified as viable, landowners will then make application for land-use development approval. In other instances, proactive local governments may pass a longterm land-use plan for the area which provides for anticipated uses that the developer will work within for their development application (often called, Area Structure Plans or Community Development Plans). In both situations, communities, developments and approved land-uses are a result of concerted planning efforts. Nicholas K . Blomley, Law, Space and the Geographies of Power (New York: Guildford Press, 1994) [Blomley, "Law, Space"]. Santos, "Law: A Map of Misreading: Towards a Postmodern Conception of Law" (1987) 14 Journal of Law & Society at 279. 10  11  12  7  of those representations,  and analyze how those representations can be used for  broader social change. I then apply this challenge to the examination o f Vancouver's Chinatown and its (re)production o f Canada's white settler society. This approach draws upon the large body o f law, space, and race literature on the distribution o f power and its underlying socio-spatial ideologies.  14  In her study o f the Channel Tunnel, legal  geographer Eve Darian Smith has investigated questions about law and space, and in particular, the  geographies  o f nationalism and postcolonialism.  15  Geographer  Nicholas Blomley in his study o f Vancouver's downtown Eastside has demonstrated how urban property is a site for socio-spatial stratification and racial inequality. Critical geographers such as David Delaney have considered how place becomes race in cities by examining how the construction racial categories operates in urban settlement and territorial invasions.  16  Through the lens o f these authors, I focus on  how space is racialized through legal mechanisms in place-based contestations. A n d through this analysis, I connect the struggles over the social identity o f Chinese Canadians in Canada's white settler society to the struggle for territorial control, as executed through legal mechanisms such as land-use planning.  In other words,  geographical contestations produce racialized landscapes, and in this way, space becomes race through law.  Nicholas K . Blomley and Joel C. Bakan "Spacing out: Towards a Critical Geography of Law" (1992) 30:3 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 661 at 689-90 [Blomley, "Spacing Out"]. See discussion in Sherene Razack supra notel, and see also, Renisa Mawani, "Imperial Legacies (Post)Colonial Identities: Law, Space and the Making of Stanley Park, 1859-2001" (2003) 7 Law Text Culture 98 at 102. Eve Darian-Smith, Bridging Divides: The Channel Tunnel and English Legal Identity in the New Europe (Los Angeles and London, England, University of California Press, 1999). David Delaney, "Introduction" in Nicholas Blomley, David Delaney and Richard T. Ford, eds., The Legal Geographies Reader (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001) [Blombley, Geographies Reader]. 13  14  15  16  8  The use o f a legal approach to examine the racialization o f space plays out in many locales. I draw on two geographically distinct case studies: Africville, N o v a Scotia in the late 1960's and Stanley Park, Vancouver, B . C . from the early 1900's. Using a critical geographical approach, Jennifer J. Nelson argues that the forcible eviction o f blacks from Africville by the City o f N o v a Scotia was an enactment o f racial and spatial discrimination that was principally (re)produced by the racial categorization o f blackness as inferior.  17  O n the west coast o f Canada, Renisa  Mawani recounts the violent dispossession o f Aboriginal peoples in the construction of Stanley Park through place and race-based mechanisms that simultaneously erased 18  and evoked Aboriginality i n service o f Canada's white settler society. From these two geographically and culturally distinct case studies, a common thread emerges. society was  achieved by the  commemorative mechanisms  The struggle for control over territory by Canada's white settler  erasure.  operated  racialization o f space,  While there are  i n Africville  and  notable  Stanley  legal dispossession differences  in how these  Park, I identify  mechanisms, colonial technologies, and legal enactments.  and  place-based  These legal enactments  service a white settler society, and I relate the earlier discussion o f writers in legal geography and critical geography to these case studies.  Here at the end o f chapter  three, I identify and explain the intersection o f space, race and the law. I then take this race-space legal analysis to Vancouver's Chinatown to show how the social definitions o f race are related to the struggles over territory in Chinatown. I chose to examine Vancouver's Chinatown during the 1960's because Jennifer J. Nelson, "The Space of Africville" in Sherene Razack, ed., Race, Space and the Law, supra note 1 at 219. Mawani, supra note 14. 17  18  9  Chinese Canadians in Vancouver were gaining political and economic status, having just elected the first Chinese Canadian to Parliament and having demonstrated financial and community strength in raising war bonds.  During this time, the  community o f Chinatown was evolving from its roots as an enclave o f first generation railway and mining labourers to second generation, Canadian-born Chinese seeking identity, acceptance and advancement in Canadian society. Hence, the 1960's was a dynamic time for the social identity o f Chineseness to develop, and at the same time, for the construction o f physical projects in Vancouver's Chinatown. It was during the 1960's that the City o f Vancouver proposed three significant construction projects for Chinatown: slum clearance, beautification and freeway.  In  1960, the City o f Vancouver sought to take advantage o f federal funding for redevelopment  o f aging inner-city areas, and identified the residential area o f  Chinatown (Strathcona) as a slum. A l s o during the early 1960's, the City proposed beautification projects for the commercial area o f Chinatown without community consultation.  City planners wanted to design and determine  the character o f  Chinatown's residential and commercial areas. This fervent desire to regulate Chinatown and its spatial representation extended into a third project proposed by the City that threatened the existence o f Chinatown itself — the freeway.  The proposed freeway focused community and  academic debate around the physical importance and social meaning o f Chinatown. Proponents o f the freeway appealed to inspired benefits o f modernity that would eradicate the antiquity and relevance o f Chinatown in the social construction o f Vancouver. Opponents to the freeway wanted to preserve the physical and cultural  10  space o f Chinatown because Chinatown was not only a viable thriving community, its material structures represented the contributions o f its early residents to the settlement o f Canada.  The freeway debates are a clear example o f how Chinatown was  racialized in the struggle over its control. Vancouver's Chinatown has been studied by artists and scholars, including cultural geographer K a y Anderson in her book, Vancouver's Chinatown: Racial Discourse in Canada 1875-1980.  19  Anderson approaches Chinatown, i n her own  words, from a "western perspective" as a cultural geographer.  20  She examines  Vancouver's Chinatown from its inception to the 1980's, arguing that Chinatown is a creation o f white Vancouver rather than the organic enclave it is believed to be. In this thesis, I adopt Anderson's conclusion that Chinatown's status as an ethnic neighbourhood is a result o f a century o f cultural domination.  21  According to  Anderson, members o f the Canadian state were active in constituting and legitimizing *  22  the idea o f a Chinese race, to gain legitimacy from white Euro-Canadian society. M y thesis aims to evaluate Chinatown by interrogating the ways i n which it is racialized, implicating the place-based mechanisms o f law. I examine the social and racial implications o f seemingly "raceless" laws or innocuous planning laws. M y analysis departs from Anderson's cultural and historical geography because, as a legal scholar, I emphasize the relationships between law and geography, and its social implications for racializing Chineseness.  Building from Anderson's work, my  Kay J. Anderson, Vancouver's Chinatown: Racial Discourse in Canada 1875-1980 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's Press, 1991). See also Daniel Chuenyan Lai, Chinatowns: Towns within cities in Canada (Vancouver: U B C Press, 1988), and Paul Yee, An Illustrated History of the Chinese Communities of Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax (Toronto: J. Lorimer, 2005). Ibid, at 3. Ibid, at 27 and at 248. Ibid, at 248. 19  10  21  22  11  empirical study o f Chinatown focuses on three major construction projects during the 1960's, drawing from primary research at the Vancouver Archives and secondary sources by Chinatown researchers. These three construction projects- slum clearance, beautification and freeway proposal-have in common the use o f place-based mechanisms to construct Chinatown as a racialized space.  The role o f law is clearly implicated in the process, and  identified to have mutually constituted the space o f Chinatown and reify a racial identity o f the community. Chinatown residents were cast as anti-modern and antiCanadian i f they opposed the projects. "Raceless" land laws i n the three Chinatown projects are unmasked as placed-based mechanisms that support the nation-building mythology o f a white settler society. Chinatown's resistance against and complicity with these place-based mechanisms has been geographically articulated in its current landscape. Chinatown's landscape has a dual personality as space constructed by Chinese Canadians for themselves and as a social construct o f Chineseness for and by a white settler society.  23  This duality or struggle is the basis o f my equivocal relationship  with Chinatown as both comfortable and foreign to me as a Chinese C a n a d i a n  24  Chinatown represents an unequal social order that (re)produces racial hierarchies through spatial and legal mechanisms.  Chinatown's physical landscape is also a  Many authors such as Sherene Razack, supra note 1, have in various ways discussed mutually constitutive processes. Authors such as E.P. Thompson in his book The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Vintage Books, 1966) renounced traditional categories in labour discourse, arguing that the class experience should be expressed in cultural terms. While a gender analysis has not been discussed in this thesis, there are significant implications in the ways in which race, space and legal mechanisms are conceived and implemented and how they affect and the identity of women and Chinese Canadian women. See Joanne Lee, University of Victoria and Bruce Lee, U B C , Working paper: To "Build a Better City": Women and Culturally Hybrid Grassroots Resistance to Slum Clearance in Vancouver - the Leadership Role of Ethnic Minority Women" http://www.cpsa-acsp.ca/papers-2004/Bruce-Lee.pdf.  2 3  2 4  12  geographic articulation o f an organic identity formed by the resistance o f Chinese Canadians against racialization. B y understanding how place becomes race through law, contestations over land reveal the potential for social change. representations i n land contestations constructs themselves.  Complicity and resistance to dominant  illustrate the mutable nature o f the social  In this thesis, the investigation o f Chinatown i n the 1960's  shows how the social construction o f Chineseness is legally and geographically articulated and socially manipulated i n service o f and i n resistance to a dominant ideology.  Vancouver's Chinatown is a point o f reference through which Canadian  identity is invested with cultural meaning, being vulnerable and capable o f (re)representation.  I see the potential to reconfigure classificatory spatial practices,  and it is within and from this resistance that the promise o f social change emerges.  13  C H A P T E R T W O -  PROPERTY:  PRIVATE, PUBLIC, C O M M O N A N D  I turn first to the concept o f property in l a n d .  25  IN-BETWEEN  Understanding that property  can be private, public, or common allows us to recognize the socio-spatial nexus o f property in land. Property i n land can be viewed i n purely economic, historic or philosophic terms.  For example, property in land can be described solely in  economic terms by the amount o f rent a piece o f land generates and calculating its capitalization rate to measure its worth. However, a social description o f property i n land encompasses a broader conception o f property in land that includes how individuals live in, perceive and represent places.  This approach reveals how space  can be material and symbolic, and highly contextualized by its inhabitants. Places are not just backdrops to social processes. Places are bound up within them.  B y reviewing the  effects  o f historical precedent  o f segregation  on  contemporary demographic patterns, we see how the materiality o f place is racialized through social processes. Later in this chapter, I connect the conception o f space to the pervasiveness o f law, and relate law and geography to an analysis o f race and space. In later chapters, I draw upon this analysis to other case studies o f places. In order to do so, I first establish an understanding o f the concept o f property in land. A.  TYPES O F PROPERTY  Blomley describes property in land as follows: a right to some use or benefit o f land. Such a right is relational, being held against others... .Property's bundle o f rights includes the power to  "Property in land" is used here to mean, the expectation of the some right of ownership or use, that being the concept of property in a physical place as "land". Compare the term to having property in ideas, or property in chattels.  2 5  14  exclude others, to use and to transfer. whether by custom or law.  Such rights are enforceable,  According to Jeremy Waldron, private property "is not a simple relationship at all.  It involves a complex bundle o f relations, which differ considerably i n  character and effect."  27  Different bundles o f legal relations exist because various  types o f property and owners exist. Waldron explains that property in material goods is treated differently than property i n intangible goods, and that such goods are treated differently depending on whether the owner is a natural person, a corporation or even the C r o w n .  28  Waldron suggests that i n principle private property is the idea that each  resource belongs to some individual.  29  Where an individual owns property privately,  that individual has the final determination as to the use o f the resource. It is an individual's inviolable right to hold and use private property freely the freedom and liberty to conduct one's affairs with or on one's private property without interference from the community or state.  30  For example, the Constitution o f  the United States enshrines the right to private ownership o f land as a fundamental right, subject only to justifiable intrusions by the state (such as for policing o f criminal activities on private property).  Regulation o f private property is tolerated i f  there is rational public purpose such as security that justifies the state's intrusion.  Blomley, "Law, Property", supra note 2 at 121. Waldron, supra note 3 at 28. Ibid, at 30. Ibid, at 38. Waldron relates the "inviolability" of individual rights to the nature of the right itself. The nature of the right to property may be a "special right", i.e., derived from mixing labour with it - as posited by John Locke - or arising out of particular events and transactions - as posited by H L A Hart. Or property can be a "general right", where the right-bearer is conceived to have an independent, inherent and ethical entitlement to property -Hegelian. Under the later conception, Waldron argues for a better allocative system of property use and ownership. 2 7  28  29  3 0  15  Expropriation and heritage designations are two examples where public or collective interests infringe upon the rights o f unfettered private ownership. In these situations, the state regulates or acquires private property i n the name o f a public purpose or use.  31  Land can be expropriated by the state from private owners for  public projects such highways or hospitals.  Or, a private owner cannot demolish  her/his house because the state has claimed some measure o f public ownership in the heritage architectural qualities o f a privately-owned home. Property can be privately owned but subject to public interests - in other words, in the example o f heritage homes, "public property" co-exists with "private property". Public property is something that is intended to be shared with everyone or that everyone has access to, such as public schools, public transit and public hospitals. It must be noted that access is a relative term because "public" property is not equally shared or shared in a substantively equal way by all (i.e., the destitute without adequate funds for bus fare do not share the transit system, the poor may not drive cars on freeways or boulevards, or minimum-wage earners do not have as much leisure time to enjoy nature parks, etc.). Public property is intended to be shared and enjoyed by everyone, although it may not achieve this goal uniformly. Public property is typically held, regulated and maintained by the state on behalf o f its citizens. Non-citizens can be excluded (as opposed to universal property,  Expropriation is distinguished from heritage designations or other forms of regulatory takings (i.e., statutes which prohibit certain land uses - See Beaches Act, R.S.N.S. 1989 c.2 purporting to take away all uses except park uses on waterfront property without compensation, or Agricultural Land Reserve Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c.10, purporting to prohibit non-agricultural uses, without compensation). Expropriation involves the compulsory transfer of land to an expropriating authority with compensation to the landowner, whereas a regulatory taking is prohibition against certain uses of land, without title transfer or compensation. 3 1  16  such as the open ocean , tides, weather, etc. that are held by no one state or body, 32  and are shared universally). Under the public trust doctrine, public property is held by the state on behalf o f its citizens, for public purposes and uses. Waldron uses the term "collective property" to describe the organizing idea o f what I have called public property.  He defines the principle o f collective property to be where:  material resources are answerable to the needs and purposes o f society as a whole, whatever they are and however they are determined, rather than to the needs and purposes o f particular individuals considered on their own. Public or collective property should not be confused with common property. Common property is property where members o f the relevant community are allowed to participate and jointly use the property that is held for this community's benefit to the exclusion o f others. Waldron defines a system o f common property as: rules governing access to and control o f material resources are organized on the basis that each resource is in principle available for the use o f every member alike. In principle, the needs and wants o f every person are considered, and when allocative decisions are made they are made on a basis that is in some sense fair to a l l . 34  In the case o f finite resources or resources that cannot be used simultaneously by everyone who wants to use them, common property may be subject to use allocations such as different levels o f membership, citizenship or class. A  fitness  room in modern  condominium developments,  a Mennonite  commune, an expensive gated community, or membership golf courses all provide  Open ocean referring to at least twelve miles from shore, short of which would be in some cases under the sovereign sphere of coastal states or nations. supra note 3 at 40. 33 Waldron, • 34 Ibid. 3 2  3 3  17  examples o f common property or a "commons".  35  A s opposed to "public", common  property is more like a form o f private property that is shared by a number o f members who self-select. A n advantage o f common property regimes is that smaller communities are best able to manage and regulate property resource allocations than large state bureaucracies. C o m m o n property regimes ( C P R ' s ) have gained popularity because o f the close accessibility to the members directly affected by it. Recently, advanced real estate development has created, as Elinor Ostrom distinguishes in her work, an attack on public property concurrent with the preservation o f common property.  36  It seems counterintuitive to have a concurrent  attack on public property while preserving common property. However, the rise o f gated community developments and decline o f public projects  illustrates this  possibility. A s a condition o f local zoning, subdivision and development approval for gated  communities,  developers  must  construct  extensive  amenities  such  as  recreational areas (parks, arenas, theatres), schools and sidewalk/roadways that service the gated community.  The local authority is relieved o f its obligation to  provide public projects such as schools, fire stations, and libraries by transferring the responsibility and expenditure to private developers. However, these amenities are created for common use o f its gated residents only and not for the broader public. Gated communities have the theatrics o f public space but function more as private space.  37  One significant consequence is that local authorities are not required to  There can be different levels of membership that govern its use allocations. For example, private golf courses have different levels of membership: full-memberships, spousal, ladies, visitor or guest that allocate and restrict use. Full members can book tee times on any day at any time. Ladies and/or spouses may be restricted to mid-day or afternoon tee times, and guests may be restricted to twilight tee times only, unless invited by a full member. Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). Peggy Cullen {NTD: find citation} 3 5  3 6  3 7  18  construct public amenities for those who live outside the gates because the ratio o f amenities to population within an area complies with local planning objectives regardless o f the fact that those who live outside the gates are excluded from using the gated amenities.  38  In this example, the creation o f "common property" displaces  "public property". Public property has been defended by many current scholars as important and necessary for a rich and meaningful s o c i e t y .  39  Public spaces such as parks, markets  and squares are places where the citizenry can come together to recognize each other as citizens. Open dialogue or even internal dialogues are stimulated by the often uncomfortable confrontation o f diversity. sometimes random public interactions.  40  "Unprogrammed spaces" allow natural or According to Mitchell, "underdetermined  spaces" are public spaces that need to be regulated in order to exclude those who may exclude the meaningful participation o f the public. For example, public squares may need police protection to exclude violent homophobic protesters during a Gay Pride Rally which would otherwise be compromised. The paradox o f public spaces that are simultaneously "open to a l l " and yet i n "need o f regulation" is resolved by understanding the distinctions underlying the  A factor in locating new schools or public amenities is the ratio of "available" services to the geographic area. Thus, the services provided in a gated community reduce the need for services in that area to the detriment of those who live in the area but outside the gates. These services include parks, leisure centres, libraries, theatres, and other typically public amenities. See Don Mitchell, The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space (New York: Guilford, 2003), and Don Mitchell and Richard Van Deusen, "Downsview Park: A Missed Opportunity for a Truly Public Space?" in J, Czerniak, ed., CASE: Downsview Park (Cambridge: Harvard School of Design/Prestel Publishers, 2001). For example, seeing the homeless search for food in a garbage can or watching the drug-addicted shoot heroin in plain sight, will cause discomfort. However, such discomfort or shock coupled with rational discourse can lead to meaningful dialogue that would otherwise not have occurred on "cleared" streets in front of gourmet food shops frequented by "similar" people. See also, Don Mitchell, "The End of Public Space? People's Park, Definitions of the Public, and Democracy" (1995) 85(1) Annals of the Association ofAmerican Geographers 108. 3 8  3 9  4 0  19  purpose o f public spaces. To that end, Mitchell suggests that there are three axes o f public property: ownership, accessibility and inner subjectivity. must be owned by the state for rights to be protected.  41  Public property  There must also be  accessibility including physical access, security and safety, and convenience (e.g., wheelchair access, policing o f criminal behaviour and proximate location within a city). The final element, inner subjectivity, describes how individuals relate to the public property.  Because individuals come from different backgrounds, it is  important to recognize the diversity in what various communities consider a public property. If we consider a subjective view o f property over purely legal, political or economic notions, we must recognize property as a social institution. In this next section, property is defined in relation to a nexus o f social relationships and performance.  B.  SOCIAL ASPECT O F P R O P E R T Y  The spatial practices o f individuals and the state produce the concept and institution o f property.  Property is not just comprised o f the myriad o f technical  conceptions o f tenure or land use.  Nicholas Blomley in his study o f legal geography  and property concurs: If the core o f property as a social institution lies in a complex system of recognized rights and duties with reference to the control o f valuable objects, and i f the roles o f the participating individuals are linked by these means with basic economic processes, and if, besides, all these processes o f social interaction are validated by traditional beliefs, attitudes, and values and sanctioned in custom and law, it is  4 1  Mitchell, supra note 39.  20  apparent that we dealing with an institution extremely fundamental to the structure o f human societies as going concerns. 42  The use and allocation o f property creates social meanings that merge with physical land. Property arrangements such as ownership and regulation have implications for social ordering.  43  important  A s Blomley observes:  Property discourse offers a dense and pungent set o f social symbols, stories and meanings. The formation o f national identity is, in part, a mediation on the meanings and significance o f land as property, evidenced in frontier stories in the United States or mythologies o f the English garden. 44  In Canada, early histories o f indigenous nations have been erased to facilitate the making and maintaining o f a white settler settlement rather than forcible displacement.  45  society, premised upon European In addition to the erasures o f histories,  Bradley Bryan's examination o f the ontology o f property shows that the very conception o f property from an Aboriginal perspective is fundamentally different at its core from English concepts  4 6  European settlers eschewed Aboriginal conceptions  o f property in favour o f the nation-building mythology o f a quaint and peaceful English settler society, modeled o f course after the "motherland".  47  Property theorists such as Carol Rose would describe the intersection o f social relations and land as the site where "custom" claims are communicated i n what she  Blomley, supra note 2 at 122. Ibid. Ibid. Bonita Lawrence, "Rewriting Histories of the Land: Colonization and Indigenous Resistance in Eastern Canada", in Sherene Razack, ed., Race, Space and the Law, supra note 1 at 21. Bradley Byran, "Property as Ontology: On Aboriginal and English Understandings of Ownership" (2000) 13 Can. J.L. & Jurisprudence 3. Supra note 1 at 5.  4 2  43  44  4 5  4 6  47  21  terms enactments  of  persuasion. A 48  focus o n the acts o f p e r s u a s i o n  property as relationships rather than as things.  emphasizes  E v e n possession claims rely upon a  w e a k f o r m o f consent theory, w h e r e b y the e x e r t i o n o f c o n t r o l i s c o m m u n i c a t e d , r e c o g n i z e d , enforced o r respected b y neighbours o r authorities. T h e shared language o f s y m b o l s o r agreed measures  o f d e m o n s t r a t i n g c o n t r o l c a n be as s i m p l e as a n  E n g l i s h gate o r a c o m m e r c i a l l y negotiable indenture. A c c o r d i n g to R o s e , property i s persuasion, that is, property is enacted t h r o u g h p e r f o r m a n c e s .  49  In a d d i t i o n to s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r , there i s a m a t e r i a l aspect to l a n d - p h y s i c a l markers s u c h as fences o r survey m o n u m e n t s that are respected a n d enforced.  Private  property signs that deter trespassers a n d painted lines o n r o a d w a y s demarcate proper d r i v i n g lanes.  L e g a l systems reinforce the authority o f p h y s i c a l m a r k e r s .  Legal  documents evidence real property entitlements: deeds for h o m e s where p e o p l e l i v e , leases for businesses  where  people  w o r k , a n d state-designated  campsites  where  people p l a y . These m a t e r i a l a n d s o c i a l enactments delineate property.  C.  T H E PRODUCTION OF SPACE B l o m l e y suggests that i n the m a t e r i a l a n d d i s c u r s i v e enactments o f property,  space is p o w e r f u l l y  present.  Space is p r o d u c e d t h r o u g h performance  50  d i s c i p l i n e s the performance that is c o n d o n e d o r tolerated w i t h i n it.  A c c o r d i n g to  Blomley: Space  itself  is not o n l y  simultaneously  a means  produced  through  performance,  o f d i s c i p l i n i n g the performances  but i s that are  p o s s i b l e w i t h i n it. These s o c i a l performances are c i t a t i o n a l , reiterating past performances a n d thus r e p r o d u c i n g d o m i n a n t n o r m s a n d practices  4 8  4 9  5 0  Rose, supra note 4. Ibid.  Blomley, "Law, Property", supra note 2 at 122.  a n d it  22  at the same time as they diverge from them. ...The enactment o f property, in turn, helps constitute those spaces, investing them with particular valences and political possibilities. Again, this can be powerfully regulatory - expectations o f appropriate social activities within certain spaces clearly serve to discipline social life. 51  Blomley suggests that there is more than a causational relationship between the effect o f laws " o n " a space. Spaces are "socially policed". Permitted, condoned, tolerated and acceptable activity or behaviour is communicated or performed in spaces. regulating effect o f spaces is socially commanding.  The  Expectations o f appropriate  activities are known i n spaces even i f explicit signs or codes o f conduct are not posted. For example, it is not acceptable to sleep in public parks but one can "nap" i f for recreation or leisure.  Another example is that breast-feeding is more socially  acceptable in spaces associated with the domestic sphere such as shopping malls, but not in masculine spaces such as commuter train stations.  52  Spaces welcome those  who are acceptable them, and in turn, a greater number frequent those spaces, further characterizing the spaces i n certain racialized, classed and gendered ways. It is important to note that this approach to space is not merely an exercise in unmasking or deciphering the subtext or hidden messages encoded in spaces (however enlightening this exercise may be). A s Razack notes, "to treat space this way is to remain on a purely descriptive level that does not show the dialectical relationship between spaces and bodies. It does not show how the symbolic and the  Ibid, at 122-123. See Rebecca Johnson, "Bars, Breasts, Babies: Justice L'Heureux-Dube and the Boundaries of Belonging" in Elizabth Sheehy, ed., Adding Feminism to Law: The Contributions of Madame L'Heureux-Dube (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2004) at 143-161. 51  5 2  23  material work through each other to constitute a space."  Razack refers to Henri  Lefebvre's widely cited formulation o f three elements that produce space: Perceived Space - emerges out o f spatial practices, organizes social life by the performance o f the space through daily routines; Conceived Space - entails representations o f space, where originally conceptualized by planners, architects and so on; and Lived Space - directly lived through its associated images and symbols, or by those who experience or describe the space. 54  This formulation o f space allows a deeper analysis o f spatial practices.  To explain  perceived space, Razack uses the example o f the daily life o f a tenant i n government sponsored housing project.  The tenant's daily routine o f walking to the bus stop  formulates how the tenant comes to know him/herself within the space, and how the tenant is known within the space. For conceived space, Razack explains that how the housing project was initially conceptualized can dictate the tenant's daily reality. Finally, lived space for the tenant is the racialized space i n which communities o f colour both experience their marginal condition and resist i t .  55  We see how subjects come to know themselves in and through space. In legal geographer Eve Darian-Smith's study o f the Channel Tunnel, she observes the symbolism and impact o f the Channel Tunnel over the past twenty years on English society and its national identity.  56  She notes the anxiety o f English residents to the  construction o f the Channel Tunnel: When understood as a step i n the unification o f the N e w Europe, the Channel Tunnel is often interpreted by English observers less as a modernist triumph and more as an intrusive continental penetration o f  5 3  54  55  56  Razack, supra note 1 at 8. Ibid, at 9 (paraphrased and emphasis added). Ibid. Supra note 15.  24  sovereign island soil. ... Thus, for many English people, the Channel Tunnel marks the beginning o f a new postnational era identified with the ever-increasing power o f the European Union ( E U ) and a continuation o f the territorial losses associated with the end o f the British empire. According to Darian-Smith, the Channel Tunnel represents a postcolonial moment in which a former colonizer is being colonized on several fronts.  CO  Darian-Smith explores the cultural meaning o f the Channel Tunnel on English society. In her words: In focusing on the implications o f perspective as a way to locate and analyze the impact o f legal authority, I am not arguing that one point of view represents "truth" more than another. Rather, I stress that there exist multiple centers and horizons in which people are located and from which perspectives are produced, often simultaneously. ... It is when such perspective are "naturalized" in rhetoric, or taken for granted as actually existing, that they become powerful in the organizing o f social w o r l d s . 59  Darian-Smith's methodology includes the exploration o f historical narratives and legal myths to show the interconnectedness and subjectivity o f strategies o f power. While she does not specifically apply Lefebvre framework, her study stresses the production o f space as viewed and constituted by people's practices, representations and memories o f place.  D.  SPATIALIZATION - P L A C E B E C O M E S  R A C E  Spatial practices, representations and experiences serve to "cement" age-old patterns o f social hierarchy, and they do so discursively and materially. Spatialization reveals how spatial segregation is a means o f perpetuating  a social hierarchy,  implicitly and informally. A s David Goldberg observes in the American context, i n [bid. at 2. Ibid, at 4. Ibid at 190  25  the absence o f state-enforced segregation i n the United States, (or apartheid in South Africa),  there  effectiveness.  60  are  subtle  mechanisms  that  enforce  segregation  with  equal  These subtle mechanisms include urban planning, project housing,  and laws such a Residential Environment B i l l that seeks to maintain "norms and standards".  61  Sixty years after formal desegregation, racially separated communities  are still maintained and created. Not only has space been racialized i n this American context, the colonial dichotomy o f East/West has racialized space by determining subjects as civilized (West) or savage (East).  White subjects are produced as  innocent, entitled, rational and legitimate, and the Other is produced as the opposite. Because segregation, internment camps and slavery have officially ended, there is an assumption that any remaining "natural" segregation or "concentration" o f racial groups is vestigial or freely chosen.  62  Legal geographer, Richard T. Ford, argues:  Even as racial segregation is described as a natural expression o f racial and cultural solidarity, a chosen and desirable condition for which government is not responsible and one that government should not oppose, segregation continues to play the same role it always has i n American race relations - to isolate, disempower, and oppress. 63  M a k i n g the same point, M o n a Oikawa describes how the spatial separation through the means o f the internment o f Japanese-Canadian families in the 1940's was not only a national project o f dispossession but also empowering for white people with  David T. Goldberg, "Polluting the Body Politic': Race and Urban Location" in Blomley, Geographies Reader at 75. Ibid, at 77. Ibid, at 78. Richard T. Ford, "The Boundaries of Race: Political Geography in Legal Analysis" in Blomley, Geographies Reader at 87.  6 0  61  62  6 3  26  considerable material and symbolic advantages.  64  It is the relationship o f groups o f  individuals to each other that form economic or political spatial hierarchies. It is important to note the polarity within America's history o f slavery, and the fundamental difference it represents in the histories o f America and Canada. This difference is also manifest in the preeminence o f private rights i n the American constitution and the root o f its national mythology in independence.  However, the  Canadian context can still benefit from interrogations and conclusions about how race is spatialized in the interests o f white subjects.  That is, the process by which legal  and social practices reproduce racial hierarchies is a spatialized racism. Before moving forward, I want to relate this discussion about space and race to the broader examination o f Chinatown.  K a y Anderson argues that various levels  o f the Canadian government upheld the long tradition o f interpreting Chinatown i n terms o f an essential landscape.  65  Chineseness, and inscribing the state's beliefs in the physical  Anderson distinguishes her work from prior social science o f racialized  minorities which focused on white prejudice and its economic consequences explain conflict and ethnic enclaves.  66  to  In Anderson's words,  In contract to those perspectives, I have traced the construction o f knowledge about the Chinese, demonstrating how it informed government practices and conditioned the territorial arrangements through which racial concepts were inscribed and reproduced. 67  Mona Oikawa, "Cartographies of Violence: Women, Memory, and the Subject(s) of the "Internment"" in Razack supra note 1 at 71. 5Mpranotel9 at 226. Ibid, at 245. Ibid, at 246. 65  66  67  27  Place is considered as product and source o f race.  In the case o f Chinatown, the  ideological formation o f Chineseness (as race) is compatible with its spatial articulation. The concept o f "race" is social construct.  It endures because it is presumed  and acted upon by many to exist. More accurately, racial categories endure to sustain structures o f domination.  In the words o f Razack, race becomes collapsed with place  - as a social construct, the space that is produced creates and maintains a white settler society.  68  The creation and maintenance o f a white settler society i n Canada relies  upon several myths.  One myth is that Canada was peacefully settled because  representations o f Canada at the time o f white contact depict an "empty land", a terra nuilus.  69  A closely related myth is that non-white communities have no meaningful  history i n Canada.  70  A popular myth is that ethnic enclaves continue to exist by  individual choice (e.g., "Chinese like to stick together") rather than by any other more 71  prominent reason (such as unfair treaty dispositions, racism, etc.).  •  The reoccumng  commonality i n these and other myths is a conception o f a nation that belongs primarily to white society, and that all others are allowed to exist at the leisure o f dominant white society. A s a result, the disparate distributions o f wealth, which are materially represented in say, residential patterns, are justified by this nation-building mythology.  Zoe Druick, "Iinterview with Sherene Razack", online: between the lines <http://www.btlbooks.com/Links/razack interview.htm>. Supra note 1 at 245. Mawani, supra note 14 at 105. Nelson, supra note 17. Ford, supra note 63 at 96. 68  6 9  7 0  71  28  In this context, a race/space analysis helps explain the distribution o f power and subjects in specific places, and the socio-spatial ideology underlying that distribution. I w i l l return to elaborate on race/space analysis after considering the role of law in the production o f racialized spaces. Through a review o f common zoning and urban planning laws, the apparent racelessness or innocence o f planning policy can be unmasked as a vehicle for nation-building and a white settler society.  E.  U R B A N PLANNING P R I M E R -  B R A N C H E S O F L A W ' S  PERVASIVENESS  Urban planning is concerned with the management o f urban change: it is the distribution and operation o f investment and consumption processes in cities by local governments for the "common good."  72  The roots o f urban planning can be traced  back to small-scale environmental designs during the late nineteenth century. In designing buildings, architects considered how certain design features could influence or determine social behaviour.  73  For example, early church architects designed the  great heights o f cathedrals to make the churchgoer peer upwards generally towards light (equating to higher knowledge, G o d or the heavens).  74  Architectural determinism expanded from the design o f buildings to the urban planning o f cities.  Architects focused their efforts on designing what they called  aesthetic movements to promote urban design and land use. Architects created various aesthetic movements in response to the perceived squalor o f crowding and urbanization o f increasing city populations.  Popular design themes such as the  Pacione, supra note 77 at 157. Paul-Alan Johnson, The Theory of Architecture: Concepts, Themes, and Practices (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1994). Lawrence S . Cunningham and John J. Reich, Culture and Values, Vols. I & II, 6th Edition. Belmont, Calif.: Thomson Wadsworth, 2006. 7 2 7 3  7 4  29  Garden City and the City Beautiful Movement promoted order, dignity and harmony, evoking rural atmospheres and Beaux-Art aesthetics.  75  In Canada, garden designer Thomas Mawson completed a master plan for the City o f Calgary in 1913, i n addition to his plans for Regina, the University o f Saskatchewan and Stanley Park in V a n c o u v e r .  76  B y 1913 over forty American cities  had prepared master plans and in 1917 the American City Planning Institute was established.  77  A few years earlier, Swiss-born architect Charles Jeanneret (Le  Corbusier) prepared a city plan for a population o f three million people based upon the concept o f high-rise buildings, elevated roadways, land-use segregation and the use o f mass production techniques.  78  Apart from the distinction between agricultural  and non-agricultural use, land was not traditionally segregated by the intensity o f its use. Homes, factories and markets were usually located next to each other within short walking distances.  79  O n the other hand, L e Corbusier's plan was premised upon  the mass use o f the automobile and railway lines between segregated land uses. The tenets o f Le Corbusier's plan would have a profound and lasting affect on urban planning and the construction o f cities i n North America.  In addition to the  construction o f freeways, the segregation o f land uses as a predecessor to modern day zoning law is implemented universally in Canada.  In 1925, the British Columbia  Ironically, critics of the movement asserted that the uniformity and high-mindedness of the style created dullness and sterility in urban environments, ironically contributing to an increase in the urban blight that the original advocates of the movement were seeking to ameliorate. University of Calgary, "Thomas Mawson Fonds 1913-1914", online: http://www.ucalgary.ca/libold/CAA/mawson.html>. 7 5  7 6  77  Pacione, supra note 77 at 163.  lbid.  1%  Mixed-use buildings would have residential apartments located above light industrial workshops, located next door to a butcher or bakery. In the last ten years, there has been a return to mixed-use (commercial/retail and live/work) zoning for many new comprehensive development projects in the lower mainland.  7 9  30  provincial government  passed legislation authorizing municipalities to establish  planning advisory boards, which quickly developed into planning commissions such OA as the Vancouver T o w n Planning Commission.  B y 1928, the renowned town-  planner Harland Bartholomew, presented to City Council, A Plan for the City of Vancouver. Lance Berolitz describes the plan in the following terms: It was an awesome and comprehensive document covering almost every conceivable aspect o f planning the growth o f the city for the next fifty years. It laid out detailed recommendations for land-use zoning, an arterial street and public transit network, recreation facilities and a series o f scenic "Pleasure Drives". The plan addressed such diverse issues as the visual appearance o f residential properties, the provision o f schools and park space, local neighbourhood shops and services, the replatting o f certain streets to take better account o f the existing steep topography and a plan for a port. 81  Not all o f Bartholomew's plans were adopted or implemented, but many o f his ideas have become basic parts o f the spatial vocabulary o f the city.  Bartholomew's  codifying o f land uses prevails and, in Berolitz's words, has left an "indelible mark on the patterns and fabric o f urban form in Vancouver." The introduction o f land uses and zoning powers in the early twentieth century was novel and popularized by the modernist movement.  Land-use zoning laws  were emblematic o f the desire for an emerging newly industrialized yet aesthetically organized new city. Land-use zoning, however, would have its opponents. Critics o f land-use segregation argued that zoning had an exclusionary effect: undesirable uses  Lance Berelowitz, Dream City: Vancouver and the Global Imagination (Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre Ltd., 2005) at 60. Ibid, at 61. Ibid, at 62. At the end of the 19 and beginning of the 20 century, modernism was a variety of political, cultural and artistic movements that was rooted in the changes in Western society. Premised on change, scientific methods and industrialized efficiency, modernism was a rebellion against late 19th century academic and historicist traditions, and embraced the new economic, social and political aspects of the emerging modern world. 81  82  8 3  th  th  31  are regulated by zoning ordinances that attempt to or result in "undesirable" people being excluded from desirable areas.  Some examples o f exclusionary land-use  restrictions include minimum floor-space ratios, interior lot line set-backs, and frontage-to-depth ratios or exclusion o f multiple-family residences on minimum lot sizes. Lower-income or manorial family (extended family) arrangements that allow for extended families to cohabit in one larger house, are excluded from areas with this type o f exclusionary z o n i n g .  84  Supporters o f land-use zoning have argued that certain types o f lands, such as agricultural lands which are vulnerable to market forces, needed to be protected from unscrupulous urban development.  Moreover, zoning tools can maintain desirable  neighbourhoods - residents can safeguard the unique character o f the area without fear o f commercial intrusion from intensive industrial uses or large-scale recreational *  RS  uses that can displace a tight-knit community.  Conversely, incentive-based zoning  can encourage development in areas o f a city that developers are reluctant to enter into because o f marginal economic gains, declining infrastructure or impoverishment. Unique zoning ordinances such as comprehensive development or planned unit development, can create orderly neighbourhoods that contain privately-funded civic services. For example, Concord Pacific cooperated with the City o f Vancouver In some cultures, families include extended family members such as grandparents and children, who reside together. The nuclear family is not a residential pattern for all, and restrictive zoning prevents larger homes, extensions or coach houses from being built. Large lot zoning is the restriction of development to minimum lot sizes (e.g. No. 5 Road in Richmond was intended to be protected for "hobby farmers" for agricultural uses, known as "Blueberry Lane"). Downzoning is the rezoning of an area to a lower density use or lesser number or types of uses. Downzoning is enacted to protect an area from intense development, but can have the affect of reducing land values (although in some instances, it can increase land values, e.g. a posh residential neighbourhood is protected from mixed-uses). Racetracks, P N E and R V camping grounds are examples of large-scale uses that are not occupied year-round and have alienating effects of "dead space" on a community, while also causing congestion problems during their intensive-use season. 8 4  8 5  32  in the development o f the left-over Expo lands located at False Creek north.  The  creation o f David L a m Park, a K - 6 school, daycare, tennis courts, playgrounds and the upgrades to the seawall bike pathway are examples where Concord Pacific was given the freedom to design the various tower developments to meet market demands  while satisfying negotiated requirements for non-market housing, public  art, public services and public access.  F.  87  L A W AND GEOGRAPHY  The power to regulate places and to spatialize "desirable" uses, people and activities is executed through law. This power and influence pervades all aspects o f private, personal, commercial and social activity.  Zoning can determine where one  lives, and where one lives is profoundly important (people constitute and are constituted by the spaces they inhabit). A compelling example is the situation when you are asked to provide your postal code by the cashier at the point o f sale o f a product.  88  The clerk advises that it  w i l l be used to determine new locations o f stores or to target where advertising flyers should be mailed.  However, the Claritas Corporation, using a program called  P R I Z M (Potential Rating Index for Z i p Markets), has been using the zip and postal code data combined with Census data to create forty categories o f lifestyle markets.  QQ  Kings Landing and Cooper's Way are high-end developments, complete with marina moorage, that form part of the Concord Pacific development, which also includes lower-cost market housing towers. The City of Vancouver required 3-D modeling of the siting of the towers to ensure that the seawall bike path would not perpetually be in the shade and that views of landscapes (the mountains) would be possible to retain a human-scale quality to common and public areas. Pacione, supra note 77 at 353. Ibid. Data from reward programs is also used with surprising precision to pinpoint target markets, which analyzed data is sold to companies or used to create advertising campaigns tailored to specific markets. 8 6  8 7  88  89  33  Claritas Corporation ranks various lifestyle markets or neighbourhood types according to their status, household income, home value, education and occupation. A t the top o f the status ladder is Z Q 1 . Named "blue blood estates", this lifestyle market is typified to be super-rich, living i n politically conservative suburbs, whose high-usage products include the N e w Y o r k Times, Mercedes, and skiing. Z Q 2 , the "money and brains" lifestyle market describes the ultra-sophisticated, politically moderate, living in elegant townhomes who are well-off academics or managers whose high-usage products include N e w Yorker, Gourmet magazine, and classical records. A t the bottom is Z Q 4 0 , the "public assistance" lifestyle market is the poorest in the United States, consisting o f mostly African-American single-parent families, whose high-usage products include malt liquor, burglar alarms, Essence or Jet magazines and Chevrolet cars. The  analysis,  90  categorization  and  identification  of  lifestyle  markets/neighbourhood types using postal code data is disconcerting on many levels. From the misleading collection methods to the manipulative advertising used by profit-focused corporations, this data reveals more than just consumer patterns.  This  data shows that where one lives is profoundly important because it determines the type of job opportunities, social interactions, services and amenities that are promoted or available, and the ease and cost o f access to those as well. A n d where one lives is determined to a large extent by the zoning laws that prescribe very specific types o f housing to be constructed, sold or rented at particular price points. The demographic o f people who occupy the specific types o f housing attract similar-minded to live in the area. The area responds organically to the demands o f the local population and  34  the responses are codified into legal structures.  In this way, zoning laws transform  mere physical structures (places) into cognitive environments (spaces). production is internalized within the legal structures o f urban planning.  Social W e must  look beyond social area analysis and the resulting residential patterns or what is termed "impact analysis". There is a complex reciprocal process at work and the role of law is squarely implicated. To draw from Blomley's observations in writings on law and the geographic imagination, "causality in the impact literature runs from law to space. The action o f law is assumed to engender certain spatial outcomes, such as changes in urban land use."  9 1  But to do so, in his view, is to treat law as "analytically divisible" from  space thereby making law itself accepted as a given. If law is understood through impact only, then law is beyond social practice. L a w becomes very powerful i f law is considered timeless and its historical geography irrelevant.  It becomes powerful  because law is constructed as an absolute category - complete with the normative and constituting effects o f that particular time and location. Conversely, Blomley makes the same point that space can be equally empowered with constant normative qualities i f the law treats the social environment as an absolute category (unchanging and static). The assumption that there is only one correct legal interpretation fails to address what Blomley calls the "monologic" o f disputes over textual meaning. A s a result, the legal enterprise is presented as rational and politically disinterested. Having only one interpretation o f the law means that legal thinking is constrained to  9 1  92  Blomley, Law, Space, supra note 11 at 33. Ibid, at 35.  35  finding the lawmaker's intention or trying to determine what the "reasonable man" would do. Critical legal theorists have challenged the monolithic treatment o f law. From a geographer's  standpoint, Blomley adds one further argument  for the  imbrication o f law and space. A final problem comes to mind. In assessing the effects o f law, both impact analyses and regional accounts frequently characterize law in narrowly instrumental terms. The rationale for B o d i n ' s geographic excursion, for example, was to find examples that could help him "arrange the laws" so as to govern. It is the "impact" perspective, especially, that tends to consider law as an efficacious tool for practical social intervention, conforming to what Moore (1973) termed a "social engineering" model o f l a w . 94  L a w is perceived as an aggregate o f the local principles, customs and practices that are abstracted from the social context from which they are derived.  A s Blomley  concludes, "[a]n exclusive attention to law as an external imperative is limiting, ignoring as it does the power o f law not only to command but to redefine, to empower, to constitute, to divide, to foreclose, to obfuscate."  95  Treating law so  instrumentally is too limiting, and using B l o m l e y ' s term, law's "closure" from geography is a shortcoming that produces very limited understandings o f each discipline. Even a bifurcated approach fails to accord proper recognition and fails to affirm the complex interplay o f law and geography.  For example, Catharine A . McKinnon's appeal to the US Supreme Court in 1986 where the Court adopted her theory of sexual harassment that a hostile work environmental is discrimination under the US C/v/7 Rights Act was a challenge to the monolithic treatment of law. Her approach in this Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986) 47 US 57 is just one early example of a litany of challenges including cases with Canada's Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (known as L E A F ) on equality, pornography, and hate speech. Supra note 11 at 35. Ibid, at 36. 9 3  4  95  36 The geography o f law or legal geography interweaves law and space as intractably indivisible, rather than two opposite unidirectional processes o f cause and effect. A s Blomley notes, This is still a new and rather hesitant literature that poses as many questions as it addresses. More specifically two issues that would seem central to a critical legal geography - that o f legal/spatial representation, and the critical edge o f geographic enquiry - need further enunciation. 96  To borrow from legal historian Wes Pue, the insistence that legal knowledge is spatially located is "insurrectionist" and "anti-geographicaF'.  97  This critical legal  geographical approach was earlier employed by Boaventura de Sousa Santos in his attention to the geographical politics o f legal interpretation.  98  According to Bakan  and Blomley, the task o f a critical legal geography is actually threefold: identification o f the frozen politics o f legal and spatial representations and an exploration o f its implications; demonstration o f the social construction (and thus the non-objectivity) o f these representations; and finally, a tactical analysis o f the material conditions under which challenging such dominant representations can be part o f a wide struggle for progressive social change. 99  The study o f critical legal geography has the potential to become an analysis for social change.  In this instance, the source o f that social change derives from  unmasking the role o f law, and applying a race/space analysis that is legally and geographically imaginative. The analysis o f the Chinatown case study in later chapters w i l l refer back to this race/space legal analysis, with the intent o f pressing forward meaningful social  Ibid at 52. Wes Pue, "Wrestling with law: (Geographical) specificity vs. (legal) abstraction" (1990) 11(6) Urban Geography at 566-585 [emphasis in original]. Santos, supra note 8 at 279. Blomley, "Spacing Out" supra note 13 at 689-90.  96  9 7  9 8  9 9  37  change. Central to this analysis w i l l be the examination o f place-based mechanisms, which w i l l be informed by an understanding o f property in land.  This task is  achieved by distinguishing whether a particular place-based mechanism is directed at or has the effect o f changing the subjective perception, representation or practice o f property. In addition, I seek to highlight how place-based mechanisms operate upon enactments o f property in land.  B y doing so, Chinatown's dual personality is  revealed because contestations and resistance are geographically articulated. In some instances, the familiarity o f place is retained, while in other instances, Chinatown is externally constructed and becomes foreign. A t the beginning o f this chapter, I began with the definition o f property i n land by focusing on its social underpinnings.  Property can be public, private or  common, enacted by and for its owners or inhabitants. enactments o f property  are  recognized, spaces are  When such subjective  produced materially and  symbolically. I then examined how the materiality o f place is racialized by historical segregation and continues to be racialized by policies o f exclusion. Unlike overt segregation, policies o f exclusion operate covertly to categorize and racialize spaces. These covert policies take the form o f deceivingly innocuous yet pervasive urban planning laws. In the final part o f this chapter, I drew the relationship between law and geography. The next step is to investigate legal and geographical representations of places by examining the distribution o f power and the underlying socio-spatial ideologies o f race.  38  C H A P T E R T H R E E - R A C E / S P A C E A N D T H EL A W : T H ES T R U G G L E F O R T E R R I T O R Y  A.  RACE/SPACE F R A M E W O R K S WITHIN A L E G A L G E O G R A P H I C A L  ANALYSIS  M y objective i n this thesis is to tell the story o f Chinatown in the 1960's as a racial and spatial story, implicating laws that appear "raceless".  In the first two  chapters, I set out the frameworks o f property i n land, racialization, and, legal and cultural geography. In this chapter, I describe how two different authors work within race/space legal frameworks in two separate empirical case studies: Jennifer J. Nelson's acccount o f Africville and Renisa M a w a n i ' s investigation o f Stanley Park.  100  I chose these two case studies because they share useful commonalties.  Both are land-based contestations that reveal the intersection o f how race becomes place through law. Both are expressions o f power where displacement, resistance, and struggles shape place and identity.  101  The land-based contestations also share  similar technologies, processes and intentions which are described in the later part o f this chapter. However, there are also significant differences between them. The juxtaposition o f Nelson and M a w a n i ' s work, and the contrast between the two subject case studies, is important.  First, the two authors differ i n their  methodology: Nelson approaches Africville as critical geographer whereas Mawani draws from (post)colonial theory. Second, each author describes two distinct cultures and communities: Blacks versus Aboriginal peoples. The case studies also differ in how each o f these communities respond to the different colonial technologies that dispossess the communities o f land, and continue to displace them from it.  The  Nelson, supra note 17 and Mawani, supra note 14. Nicholas Blomley, Unsettling the City: Urban Land and the Politics of Property (New York: Routledge, 2004) at Preface xx. 101  39  differences limit our ability to draw universal conclusions (but not observations) about how race, space and the law intersect. Among these differences, there are connections between these case studies. These case studies are chosen because they demonstrate how race/space legal geographies can help us understand the different ways in which space is constituted and racialized. In particular, there are insights about the place-based processes of dispossession and displacement that apply to Chinatown.  These insights will be  discussed in more detail in relation to Chinatown in chapter five.  A key insight I  draw from these empirical examples is how and why Chinatown has a dual personality. In Edward Said's words, I find that the struggles of history and social meaning are connected with the overpowering materiality of the struggle for control over territory.  B.  102  I begin with Nelson's study of Africville.  AFRICVILLE, N O V A  SCOTIA  Africville is the story of blacks who established a settlement over 120 years ago in the Bedford Basin (now Halifax), Nova Scotia. Eventually succumbing to slum clearance initiatives, residents were forcibly evicted by the City of Halifax in the late 1960's. Nelson argues that this eviction was an enactment of racial and spatial discrimination that implicates law in the (re)production of race and space.  In this  instance, the racialized production of space is made possible by explicit demarcations of marginalized spaces.  Jane M . Jacobs Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City (New York: Routledge, 1996) at 19. See also Said, Edward. Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 1979).  40 Nelson's account of Africville allows us to understand the place-based mechanisms employed to construct, regulate and remember cultural identity. Law constituted the space of Africville, and the space of Africville reinforced mechanisms of law. The Bedford Basin was agriculturally marginal land but Africville occupied waterfront lands that became culturally and industrially significant to the urban core of Halifax. Nelson describes Africville as the centre of industrial and disease- and waste-management sectors (undesirable but commercially necessary to the development of Halifax).  Africville was constructed by the establishment of  intensive and noxious industrial uses commingled amongst existing residential settlement. Nelson describes it this way: In addition to the construction of railway lines, which required the destruction of several Africville buildings, an oil plant storage facility, a bone mill, and a slaughterhouse was built. Encircling these establishments were a leather tanning plant, a tar factory, another slaughterhouse, and a foundry. Shortly after the settlement of Africville, the city established Rockhead Prison on the overlooking hillside; about twenty years later, the city's infectious diseases hospital was placed on this hill, and the open city dump was located about oneand-a-half miles away. 104  Eventually succumbing to the expropriation powers of the city, the last residence of Africville was destroyed in 1970. This story of settlement, eviction and expropriation of Africville implicates law in the seemingly "raceless" narrative of eradicating "the slum by the dump".  105  Contiguous and proximate industrial lands are critical to the development and sustainability of an urban core. For example, in Vancouver, even as real estate prices would otherwise demand the conversion of light industrial lands into residential housing, it is considered an important planning tenet to protect light industrial services, which would otherwise relocate to more remote locations. The effect of displacing industrial or locating industrial services too far from the urban core is to relocate the urban core, where transportation costs become more economically viable. Nelson, supra note 17 at 215. Ibid, at 216. 103  1 0 4  105  41 The first stage that enabled the City of Halifax to uproot a 120-year old settlement was the physical and symbolic construction of Africville as a slum. The characterization and, in Nelson's words, "conflation of Africville with degeneracy, filth and the "slum" justified further denial of essential services"  106  such as water,  sanitary sewer and other essential services. Nelson draws upon the writings of David Goldberg about slums, and argues that labeling Africville a "slum" is a self-fulfilling prophesy - "the slum legitimates dominance by offering a concrete example of filthy, intolerable condition, a notion of helplessness and lack of self-determination that are seen as inherent to its inhabitants."  107  Living within second-class marginal conditions  produces certain subjects, subjects that internalize oppression. There is, however, ambivalence - not every Africville resident surrenders and abandons the dump. Many Africville residents negotiate this offensive of the dump situating in their 108  community by attempting to, in their words, "make the dump work for us". Nelson observes that the dump was incorporated into social practice as a means of survival by the residents who scavenged and recycled articles into reusable goods.  The Halifax community treated the scavenging of the dump by the black  residents as proof positive of white entitlement and dominance to rule.  The  subjection of "others" to marginal living conditions, brought about by withholding of municipal services, produced the racial justification presupposed by its very intention. The creation of the "slum" physically and socially was a mutually constitutive process. There was an unstable contestation of this spatial indictment - residents of Africville protested, adopted and abandoned the dump. 106  107 m  Ibid. Ibid, at 217. Ibid. at2\%.  Each of these responses  42  reified the constitutive processes o f racializing the space o f Africville. " B l a c k s " in Africville were spatialized as filthy, helpless and lacking self-determination. Stage two, "euthanasia",  as Nelson terms  it, is an intractable  logical  consequence for urban slums. Nelson employs the word "euthanasia" to describe slum clearance because it highlights the dominant perception that Africville needed to be put out o f its misery or be "exterminated" for its own g o o d . the  spatialization o f Africville  residents,  slum clearance  109  Complementing  represented  "good  governance" by the white, civilized and knowledgeable (those who "know better" than to live next to a dump) over the filthy and "raced" other (those who "don't know better" than to live/scavenge/reinvent a dump). Africville was euthanized by a series o f legally sanctioned displacements: first by the creation o f the dump within its geography to drive out residents, and then second by regulation that forced residents out. In explaining that the legal displacements o f Africville appeared race-neutral, Nelson implicates the role o f law. In her examination o f the events at Africville, Nelson "felt forced to realize that it may be precisely the legality o f the process that is so strikingly v i o l e n t . "  110  Ironically, the legal process that created the slum justifies its  own authority on the basis that it is able to eradicate it.  L a w ' s self-reification is a  tautology - a form o f violence because its illogical basis defies objection. L a w ' s reification animates Nelson's view that legal displacements lacked precision to eradicate or defend the spatialization o f the slum.  Ibid, at 222. 'Ibid, at223.  Drawing from Goldberg's  43  observations, Nelson suggests that imprecision o f the legal process is a form o f violence: law's necessary commitment to general principles, to abstract universal rules, to develop objective laws through universalization, is at once exclusive o f subjectivities, identities and particularities...So when law in its application and interpretation invokes history the reading is likely to be very partial, the more so the more politicized the process becomes. A n d race, I am insisting, necessarily politicizes the process it brackets and c o l o r s . 111  Legal solutions for slum clearance are problematized by the invocation o f and belief in law's objectivity.  The role o f law, legal reasoning and legal mechanisms are  believed to be universal and objective. Locating storytelling, history or subjectivity is rejected as antithetical to legal discourse. Similarly,  governmental  discourses  surrounding  Africville  upheld  the  impenetrable objectivity and apparent racelessness o f legal mechanisms. In speaking about the $500 "moral claim" compensation paid to relocated Africville families, R . J . Britton, the Halifax director social planning said, "The City can use its statutory powers to remove the blight and at the same time, temper justice with compassion in matters o f compensation to families affected."  112  City officials reinvent the eviction  of Africville residents who were relegated to live i n a slum, which ironically was created by the C i t y ' s own actions.  This type o f "feel good" reinvention o f  euthanizing Africville found i n the governmental discourse leads to the final stage identified by Nelson in the Africville story. Nelson terms stage three as "burial".  In the 1988, a small monument was  constructed at the entrance o f Seaview Memorial Park, a green space constructed at  David Goldberg in Racist Culture (Oxford:Blackwell, 1993) at p. 205 as quoted in Nelson, supra note 17 at 223. Ibid, at 224. 1 1 1  112  44  the former site o f Africville.  Ironically, a swimming pool has also been built at the  very place where the clean water was once denied.  113  The park's name bears no  reference to its past and Africville has been completely erased. Nelson observes that this "manufactured ignorance and erasure" is available for public consumption, and even delivered tourists or newcomers who do not know of the history o f Seaview Memorial Park, formerly Africville. Since 1982, Africville families gather annually at Seaview Memorial Park to recover the history o f the community and attempt to counter the erasure o f A f r i c v i l l e . commemorate a "vanished place."  115  114  In effect, they come to  The history, the stories, the struggles and the  existence o f Africville have been "buried" within a visible monument. Erecting a monument that does not explain, acknowledge or respect the complex history o f the very thing it is intended to memorialize risks imparting the opposite effect o f disrespecting, denying and obscuring it. Recently, a few former residents o f Africville have called for the City o f N o v a Scotia to rebuild all eighty o f Africville's lost residences, including the cornerstone Seaview African United Baptist Church, which long stood as a symbolic centre o f the community. reconstruction must also be undertaken carefully.  116  However,  David Lowenthal points to the  perils o f hegemonic historical knowledge: African American physical realms are not ethnically distinctive i n recognizably O l d W o r l d ways; many Chinatowns are little more than Hollywood variants; most Native American villages forget or forgo ancestral forms...  117  Ibid, at 227. Angel David Nieves, "Memories of Africville" in Katherine McKittrick and Clyde Woods, eds., Black Geographies and the Politics of Place (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2007) 82 at 91. Ibid, at 86. Ibid. at 91. Ibid, at 93. 1 1 4  115  u6  117  45  In heritage reconstructions, Lowenthal warns that grand generalizations o f African American culture prevail because O l d W o r l d norms do not recognize distinctions. Historical preservation o f "places" or "buildings" alone is troubled by its failure to recognize cultural heritage as experienced by a diversity o f people. I w i l l later return to this observation in the preservation o f heritage sites in Vancouver' Chinatown. In the field o f heritage politics and preservation, David Neives argues for a critically engaged interdisciplinary methodology to grasp the meaning o f "difference" in cultural landscapes.  He cites Dana Inkster's film, Welcome to Africville,  which 118  reimagines and critically repositions the history o f this space through queer culture. According to Nieves, historical meaning is layered and embedded in cultural landscapes such that reconstruction should extend beyond physical reparation into respatializing the racial landscape in and across the African diaspora.  119  Decisions  about historical significance are a result o f the kinds o f individuals participating in the preservation process, owing to the  background,  interests,  interests.  Preservation practitioners have a tremendous influence over what is  ultimately saved or memorialized.  professional  individual's historical  knowledge, 120  family  subjectivity o f the  training and  personal  A s Nieves urges, the state (through heritage  policy), activists and preservation practitioners must critically consider the aims, motives and effect o f heritage preservation or monument construction. Using Jane M . Jacob's term, Nelson argues that "reconciliation" is the intent o f the Africville monument. Reconciliation refers to the "attempts to bring the nation 118 119  120  Ibid, at 92. Ibid, at 94. Ibid, at 93.  46  into contact with the "truth" o f colonization - and this includes the attendant emotional "truths" o f guilt, anger, regret and hurt - in order that there might be a certain "healing". A s Jacobs explains, the narrative o f reconciliation is designed for white healing and locality. Nelson quotes Lefebvre on monuments to suggest that "Monumental space offered each member o f a society an image o f that membership, an image o f his or her social visage."  121  Monuments may serve to locate and reify the  remembered space as colonized but as Nelson argues, that remembrance may retain a "mythic quality" that is unable to deliver meaningful observations or connections to former residents.  In this way, the burial or silencing is a discourse about white  entitlement to create, regulate and eradicate racialized space, in the past and present. The burial remains an act o f displacement following dispossession. The three stages, "inducing illness, euthanasia and burial" in Nelson's recount of Africville's history reveals the place-based mechanisms employed to construct blackness, as a "raced" people geographically located in the Bedford Africville is spatialized as dump, unwanted.  Basin.  The racelessness o f legal regulations  reified its racialization - and simultaneously, albeit to a lesser degree, Africville redefined these categories too from the resistance o f some o f its residents.  By  transforming "discarded" articles into usable/valuable goods, residents resisted the locating o f the dump in Africville. The intentions o f the greater white community by 122  locating o f the dump in Africville, in the words o f Africville resident, "backfired". The clearance o f Africville included complicities and resistance i n its contestation.  Nelson, supra note 17 at 230. C.R. Saunders et al., " A Visit to Africville," in Africville Genealogical Society, eds., The Spirit of Africville, at 33. as quoted in Nelson, supra note!7 at 218. 121  122  47  Finally, the erection o f an insignificant monument further affirms absence and denial o f black geographies o f Africville. From the black geographies o f N o v a Scotia, we turn now to Aboriginal geographies on the west coast o f British Columbia. The geography o f Stanley Park represents an example o f how socio-spatial practices racialized the space o f Stanley Park and defined Aboriginality in service o f Canada's white settler society.  These  distant geographic land contestations share similar colonial technologies, practices and underlying racial categorization despite their differences:  location, diaspora  versus indigenous groups, settlement vs. conquest, and racial categorization o f blackness versus Aboriginality.  I described M a w a n i ' s examination o f Stanley Park  through a (post)colonial lens.  I draw commonalities from what happened in  Africville to Stanley Park, and i n a later chapter, to contestations i n Chinatown. Let us now proceed to the study o f Stanley Park.  C.  STANLEY PARK, BRITISH  C O L U M B I A  Renisa Mawani argues that both the absence and presence o f Aboriginality constitutes Vancouver's civic identity in Stanley Park. Consistently listed in tourist guides as one o f Vancouver's top "must-see" attractions, Stanley Park represents an important role in the civic identity o f Vancouver.  Stanley Park is civic wonder o f  pristine park, natural and old growth forest, and recreational park spaces for children and adults. "The park is celebrated in tourist books, brochures and on visitor websites as a "virgin forest" that reflects a uniquely "natural west coast atmosphere", including an  123  array  o f plants,  wildlife  Mawani, supra note 14 at 98.  and  ancient  trees."  A s Mawani  observes,  48 "[ijmportantly, Stanley Park also occupies a significant geographic and symbolic space in Vancouver's imaginary."  124  When examining that imaginary, Mawani reveals the violent history i n the making o f Stanley Park.  Contrary to the "empty" serenity that tourist books  celebrate, Aboriginal peoples (Coast Salish, Squamish, Musqueam and Tseil-Watuth (Burrard))  125  already owned, resided and settled in the territory well before it became  Stanley Park. Stanley Park was not simply the "virgin forest" o f tourist imaginaries there was a violent displacement o f and corresponding resistance by Aboriginal peoples in this territory. Mawani argues that this resistance shaped its material and representational  landscapes.  The erasure and invocation o f Aboriginality  are  achieved through a three-fold process. First, the colonial technique o f mapping was used to legitimize "spatial vacancy".  126  Second, the rule o f law displaced and evicted  Aboriginal peoples. Third, Mawani discusses the irony o f the simultaneous removal and "the commemoration o f Aboriginality through commodified representations o f totem p o l e s " .  127  A review o f these techniques w i l l show how the space o f Stanley  Park was constructed. Explorers and traders mapped the territory o f Stanley Park as "vacant" and "devoid o f any human presence" peoples in the park.  128  despite the existing occupation o f Aboriginal  Mawani writes,  [t]he Coast Salish have long occupied this territory - using the land for hunting, fishing and for ceremonial purposes. They have never relinquished their ownership, either through treaty o f otherwise. The 124 Ibid. 125 Ibid, 126 Ibid, 127 Ibid, 128 Ibid,  at at at at  104. 101. 102. 104.  49 long lineage of these communities is confirmed and corroborated by anthropological evidence found at an Indian village called X'way X'way, a site that was then renamed in 1912 as "Lumberman's Arch". ... Middens have also been located at other sites within the park, confirming that the Coast Salish have resided on and used this land for millennia. (Steele 1985: 12). These precontact histories have been obscured and undermined partly through maps drawn by George Vancouver and others that erased the Coast Salish and their histories of place. 129  Mawani identifies mapping as the "technology" by which early white settlers promoted the idea of emptiness or vacancy. Later, the imposition of legal names upon these areas would formalize the erasure. Early settlers of Vancouver deemed the forested lands of Stanley Park as belonging to no one. wilderness."  "In popular imagination, the park arose pristine out of the  Colonial, dominion and civic authorities all tried to stake their claims  on the "pristine" and "empty" lands. According to Barman, the imposition of Stanley Park on the peninsula followed soon after British Columbia joined the confederation in 1871.  The new provincial government, along with the local civic authorities  scrambled to determine whether the peninsula had been turned over to the province, reserved by the federal government for the defence of the country, or remained under British control. By 1887 and after more than a decade of wrangling, the federal government conclusively granted jurisdiction of the park to Vancouver civic officials, reserving the right to resume the property for military purposes when required at any 131  time.  Mawani observes that "Stanley Park was also constituted through a series of  colonial logics and practices that rendered the land "empty" and its original  ™ Ibid, at 105. Jean Barman, Stanley Park's Secret (Madeira Park, B C : Harbour Publishing, 2005) at 85. Ibid, at 90. 1 3 0  131  50  inhabitants i n / v i s i b l e . "  132  Empty land could justifiably be appropriated and deployed  in service o f the European settlers who appointed themselves inhabitants or first claimants.  to be the  first  In the course o f the intergovernmental claims to  Stanley Park, the historic residences and occupation o f the peninsula by various Aboriginal peoples was completely ignored by early settlers. The Courts would later uphold colonial appropriation over Native land title in the Stanley Park eviction cases. Indeed, the City and Attorney General used maps and cartography o f Captain George Vancouver to defeat Aboriginal claims to Stanley Park in a series o f eviction cases in the 1920's. The Courts relied upon the white settler technology o f mapping and cartography, as evidence to prove that the subject lands were "unoccupied". According to Mawani, "maps were both discursively and materially central to the •  *  133  conceptualisation, legitimatisation, and administration o f European colonialism." In addition the imposition o f new political, economic and cultural meanings, through claims to scientific authority, maps enabled the partial erasure o f Aboriginal peoples from the history o f the territory. History's "time clock", i f you w i l l , starts when the territory is mapped, not when it was inhabited (by Aboriginal peoples during millennia before such technology was employed by George Vancouver).  Mawani  writes, In the case o f Stanley Park, maps enabled colonial administrators to both make legal claims to the land and to assert a civic identity at a time where the European population i n the region was still relatively small. The colonial identities that were produced through mapping, as I discuss below, were contingent upon the authority o f maps (we are  1 3 2  Mawani, supra note 14 at 105.  133  Ibid, at 104.  51  legally entitled to this territory) but facilitated multiple, competing and fractious social and spatial identities. 134  Mapping  was  significant  because it constructed  cultural tropes o f vacancy,  legitimacy, and scientific knowledge. Moreover, mapping also constructed a specific type o f colonial space - as Mawani describes, "one that was established for the use and enjoyment o f Vancouver's respectable residents, those from the upper-middle classes who were worthy o f citizenship".  135  Such space asserted the stability o f  British identity as having a "home away from home" despite the few numbers o f British settlers at the time. Renaming the territory as Stanley Park in 1888 after the 136  then Governor-General Lord Stanley, civic officials further asserted colonial rule. Mapping is deeply implicated in colonialism as a primary site o f identity and placebased  social construction.  Mapping also bestowed  legal displacements  with  evidentiary legitimacy to evict Aboriginal peoples and deny their land claims. In as much as mapping attempted to assert a colonial order, European settlers also employed legal mechanisms to assert categories on the inhabitants o f Stanley Park. The ultimate purpose was to displace or refute the inhabitants' legal claims to land.  Because early Courts followed British common-law, the outcome o f a land  claim would depend largely on the characterization o f a resident as "Indian" or "squatter".  If a resident were a "squatter", a claim based on Native land title is  extinguished - the category o f squatter itself presupposes a rightful owner that is colonial. A "squatter" is an intruder whose rights arise principally and solely from  134 135  136  ibid. Ibid, at 114. Ibid, at 109.  52 1 ^7  English common law.  If the Aboriginal residents were focused on proving their  "squatter's" claim, they would have fundamentally accepted colonial land title as the true owner in their efforts to claim legal occupancy rights. Not only is the legal debate limited within the colonial framework, the debate has the effect of reifying the colonial legal framework itself. Mawani recounts the legal action commenced by the City of Vancouver and the Attorney General of Canada who in 1923 jointly filed suit against eight defendants, all of whom were required to prove their uninterrupted residence in the park.  138  Within the British Columbia court system, these defendants could only make  legal arguments based on British common-law (which did not provide for Aboriginal title) to prove their land title and tenure. Even when the Court of Appeal ruled in these defendants' favour, the success was limited because the judges "constituted the residents as "ancient pioneers"" rather than acknowledging or considering a claim based on Aboriginal title.  The long history of Aboriginal occupation was not  regarded as a source of legal entitlement to property. Instead, the lawsuit and British common-law served to displace these long-time residents and characterize them as interlopers in a "pristine" landscape. Mawani raises argues that the dislocation of these residents was "articulated through discussions about the temporality of the residents' homes".  140  Lawyers for  the City and Attorney General denigrated the residents by describing their homes as "shacks" made of "clapboard". The disparaging descriptions of the homes reflected Ibid, Ibid, Ibid, Ibid,  at 116. at \\7. at 119. at 120.  53  a colonial arrogance o f European cultural superiority. The Supreme Court o f British Columbia and ultimately, the Supreme Court o f Canada upheld European culture as the superior and definitive standard for how property ought to be used. Early settlers also initiated this colonial superiority through the discourse o f civility and racial identity.  Mawani argues that the construction o f Aboriginal  identities as "illegitimate" and "savage" enabled British colonial rule to " c i v i l i z e " Aboriginal peoples.  Some o f the Brockton Point residents o f the park consisted o f  Portuguese men married to Native women, and their mixed race children were not considered "Indian" by colonial rulers and were denied land claims based on Aboriginal rights. European colonizers considered mixed-race persons as "impure" and "illegitimate". pure  Indian.  141  Being mixed race generated a greater uneasiness than being A s a "pure" Indian, there were certain stereotypes, social status,  privileges and rights granted by colonizers, and being labeled as "half breed" denied them privileges such as hunting or fishing.  This discriminatory standard deterred  couples from dating and mating interracially.  142  A n d in the context o f Stanley Park,  racial identity figured significantly for the mixed-race Brockton Point residents, who were not considered truly Aboriginal and denied the right to claim rights to the land and water. In the end, the legal mechanisms employed to evict the residents o f Stanley Park succeeded, along with the entrenchment o f racial categories underlying the colonial discourse that became located within and reified by law. The "squatters"  141  Mawani notes that the "blood quantum" of the Brockton Point residents was considered. Ibid, at  122.  Mawani also notes that "...Native women who married non-Native men would lose their Indian status, a patriarchal provision that was not only inapplicable to men who married non-Native women, ..."Ibid, at 121. 1 4 2  54  trials resulted in success for the City o f Vancouver and the Attorney General who won rulings that would allow authorities to evict the residents.  C i v i c authorities  allowed residents to stay until the last o f the residents died in the 1950's.  The  Chinese residents were not so fortunate - they were swiftly expelled from the park. C i v i c authorities deemed the "Chinese Ranches" to be "Chinese dens o f no particular value", and cleansed the park o f Chinese presence despite the fact that the Chinese treated the lands as a sacred burial site o f their countrymen.  143  Both Barman and Mawani reject the C i t y ' s moderate approach for the Aboriginal residents as simply a "kindly" feeling or "colonial generosity" in favour o f an explanation that recognizes how Native presence could not be totally eradicated and indeed, became an addition welcomed by European colonizers to the construction of Stanley Park as a produced space.  144  The residences were described as "quaint  little inhabitations" complementing the totem poles as constructed and controlled representations o f Aboriginality.  The fact that Chinese presence was completely  eradicated but not Aboriginality reveals a purposeful invocation o f Aboriginality. The residences were allowed to stay at the leisure o f civic authorities as a powerful reminder o f Euro-Canadian rule. There is a simultaneous invocation and erasure o f Aboriginality in the construction o f Stanley Park. Colonial rulers wanted to recognize (and control) the Aboriginal presence in Stanley Park as part o f the colonial appropriation o f territory. The existence, and subsequent defeat o f competing land claims effectively affirmed and legitimized Euro-Canadian colonial rule.  Barman, supra note 130 at 100. Paraphrased from Mawani, supra note 14 at 124.  The invocation o f Aboriginality was  55  not about honouring Native people and history but rather, it was an affirmation o f European settler authority and progress.  145  Mawani concludes that:  The making o f Stanley Park like the making o f Vancouver (and Canada) has been structured on a desire and disavowal for Aboriginal peoples, an ambivalence that is evident in the simultaneous evocation and erasure o f Aboriginality through mapping and law. Yet this ambivalence is also evident in the commodification and display o f artistic and cultural representations of Northwest Coast communities. 146  The totem poles at Stanley Park represent this contemporaneous displacement and commemoration o f otherness and oppression.  Because the representation  are  controlled and implemented by colonizers, the message is not about honouring the represented subjects. Instead, the eviction and installment o f Aboriginality, what Mawani terms the "fetishisation," produces colonial dominance.  147  C i v i c authorities made Aboriginality visible by allowing the Brockton Point residents to remain i n the park as tenants-at-will for $1 per year. Vancouver residents made Aboriginality visible when they donated "authentic" Aboriginal artifacts such as canoes and totem poles that were "removed" from other coastal communities, to be "installed" in the Park.  Interestingly, the image o f totem poles at Stanley Park is  represented to tourists as one o f the park's main attractions. According to Mawani, the totem poles are "cultural and racial markers, they could also be read as an evocation o f colonial categories and taxonomies that signify a pre-modern and primitive Aboriginality, one which enables the constitution o f the Euro-Canadian self."  O n the other hand, the totem poles also represent an absence o f  Ibid, at 125. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid, at 131.  w  146  w  148  56  Aboriginality because totem poles were not indigenous to the Coast Salish, but are erected on their traditional land by Euro-Canadian settlers. Mawani writes: To elaborate, this commemoration o f Aborignality tells us nothing about the ways in which the Coast Salish peoples and mixed communities who long resided in what is now Stanley Park were forcibly removed and relocated, or o f the multiple ways i n which they resisted European encroachment on their territories. 149  Hence, the invocation o f an erased Aboriginality serves to construct the space o f Stanley Park as a site o f conquest and rewriting o f history in the service o f the EuroCanadian settler society. Colonial mapping technologies constructed  Stanley Park. Reification o f  colonial law to exclude Aboriginal land claims constructed Stanley Park.  The  simultaneous removal and commemoration o f Aboriginality has also constructed Stanley Park. The discourse and resistance have constituted Stanley Park. M a w a n i ' s (post)colonial analysis o f the making o f Stanley Park reveals how the produced landscape o f Stanley Park furthered white Euro-Canadian dominance and justified white destiny to rule the territory. The materiality o f the contestation o f Stanley Park is connected to the social meanings o f colonialism that have been and continue to be perpetuated.  The on-going invocation o f the absence o f Aboriginality affirms the  legitimacy o f colonialism and geographical control over Stanley Park.  D.  C O M M O N T H R E A D S IN A F R I C V I L L E A N D STANLEY P A R K  If we compare the examples o f Stanley Park and Africville, we see striking differences.  Africville was a small settlement o f former American slaves who fled  slavery via the Underground Railroad. They were joined by black United Empire 149  Ibid, at 132.  57  Loyalists, refugees from Jamaica, and veterans j v h o had earned their freedom during the C i v i l W a r .  150  O n the opposite coast, Stanley Park was inhabited by members o f  various Aboriginal peoples as well as descendants o f early Chinese and Hawaiian immigrants. However, i f the objective, as Said suggests, is to critically analyze place-based contestations and connect them to the struggles o f history and social meaning, then the comparisons are apt.  151  The places o f Stanley Park and Africville have certain  material differences, but they share commonalities in their spatialization and their underlying objective to racialize and displace groups from land in the service o f colonialism. Race, space and the law intersect in both the places o f Africville and Stanley Park. Racialization figures prominently i n both examples.  The stereotypes or  binary categorizations o f "savage/civil" or "filthy/dignified" appeal to different "racial" constructs that are fictive entities.  However, the racial differences are  narrated in discourses that uphold whiteness and civility against racist depictions o f the Other as archetypically illegitimate or dim-witted.  The racialization in both  places serves to legitimize white rule. Stanley Park evokes the "peaceful conquest myth", Africville, the "benevolent rescue" myth. Both places have been spatialized by racist practices which imagine and construct the superiority o f EuroCanadian settlers. To  buttress that social justification for  control over territory,  white  EuroCanadian settlers used legal mechanisms to legimitize their dominance. In Nieves, supra note 114 at 88. The objective being posed by Edward Said in the Afterword to the 1995 reprint of Orientalism, as discussed earlier, supra note 102. 1 5 0 151  58  Africville, the legal mechanism o f expropriation treated residents with a recognized interest in land, whereas the squatter eviction trials o f Stanley Park called into question the very nature o f ownership and entitlement to land.  Yet, there is an  underlying commonality to the legal reasoning that is founded upon a positivist universality that denies storytelling, history or subjectivity. In Africville, the "lawlessness" o f uncontrolled land uses enabled a railroad, infectious disease hospital, fertilizer plant and municipal dump to be constructed within a residential area.  152  The imposition o f "law" on Africville enabled the  displacement o f its residents by expropriation.  Similarly, the "lawlessness" o f  Aboriginals taking up 'residence" in Stanley Park without colonial consent was replaced by the imposition o f law through prohibited land uses and claims to ownership through colonial terms. L a w i n both places dispossessed residents o f their land and legal discourse about land claims was limited within a colonial framework, which effect was to reify the colonial legal framework itself. Authorities used these legal mechanisms to remove, evict/expropriate, or otherwise displace residents i n these place-based contestations. Following the removal o f its residents, local authorities erected monuments in Africville and Stanley Park. The totem poles in Stanley Park and the Seaview Park Monument are emblematic o f unilateral control by dominant EuroCanadian society to invoke or erase (re)imagined geographies.  For Stanley Park, the installation o f  inauthentic artifacts reflects a type o f Aborginality that is constructed by and for the EuroCanadian self. The monuments construct the modern space o f Stanley Park as a site o f conquest and revisioning o f the history o f the park as peacefully settled. 152  Nieves, supra note 114 at 89-90.  59  Similarly, the Seaview Park monument  o f Africville provides reconciliation to  EuroCanadian society by facilitating white healing and locality wherein urban renewal saved and created this place o f recreation.  In doing so, monuments locate  and reify spaces, articulating them as a discourse about white entitlement to that space in the past and present. B y critically analyzing these two disparate place-based contestations, we are able to draw useful commonalities: the ways in which racialization operates despite different  archetypical  stereotypes, how law is deeply  implicated in colonial  mechanisms, and the contested ambivalence o f the Canadian white settler mythology. While it would at first seem that these two places are far too different to draw conclusions, a racialized spatial analysis reveals how people o f colour have been displaced and dispossessed from land by common means for a common purpose. From the struggles o f history to specific place-based contestations, social meaning is (re)inscribed and perpetuated within local geographies  that support imperialist  objectives. It is possible to build from this analysis o f how race, space and the law intersect in the examples o f Africville and Stanley Park, by applying this analysis to the history o f and contestations over Vancouver's Chinatown.  60  CHAPTER FOUR - CHINATOWN PROJECTS INT H E  1960's  In this chapter, I review the history o f three City-sponsored projects in Vancouver's Chinatown during the 1960's. This was a critical period for the centuryold neighbourhood.  153  Shortly after W o r l d War II, the status o f Chinese Canadians  and Chinatown shifted dramatically. Not only did China fight as Canada's ally i n the war, but many Chinese labourers in Canada enlisted in the Canadian army earning Chinese Canadians an entitlement to the benefits o f citizenship. In 1947 the Canadian Government repealed the Exclusion Act which had been passed during the peak o f anti-Chinese sentiment during the interwar period. A s a result, Chinatown began a new period o f growth because Chinese residents were able to bring their wives and children from China to take up residence in or near Chinatown in the neighbourhood o f Strathcona. began to regard Chinatown differently.  Non-Chinese citizens  It became perceived less as sinister and  dangerous than foreign and exotic. Vancouverites enjoyed a "foreign" experience sampling Chinatown  foods,  buying curios  merchants  responded  and to  savoring the the  district's  enthusiasm  of  distinctiveness.  "local"  tourists  154  by  glamourizing Chinatown's new image with glittering neon signs and cabaret supper clubs. The changing character o f Chinatown and the increasing prominence o f its residents focused the debate on the construction o f Chineseness.  This debate was  articulated and fought on the battleground o f three land-based contestations.  In this  Chinese pioneers from the Southern delta region of China settled in the area years prior to the official incorporation of Vancouver in 1886. Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee, "Vancouver's Chinatown" (August 2004), online: <www.vancouverchinatown.ca>. 153  154  61  next chapter, I w i l l examine the slum clearance initiatives in Strathcona,  the  Chinatown beautification proposal and the freeway debates.  A.  STRATHCONA S L U M C L E A R A N C E PROJECT: R E D E V E L O P M E N T A R E A  A  In 1948, Dr. Leonard Marsh wrote "Rebuilding a Neighbourhood" identifying Chinatown as a slum in a state o f chronic deterioration.  155  This report became the  basis for the City o f Vancouver to investigate Chinatown further. To that end, Gerald Sutton Brown as the chief o f the City o f Vancouver Planning Committee created the Vancouver Technical Committee ( V T C ) i n February 1956. Armed with D r . Marsh's report,  the  V T C studied Chinatown and the  predominantly  Chinese-occupied  residential area east o f M a i n and Gore (the neighbourhood known as Strathcona) for potential redevelopment.  It would recommend redevelopment and would seek to  qualify for and take advantage o f cost-sharing grants from the Canada Mortgages and Homes Corporation ( C M H C ) . Before delving into the details o f the V T C ' s proposals, a review o f the legislative background o f C M H C grants is important to understand the nation-building forces that prompted redevelopment in Vancouver's C h i n a t o w n .  156  Legislative background In 1938, Parliament passed the National Housing Act in an effort to catalyze the depressed post-war construction industry. The onset o f the Second W o r l d War eclipsed the need for such measures and the National Housing Act initiatives were shelved for the next decade.  In 1941, the federal government created the Wartime  Leonard Marsh, Rebuilding a Neighbourhood: Report on a Demonstration Slum-Clearance and Urban Rehabilitation Project in a Key Central Area in Vancouver. Research Publications, no.l, (Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 1950). Urban renewal became a national priority, established in Canada's federal agenda. 155  156  62  Housing Limited - a national housing corporation dedicated to providing urgently needed housing to accommodate  workers in the  urban wartime  industries.  157  Together with the Veterans Land Act (1942), the federal agencies that these acts created  later evolved into the contemporary  Canadian Mortgages and  Homes  Corporation ( " C M H C " ) . Two years later in 1944, the second National Housing Act ( " N H A " ) expanded the federal government's role i n housing and proclaimed a new commitment to the housing  policies o f the  nation  in the  post-war  era.  Encouraged  by  the  recommendations in the Curtis Report, the federal government proceeded to legislate 158  a  comprehensive  housing  policy  aimed  at  helping  low-income  families.  Geographer John M i r o n observed that demographic changes after the war produced a dire need for housing for low-income families.  159  In addition to the N H A , Parliament  enacted statutes such as the Veteran Lands Act to boost the economy and promote employment; the federal government wanted to avert a repeat o f the post-war depression o f the 1930's.  160  Economic incentives were directly linked to the  development o f new housing across the nation. B y 1945, C M H C was responsible for administering the housing initiatives created under the N H A , including the implementation o f slum clearance enactments. C M H C had comprehensive influence over housing at various income levels and Jill Wade, Wartime Housing Limited, 1941-1947: An Overview and Evaluation of Canada's First National Housing Corporation (1984) 13 Canadian Planning Issues (UBC Planning Papers). Named after Professor Clifford Curtis of Queen's University, the Chairman of the Curtis Committee. The report recognized and recommended the intervention of the federal government to redistribute land resources through a series of housing policy initiatives to facilitate post-war adjustment of veterans and wartime urban labour forces. Urban Studies Department-Environmental and Planning, A Geographical Analysis, Journal of Regional Science, Housing in Postwar Canada (McGill-Queen 1988). See also. House, Home and Community: Progress in Housing Canadians (1945-1986, (McGill Queen's 1993). Canadian Welfare Council, Sourcebook on Housing in Canada (Ottawa: December 1967). 1 5 7  1 5 8  1 5 9  1 6 0  63  geographic  sectors.  The  1944  N H A amendments  provided  assistance  to  municipalities to undertake redevelopment projects, which involved the acquisition, clearance and redevelopment o f entire areas that were considered blighted. Initially, the federal government paid half o f the costs to acquire the land. B y 1964, the federal government increased funding for redevelopment from fifty to seventy-five percent o f total project acquisition costs. O f the twenty-one projects to qualify for federal aid under the N H A , British Columbia had two, the details o f which are described below:  Table 1: Urban Redevelopment Projects Approved under the NHA, 1948-1965 161  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  Urban development projects accounted for over $36 million dollars under the N H A , and dwelling unit construction amounted to over $250 million dollars. Housing and slum clearance funding were a significant aspect o f federal spending and municipal revenues.  Slum clearance projects were not minor excisions in urban cityscapes;  slum clearance was big business - this was major surgery. Between 1940-1950, the City o f Vancouver sought to access federal housing funds and embarked upon a program o f slum clearance.  C i v i c officials identified  Chinatown as a slum. Newspapers popularized messages such as "Blight must be  Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, National Housing Measures and their Relation to Work & Opportunity Programs, R.T. Adamson (Ottawa: November 1965).  161  64  cured" and "workers must be e m p l o y e d " .  162  During this time, a shortage in land  inventory in the lower mainland caused inner city areas such as Chinatown to gain in value. A t the same time, the turn-of-the-century structures i n Chinatown were aging. Most o f the housing stock had not been renovated or improved since it was first constructed. This apparent disinterest in renovating or reinvesting in housing structures was not accidental.  Contrary to the suggestion in the 1961 Province editorial,  Chinatown residents did not reinvest i n Chinatown because they lacked the desire or moral directive.  A s K a y Anderson points out, it was government legislation that  caused the deteriorating condition o f Chinatown's buildings (i.e., the slum).  The  slum clearance measures were aimed at solving a problem that other legislation created.  163  The municipal zoning bylaw o f 1931 classified the area to the east o f  Vancouver's Chinatown (that is, the residential side o f Strathcona)  as "light  industrial", permitting only the construction o f factories and warehouses up the six stories high. This industrial-use zoning prevented property owners who were mostly Chinese from mortgaging their property or obtaining bank loans for repairs and renewal o f their residences.  164  With no buyers or access to financing, the housing in  the seventy-year old Strathcona district fell into increasing disrepair. A t the same time, the federal government  165  promoted redevelopment  offering financial assistance to rejuvenate aging slum areas.  by  Coupled with rising real  estate prices o f inner-city property, the City o f Vancouver was poised to redevelop  Anderson, supra note 19 at 195. Ibid, at 188. During 1950-1959, the proportion of the total Strathcona population that was said to be Chinese increased from one-third to 48 percent, and as high as 70% near Gore. (See Anderson, Ibid, at 189.) Ibid, at 188. 1 6 2  m  1 6 4  165  65  Strathcona as recommended in the V T C ' s Redevelopment Proposal. The rhetoric and characterization community.  o f Strathcona  as slum destabilized an increasingly  important  With the election o f community members to Parliament and the  economic success o f Chinatown-based businesses throughout the greater Vancouver area, including notable examples such as the Keefer Laundry who at one time handled all o f the linens for the hotels in Vancouver, Chinatown began to shed its past image o f being merely a labour encampment. Residents started to enjoy its economic power and were not altogether convinced o f its characterization as a slum, despite its aging structures. According to geographer George Cho, "one cannot equate Vancouver's Chinatown with a ghetto or a slum in the strict sense o f the w o r d . "  166  The common  settlement history and cultural heritage o f the Chinatown population set Chinatown apart from typical slums, but, this was not enough to deter the zeal behind urban renewal.  VTC's Redevelopment Study In 1957, the V T C authored the Vancouver Redevelopment Study, which identified Chinatown and Strathcona as "derelict" and sorely compromised as an "underproducing" area for tax revenue given the state o f disrepair and consequently, low value, o f its residential homes.  W i t h the approval o f City Council, civic  departments quickly implemented the report's recommendations to acquire and clear slum housing and to reconstruct high density housing in its place. V T C ' s report stated  George Cho, Residential Patterns of Chinese in Vancouver, (Masters of Arts in Geography, 1969) [UBC Papers]. City of Vancouver, Vancouver Technical Committee, Vancouver Redevelopment Study 1957 Vancouver Redevelopment Study -Draft, Redevelopment Project No. I A-3 Call for Development Proposals ["Vancouver Redevelopment Study"]. 1 6 6  1 6 7  66  that "[c]rowding structures onto these small lots, in individual ownership, was one o f the factors responsible for the generally blighted condition o f the area."  Between  1957 and 1964 the City purchased and redeveloped wide areas o f Strathcona. Beloved manorial homes were demolished and much-resented multilevel housing projects were constructed i n their place. B y living in large manorial homes, extended family and relatives shared resources and split living costs. While multilevel housing projects created as many housing units as were destroyed, such projects did not replicate the social or economic advantages o f living i n manorial homes. Authors o f the V T C were not concerned with social criteria - they wanted to access federal funding and eliminate what they believed as was a scourge. The V T C made recommendations for redevelopment in Strathcona by geographic areas entitled "Redevelopment Area", followed numerically as A - l , A - 2 , A - 3 and so on. Area A - l was the area bounded by Hastings and U n i o n Streets, Gore and Raymur Avenue.  In it, the City would construct low-rent, high-density public  housing in the Raymur Park complex.  Area A - 2 was bounded by Keefer and  Georgia, and Hawks and Heatley Avenues. Once cleared, this area would become Maclean Park. Located directly across from Maclean Park, Area A - 3 was bounded by Keefer and Georgia Streets, and Jackson and Dunlevy. It was identified for public housing  to  accommodate  the  displaced residents  of  Area  A - l during  its  redevelopment. Contrary to its official bland nomenclature, Strathcona residents were indeed very interested in these proposed redevelopment areas. They opposed what appeared to be innocuous gentrification because their homes were slated for demotion and lives 168  Ibid, at 3.  67  destined for relocation and upheaval.  Property owners worried about the meager  compensation they might get through the expropriation process.  169  For residents and  the City, expropriation was a relatively new tool i n the City's arsenal to acquire land. Landowners did not have the benefit o f statutory protections and legal safeguards that have since developed with the enactment o f formal expropriation statutes in the 1970's.  170  In research interviews with Strathcona residents, professor Joanne Lee found that they were not advised o f their right to protest the acquisition or to appeal for additional compensation.  171  Her interview subjects explained that residents were told  that they had no rights and many accepted letters from City hall as a death sentence, without appeal or recourse. Lee found that residents did not have the willingness to challenge government officials for fear o f being labeled as "trouble makers", nor did they have the financial resources to do so, as there are no known or reported legal cases. Redevelopment in Strathcona was a central element o f the C i t y ' s 20-year program o f urban renewal embracing some  1,000  acres for "Comprehensive  Redevelopment" and some 1,400 acres for "Limited Redevelopment".  Existing  community buildings such as schools, churches, halls and other similar use buildings  See Shirley Wong's letter to City Council, dated November 28, 1967, as reproduced in City of Vancouver, Urban Renewal Scheme 3, B-Areal - Strathcona - Appendices, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. Ms. Wong urges City Council to provide replacement housing at cost to families whose homes have been expropriated and details a precise formula for compensation. Ms. Wong's suggestions address shortcomings in expropriation statutes across Canada. See Lee, supra note 23. Canada, Royal Commission on Expropriation Law and Procedures, The Clyne Report (August 24, 1964 Commissioner: Honourable J.V. Clyne). In 1971, the Law Reform Commission of British Columbia issued its report, which later became the basis of expropriation law statutes and reform in British Columbia and across the country, in Ontario and Manitoba. Law Reform Commission of British Columbia - Report on Expropriation Law and Procedures, dated December 20, 1971. Personal interviews with Professor Joanne Lee and her research associate (Spring 2003) on expropriation cases in Chinatown. 1 6 9  1 7 0  171  68  would be retained as far as possible.  However, virtually all o f the residential  buildings were to be demolished. In M a r c h 1960, City Council authorized the City's engineers to acquire and clear A r e a A - l and so began the first stage o f redevelopment that was outlined in the V T C ' s Vancouver Redevelopment Study. Strathcona residents, the majority o f whom were not fluent i n English, did not want to leave the area.  O f greater interest, they were concerned about receiving  enough compensation from the City to stay within the increasingly expensive area. In October 1960, concerned property owners and residents formed a delegation o f fifty, lead by notable leaders such as Foon Sien and Wilson Leung, to oppose the relocation and redevelopment.  Under the ad-hoc organization named the Chinatown Property  Owners Association ( C T P O A ) , the delegates presented their case before  City  Council, and later submitted a brief to the Royal Commission on Expropriation Laws 1 79  and Procedures. In its brief to City Council, C T P O A advocated for the retention o f private housing and the necessity o f retaining a viable residential community contiguous to the more commercially-intensive area west o f Gore.  C T P O A argued that link  between commercial and residential uses in Chinatown was critical to its success, following the proven example o f San Francisco's Chinatown as a residential community and a "showplace".  Hence, private residential housing needed to be  preserved in order to keep the attractive neon lights o f the commercial west-side o f Clyne Report, supra note 157. On January 27, 1961, the Government of British Columbia established a Royal Commission to review the law of expropriation. The Honourable J.V. Clyne was appointed the sole Commissioner. Public hearings were held, the Commission sitting for eighteen days in Vancouver. The transcript of evidence and argument ran to 2,566 pages. Twenty-three organizations or persons appeared before the Commission, and a number of written submissions were made. The Commission was assisted by N T . Nemetz, Q.C., now a judge of the Court of Appeal of British Columbia, and Mr. R.C. Bray, both of whom were appointed Counsel to the Commission, and Mr. J.N. Lyon, now an Associate Professor of Law at M c G i l l University, who was appointed Registrar. 172  69  Chinatown.  Strathcona's  14,000 Chinese residents  Vancouver's Chinese population.  comprised almost all o f  If this Chinese population and density were  dispersed, the 176 businesses, 68 familial associations, 4 Chinese language schools, and so on would be irrevocably disrupted. C T P O A appealed to non-Chinese interests by highlighting the "International Flavour" o f Chinatown enjoyed by Occidental tourists who frequented Chinatown as an exotic destination trip. Despite its passionate appeal, C T P O A ' s case before City Council and to the Royal Commission had little desired effect. Instead, civic officials and media reports villianized the Chinese community as a self-serving opponent to progress that would benefit the greater community.  A s K a y Anderson points out i n her recount o f  C T P O A ' s protests, the newspapers began characterizing opposition to slum clearance disapprovingly in a Province editorial i n August 1961: Slum clearance is going ahead...and the Chinese community should be cooperating in the process. They should be arranging to house elderly survivors o f a past era in the fine new housing that is to be provided. Chinatown can be preserved. But only i f the Chinese themselves help to make it a better, more modern and finer Chinatown. Slum 173  clearance is Chinatown's opportunity. Those  who protested  their  forced  relocation from  their  homes  for  meager  compensation were now portrayed as myopic and unable to help themselves. The first stage o f redevelopment,  as recommended  in the  Vancouver  Redevelopment Study, pressed ahead and protests were ignored. The momentum and perceived righteousness o f slum clearance fueled City Council's enthusiasm to launch the second stage almost concurrently with stage one.  The second stage called for  further demolition, and was even more objectionable to Chinatown residents.  Vancouver Province, 7 August 1961, see Anderson, supra note 19 at 195.  The  70  Vancouver Redevelopment Study called for high-rise housing i n Area A - 3 located directly adjacent to Chinatown's commercial c o r e .  174  B y constructing high-rise  housing on Gore Avenue, there would be a permanent physical limit to the growth o f Chinatown - commercial businesses would never be able to expand across Gore Avenue. B y Spring 1963, City Council had heard considerable objection to the redevelopment.  Prominent leaders in the Chinese community spoke out against the  project, asking for a boycott against the redevelopment. But many still felt unheard.  175  In response to criticism that likened Chinatown's slum clearance to the forceable relocation o f Little Tokyo during W W I I , M a y o r W i l l i a m Rathie offered Chinese architects the opportunity to design a private development for A r e a A - 3 . Following the guidelines in the  Vancouver Redevelopment Study, City  planners thought that redevelopment o f Strathcona should be undertaken by a combination o f public and private enterprise, even though it was uncertain how much control the City could exert over the overall character o f the redevelopment. Area A 3 became the subject o f community interest as semi or quasi public entities were invited to participate i n its redevelopment.  Area A-3  City of Vancouver Archives, supra note 156, Correspondence shows that City Council or civic administrators established an ah-hoc committee to administrate the acquisition and clearance initiatives. 174  175  Ibid.  71  In  light o f C T P O A ' s  Expropriation  Royal  unsuccessful  Commission  on  appeals  to  City  Council  Expropriation Procedures,  and  the  the  Chinese  Benevolent Association ( C B A ) began coordinating efforts to respond to Mayor Rathie's invitation to participate i n the redevelopment o f Area A - 3 .  W i t h its  established history as a non-partisan association dedicated to social philanthropy and its renowned credibility within and outside the community, the C B A was a logical conduit for concerns over the third stage o f redevelopment.  In a letter dated A p r i l  10, 1963, the C B A recounted its meeting on M a r c h 29, 1963 with Mayor W . G . Rathie and City Planner Gerald Sutton Brown to review the C B A ' s plans for redevelopment in Area A - 3 .  The C B A ' s letter described a meeting that "inspired [the C B A ] to  tackle this difficult development i n Chinatown with more enthusiasm on account o f your guidance" and that with the "expressed encouragement" (of the Mayor) "the project could be underway within six months."  176  W i t h the full support o f the  Chinese community, the C B A confidently advocated its position that redevelopment should not disperse the Chinese community. Referring to the examples o f similar developments in San Francisco, Chicago, and Honolulu, the C B A warned against the "distress cause[d] in some other cities by forcibly dispersing the Chinese Community 177  on redevelopment and [the C B A ] does not wish this to occur in Vancouver." In addition to pressing a social objective, the C B A appealed to a business case. The C B A had guaranteed financing in place, without calling upon funds from C M H C as would be needed by other developers.  The C B A also knew that the  Letter dated April 10, 1963 from Chinese Benevolent Association to Mayor W.G. Rathie, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. 177 Ibid. 1 7 6  72  Chinese community wanted "to live i n their family homes [and] not i n rented apartments or high rise buildings." The C B A presented its concept on A p r i l 10, 1963 to the Redevelopment C o coordinating Committee, a committee that was struck i n the previous year by the Mayor to examine Chinatown's proposals further.  This is the same committee that  prominent Chinatown resident Foon Sien resigned from three months earlier, i n January 1963 to protest the committee's willful disregard o f the grievances o f residents when it nonetheless recommended that City Council approve clearance projects. C B A ' s proposal was reasoned and emphatic: Chinatown residents did want to be dispersed from Strathcona because the City proposed housing projects did not suit the Chinese community's social needs. Moreover, the City gave an undertaking that when the second Stage o f the Redevelopment program was reached, the Chinese community would be given an opportunity to examine the proposals and to submit their views before Council made its decision. The Province quoted Foon Sien to say that the Chinese community was far more concerned about  Stage 2 o f the  redevelopment than Stage 1 because the former involved the wholesale displacement 179  of Chinese residents. According to the C B A , the C i t y ' s scheme o f redevelopment for Area A - 3 would not suit the Chinese people who formed the largest part o f the community, and many were leaving the neighbourhood already. The C B A wrote:  Ibid. Newspaper clippings, Vancouver Province (15 September 1960) Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives (Foon Sien boxes). 178  179  73  This dispersal o f Chinese residents represents a threat to Chinatown i n that these residents contribute to a large degree i n the support o f Chinese stores, markets, restaurants and other businesses. These businesses apart from their direct benefit to the community, have a second worthwhile function in that they serve to make Chinatown the colourful and interesting attraction it is. It seems safe to say that our Chinatown is one o f the major tourist attractions in our city. Not only did the C B A emphasize the desire o f the Chinese community to be involved in the redevelopment o f Area A - 3 , it also reminded City Council o f its promise to Chinatown residents that they would be invited to contribute to its redevelopment and welcome to bring their ideas forward when ready. Indeed, the C B A was ready.  It enjoyed intimate knowledge o f the Chinese  community's needs, it had guaranteed private financing i n place (as opposed to other private developers who needed to qualify for C M H C or N H A funds), and it had an organized plan for redevelopment. The first step o f the C B A proposal was to acquire the whole o f Block 86 (Area A - 3 ) . O n this site, it would "build family-type homes o f one and two storeys in height, with each house being situated on its own parcel o f land.  The houses would comprise one family, duplex and quadruplex types o f  buildings."  181  The C B A explained the reason for this type o f single-family development, which contrasted with the multilevel housing projects that the Redevelopment Coordinating Committee favoured, as follows: Characteristically, Chinese people prefer to own their own homes rather than to rent them. A permanent home is the foundation o f a Chinese family unit. In the Chinese culture the family home is a meeting and gathering place, for all members o f a family unit, whether Letter dated April 25, 1963 from Chinese Benevolent Association to the Mayor and City Council, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives (Foon Sien boxes). Ibid, at 3. 180  m  74  they are children or young adults having children o f their own. In part it is the maintenance o f these family groups that makes possible the low level o f delinquency among Chinese and their fairly high educational accomplishments. Their pride o f family is reflected in their pride in home ownership. It is characteristic o f the Chinese people that they want to live in their own house on their own parcel o f land. H i g h rise apartment buildings, even i f co-operatively owned, do not appeal to our people. W e do not like to rent our homes. W e want to own them and the land on which they stand. 182  The C B A ' s proposal satisfied the aim o f clearance and redevelopment, and was "not just an idle dream."  183  The C B A created the Vancouver Chinatown Development Association, a nonprofit organization, to carry out the redevelopment o f Area A - 3 . A l l that was needed was for the City to allow the C B A to acquire the land, and to relax the high-density standards required in the C i t y ' s redevelopment scheme. could be relaxed one o f two ways:  The high-density standard  by reducing the set-back requirements or  increasing the permitted floor-space ratio. In other words, a larger footprint could be built i f the perimeter setback allowance was reduced, i f the site coverage ratio or floor space ratio were to be maintained. Or conversely, the setback could remain the same i f the floor space ratio were increased. As  the C B A suggested,  i f the area were zoned as a Comprehensive  Development District, no amendment to the Zoning and Development bylaw would be needed. The relaxation could be easily enacted by the Technical Planning Board or City Council itself. They could amend the Subdivision Control bylaw to allow for small lot sizes and the landscaping objective would be met by C B A ' s suggestion to  75  close or restrict vehicular traffic along Block 86, and planting Chinese maples and Japanese cherry trees. A t this time, the City was already in the process o f acquiring and clearing Block 86. The C B A wanted the first right to acquire the entire Block 86, and i f the property had to be offered by tender, then the C B A sought the privilege o f meeting the price o f the highest bidder for the purchase. The C B A was not the only interested party - in a letter dated A p r i l 25, 1963 from the City Planning Department to the Board o f Administration o f City H a l l , the writer alludes to an inquiry having been received by the Planning Department from an architect expressing interest in this land 184  on behalf o f another potential developer. Apart from this unnamed developer, there was competing interest from private members o f the Chinese community. Remembered for her flamboyant hats and later incarceration for real estate fraud, the infamous Faye Leung and Dan Leung designed a separate redevelopment plan with a theme o f Chinatown as the "Oriental City", complete with moon gate windows, pagoda roofs and landscapes o f bamboo, Chinese maples, Japanese cherries and tea gardens.  185  The Leungs fashioned a concept o f  Chinatown that supported mainstream perceptions  o f Chinatown already -  a  commercialized tourist district appealing to traditional stereotypes o f a nostalgic and mythical vision o f China from days gone by.  A n inaccurate account o f historical  Chinese architecture underscored the Leung proposal - architectural periods and styles were disrespectfully jumbled together. Letter dated April 25, 1963 from City Planning Department (Redevelopment Division) to Board of Administration (City Hall), Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. Report to City Council, April 1963 from Dan Leung and Faye Leung, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. 1 8 4  1 8 5  76  In M a y o f 1964, the C B A and the Leungs dedicated resources and energy to putting forward proposals that would be accepted by City H a l l . In a letter dated M a y 12, 1964,  186  the Planning Department  recommended that the City send to all  interested parties the " C a l l for Development Proposals dated M a y 8, 1964" which outlined the requirements o f suitable tenders. The C a l l for Development Proposals outlined C M H C ' s design plan o f a "super block" concept, with a population density o f 100 persons per acre involving multiple forms o f development.  M o r e particular  requirements such as maximum 35% site coverage and maximum 25% service area coverage, lead to rigid design options that virtually required multi-family housing units to be constructed to meet the criteria. Indeed, only four lots would be created i n each  block necessitating  higher  occupancy  factors  again  achievable  only i n  multifamily housing units (not the small lots favoured by the C B A ) . Both the C B A and the Leungs submitted proposals that accommodated the tender call, with requests for dispensations on some o f the stringent requirements. Not surprisingly, the City rejected the Leung and C B A plans because their proposals did not contain multifamily housing units. The federal mandate to acquire, clear and rebuild "slum areas" with multilevel housing was clear. The diversions o f the C B A and Leung proposals did not accord with the overall objective o f modern housing plans in the name o f progress. The conflict between "Chinese created plans" and "national slum clearance objectives" were not reconciled by Vancouver City Council. Instead, City Council focused on Strathcona redevelopment separately from redevelopment o f the commercial area o f Chinatown itself. This way, federal slum Letter dated May 12, 1964 from City Planning Department to Standing Committee on Civic Development and "Redevelopment Proposal No. 1 Area A-3 - Call for Proposals" dated May 8, 1964, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. 1 8 6  77  clearance proceeded i n Strathcona (Area A-3) according to its original objectives, and civic redevelopment could occur in Chinatown to reflect the City's objectives.  B.  D E S I G N P R O P O S A L F O RI M P R O V E M E N T - F E B R U A R Y  1964  The City's objectives for Chinatown were clearly stated in the City o f  Vancouver's "Design Proposal for Improvement" (the "Design Proposal"): Chinatown is clearly the most distinctive o f these areas o f special interest. The objective o f this report is to show how this area can be improved, its character strengthened, and its tourist potential enhanced. The Design Proposal was the C i t y ' s propaganda  to initiate its program o f  improvement for Chinatown. It called for property owners and merchants to fund the $500,000 price tag. The Design Proposal described Chinatown as having two distinct parts, one located east o f M a i n (catering directly to the Chinese community) and the other west of M a i n (the tourist's Chinatown). The Design Proposal only addressed the area west o f M a i n , as depicted in Figure 1.  Design Proposal, City of Vancouver, City Planning Department, February 1964, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives (emphasis added). 187  78  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  F i g u r e 1 - A r e a of Study - " T o u r i s t ' s C h i n a t o w n "  i m  The Design Proposal qualified its limited objective o f improving the tourist's Chinatown: This report does not pretend to be a fully detailed analysis o f building conditions, economic stability o f businesses or housing. Rather the study is concerned with space: the streets and open spaces around 1 RQ  existing buildings. The City intended to improve Chinatown through the construction o f streetscapes rather than examining the factors that instill or support economic stability o f a tourist's Chinatown. Indeed, the tourist value o f Chinatown was a tangible business case for redevelopment that both Chinatown business owners and City planners wanted to  188  ibid, at 4. Ibid, at 5 (emphasis added).  79  capitalize upon. clubs and shops.  In 1964, Chinatown was a glorious commercial district o f supper 190  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  F i g u r e 2 - V a n c o u v e r ' s C h i n a t o w n , 1964  The economic vitality o f the tourist's Chinatown was well-recognized and the City based its redevelopment proposals in the Design Proposal upon it. There were four stages i n the Design Proposal. Stage One was the re-routing o f heavy traffic from Pender Street to the Pender-Keefer Diversion, which would be widened to permit two-way traffic.  Heavy trucks would then be prohibited from  using Pender Street between M a i n and Carrall Streets (Figure 3).  Michael Kluckner, Address (Lecture presented to University of British Columbia P L A N 548H, March 16, 2004) (unpublished). Supra note 187 at 1. 1 9 0  191  80  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  192  Figure 3 - Stage One - Rerouting of Heavy Traffic Foreshadowing the freeway plan already being designed by the City, the  Design  Proposal noted that: Studies being made for the replacement o f Georgia Viaduct and a possible connection between Columbia Street and Quebec Street on the south side o f False Creek may suggest other solutions to 1 0^  Chinatown's traffic problems. The freeway proposal w i l l be discussed later. It is important to note that the  Design  Proposal which purportedly aimed to address tourist issues has as its primary step, a crucial street plan that coincides with the greater freeway proposal to come. Stage T w o o f the  Design Proposal sought to eliminate the entire north block  of Keefer Street between M a i n and Columbia for the provision o f off-site parking (Figure 4).  192 Ibid, 193 Ibid.  at 9.  81  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  Figure 4 - Stage Two - Provision of Off-Street Parking * 1  4  The structures pegged for demolition comprised buildings that were identified i n the  Design Proposal to be in "poor" condition constructed before 1 9 3 0 .  195  These  buildings, mostly light industrial, supported products and services supplied in Chinatown. The provision for off-street parking seemed anomalous given the  Design  Proposal's statistic that parking spaces were observed to be generally available in Chinatown during the m i d - d a y .  196  The clearance o f this north block o f Keefer  followed from the Stage One expansion o f the diversion, which also accommodated future freeway expansion plans. The demolition o f this block was to occur over time, and at first opportunity - meaning, real estate prices in that area would be depressed by the existence o f this  Design Proposal because the City did not intend to  expropriate the lands for this part. O n the other hand, the City already owned most o f the triangle o f land created by the Pender-Keefer Diversion. "Triangle"  194 195 1 9 6  by  assembling  Stage Three involved the redevelopment o f this  (acquiring the  four  ibid. Ibid, at 6. O f 400 parking spaces, 51 spaces were available. Ibid, at 7.  privately-owned parcels)  and  82  redeveloping them into an "oriental bazaar" that would operate in the summer months (Figure 5).  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  F i g u r e 5 - Stage T h r e e - R e d e v e l o p m e n t o f A r e a B e t w e e n P e n d e r , Columbia and Pender/Keefer Diversion 1 9 7  Instead o f including prior proposals put forward by Chinatown residents for a temple and park, the Design Proposal suggested a 60-foot tall neon dragon near Carrall Street on the centre line o f Pender Street.  Appropriately echoing the "tourist  Chinatown" concept the City hoped to achieve, the Design Proposal stated that "such a feature could become the symbol o f Chinatown." Redeveloping Chinatown from its existing community into an enhanced tourist's Chinatown was certainly on the minds o f City planners in the Design Proposal when they designed Stage Four, the creation o f a Pedestrian M a l l .  For  Stage Four, there were two proposed sketches. Sketch One shows the creation o f a limited traffic plan where only emergency vehicles, tour buses and taxis would be permitted access. There would be devoted bus loading areas and taxi stands (Figure 6).  !  Ibid, at 10. Ibid.  83  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  F i g u r e 6 - Stage F o u r - Sketch P l a n 1 - L i m i t e d Traffic P r o p o s a l  199  Sketch Plan 1 preserved the existing Marco Polo restaurant, created an Oriental Bazaar and erected the Pagoda in the southeast corner o f the Triangle.  The  difference in Sketch Plan 2, reproduced below, is that no vehicular traffic would be permitted on Pender.  It would be a pedestrian mall, modeled after popular urban  design in the late 1960's implemented in other North American cities.  199  Ibid, at 11.  84  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  F i g u r e 7 - Stage F o u r - S k e t c h P l a n 2 - P e d e s t r i a n M a l l  2 0 0  According to the Design Proposal, Stage Four was not essential to the total program. Yet  interestingly,  Stage  Four  sets  out  additional  construction  accommodate a six-lane widening necessary for future freeway plans.  that  would  Note  that  Keefer street is shown as dotted, and that the Pender-Keefer Diversion takes on design features such a wide-centre line separation that are more in keeping with an multi-lane arterial road than a feeder.  Paved parking areas and cleared market areas  are more easily converted into drive lanes than i f structures were built.  One can  simply overlay the freeway proposal with the Design Proposal without conflict.  "Ibid, at 12.  85  O n the other hand, there was considerable opposition to Stage Four by the residents and business owners o f Chinatown. perspectives.  Opposition came from  different  Business owners objected to the creation o f a summertime Oriental  Bazaar that was located too far from their existing "sidewalk display" businesses. Merchants would have to move their wares daily from their stores and increase their staff to cover two locations. Business owners were also not convinced that reducing vehicular traffic on Pender would increase business volume. Because Chinatown was considered "exotic", Occidentals felt more comfortable driving through Chinatown rather than exploring it on foot. The Design Proposal did not identify or address the needs or reflect the desires o f the existing businesses because they were proposed, without any public consultation. Residents disagreed with the recommendations  in the Design Proposal  because it was designed to make Chinatown an object for "foreign" travel, not a community for existing Chinese residents. Chinatown was going to become the next "Stanley Park Z o o " complete with a limited-traffic mall for tour buses to gawk at the Chinese.  A l s o , the creation o f a widened diversion street would sever the  201  neighbour from the south. Opponents were concerned that children and slow-moving seniors would be endangered by the six-lane road and faster posted speed limit. Only members o f the Vancouver Chinese Centennial Committee were encouraged by the positioning o f the Pagoda in the Triangle.  The Committee had been proposing a  Pagoda project to the City complete with guaranteed funding o f $175,000 for •  sometime without success.  1 2  909  Anderson, supra note 19. Chinese Canadian Centennial Project, 1962, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives.  86  The Design Proposal failed to meet the expectations o f Chinatown residents and business owners because it was conceived without any consultation. T o further fuel opposition for this City-initiated proposal that many did not see any benefit of, the Design Proposal warned that property owners should be prepared to pay their 9m  share o f the expense. The Design Proposal purported to present ideas and not dictum. It stated that "[t]his report has not stated what should be done, but what could be done."  204  This  apparent flexibility to solicit ideas from Chinatown contrasts with the detail o f Design Proposal itself.  Moreover, the City engaged a model builder at significant cost to  create a scale model illustrating the Design Proposal (Figure 8) to help property owners envision the project. Such an effort coupled with the failure to conduct any public consultation contradicts to the City's purported desire to respond and solicit public opinion.  Design Proposal, supra note 187 at 14. Ibid (emphasis added).  87  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  Figure 8 - Scale Model Illustrating the Improvements Proposals  205  Despite the City's efforts to garner support for the recommendations in the Design Proposal, business and property owners never gained ownership o f these imposed ideas, and the Design Proposal project was never built. Public opinion was not swayed by references to San Francisco and other North American Chinatowns where urban forms were designed to typify an archaic notion o f Chinese culture (such as dragons and lanterns on light posts painted red or inaccurate phonetic translations of street names).  Property owners were not dissuaded from maintaining the physical  structures in their historic state that reflected the "career o f those who lived there,  205 Ibid, at 15.  88  rather than the authority o f those with the power to define, and literally construct Vancouver's Chinatown".  Similar to the Strathcona slum clearance, the need for  redevelopment was imposed upon Chinatown. The Design Proposal project failed because o f the exorbitant financial contributions required from protesting property owners.  The Design Proposal quickly lost attention and momentum when City  planners unveiled a project o f far greater controversy.  C.  F R E E W A Y PROPOSAL  1967  In 1967, City Planners proposed an elevated eight-lane freeway cutting through the heart o f Chinatown. The freeway through Chinatown was part o f a larger proposal for a comprehensive regional freeway network that could connect through a harbour-front development project and more importantly, to a third crossing to the north shore. Before the freeway proposal revealed an alignment through Chinatown, there was mounting momentum for a comprehensive regional freeway network. In late 1964, under the bureaucratic leadership o f Gerald Sutton Brown, the City hired the engineering consulting firm o f Phillips, Barratt and Partners to study a new alignment for the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts and associated street planning. The Philips, Barratt consultants considered various freeway components when designing the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts, which presumed that the freeway itself was going to be built. During the years prior to the 1967 official announcement o f the freeway proposal, federal funding, north shore developers and fervent city planners initiated a series o f reports and studies that recommended the freeway proposal through 2 0 6  Anderson, supra note 14 at 200.  89  Chinatown, and through other parts o f Vancouver as well. In 1966, the City hired the San Francisco firm o f Parson, Brinkerhoff, Quade & Douglas ( P D Q & D ) to develop a transportation plan for V a n c o u v e r .  207  The local architectural firm o f Erickson-  Massey was also asked to evaluate the transportation plan from a local perspective. A t a stakeholders meeting held on October 12, 1966, civic officials and external consultants discussed a preliminary functional plan that would form the basis of the soon-to-be released Vancouver Transportation Study. The Minutes from this meeting reveal that experts considered aligning the freeway  eastward to avoid  Chinatown but determined that it would be too costly to move it out into the harbour.  208  M r . Hickley from the City planning department believed that the north  south freeway "should improve the situation in Chinatown provided it is properly handled". Director o f Planning M r . Graham agreed that the street systems would be made more compatible with a freeway by "possibly incorporating the freeway into the Chinatown m o t i f . "  209  City Engineer R . M . Martin could only speculate that the  elevated freeway might provide "desirable" cover since no public consultation in Chinatown was conducted.  210  External consultants and City officials  satisfied  themselves that their best intentions for the freeway would benefit Chinatown. Over eight months and at a cost o f $212,000, the members o f the Vancouver Technical Committee considered various freeway design options: single deck aerial roadway  facilities, terraced  freeways  (stacked),  tunneling  and  partial  aerial  Minutes from October 12, 1966 Meeting of the Vancouver Transportation Study (Authors: G. Massey (Erickson-Massey) and H.D. Quinby (PBQ & D)), Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. Ibid. Minutes from October 12, 1966 Meeting of the Vancouver Transportation Study (Author, W.E. Graham, Director of Planning) Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. 2 0 7  208  2 0 9  90  expressways.  211  Finally on June 1, 1967, the City Engineering Department presented  the results o f these studies in the Vancouver Transportation Study ( V T S ) to City Council. The V T S recommended a waterfront freeway connected to the Georgia Viaduct v i a a Carrall Street connector cutting through Chinatown, and thence to a north-south freeway and an east-west freeway extending to the city boundaries. The proposal involved an eight-lane, two hundred foot-wide, thirty foot-high wall cutting into the western edge o f C h i n a t o w n .  212  In conjunction with the freeway proposal,  City planners separately proposed an eight-block commercial development named Project 2 0 0  213  that was to stretch along the Coal Harbour waterfront from downtown  to Stanley Park.  City planners were expecting accolades when they proposed both  the Chinatown freeway proposal and Project 200 because their advisers were made up mostly o f commercial and north shore developers.  tUttA.  Ibid., at 156. Vancouver, City of Vancouver - Vancouver Technical Planning Board, Vancouver Project 200, (Vancouver, 1968).  2 1 2  2 1 3  91  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  Figure 9 V a n c o u v e r ' s Proposed System of F r e e w a y s  214  The freeway announcement on June 1, 1967 drew the attention o f Chinatown immediately.  The more famous freeway opposition would come later i n October.  Within a month, the Chinese Benevolent Association ( C B A ) together with the Chinese Merchant's Association prepared a B r i e f opposing the freeway proposal through C h i n a t o w n .  215  The C B A framed the freeway problem as follows:  It is our understanding that plans are now underway to construct a new Georgia Viaduct Bridge and that City Council must therefore advise the city engineers o f the various alternative routes a cut-off might take to j o i n the Georgia Viaduct portion o f the freeway system with the freeway leading to Project 200. While our position is not the intention to advise, recommend or suggest one or several alternatives to the City  Vancouver Sun, 4 November 1967, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. Chinese Benevolent Association Brief to the Mayor and City of Vancouver Council dated July 4, 1967, Vancouver, Vancouver City Archives, with letter dated July 4, 1967 from the Chinese Merchant's Association, Victor Louie to the Mayor of Vancouver, Vancouver, Vancouver City Archives. 214  2 1 5  92  Council, it is here to make its position clear to City Council that the Chinese Community does not want any part o f the proposed Freeway system to cut through any part o f the Chinatown business district. In particular, the Chinese Community oppose the recommendation that a Freeway cut through the unit block o f East Pender Street. The Chinese community is opposed to this recommendation for the simple reason that Chinatown as we know it w i l l be completely destroyed. 2  6  The C B A B r i e f presented a business case about tourism and commercial revenues to preserve Chinatown but it also appealed passionately to save the "basic and traditional Culture o f the Chinese people" that would be destroyed with the loss o f the *  217  family societies and community schools. According to the C B A , the freeway proposal threatened the vitality o f Chinatown. A n eight-lane freeway through Pender or C a r r a l l the existing Chinatown a concrete shadow.  218  streets would render  The freeway proposal also displaced  existing enhancement projects proposed by business and property owners.  For  example, the one hundred and fifty thousand dollar Pagoda project on the intersection o f Carrall and Pender streets was shelved. A proposal by the Chinatown Merchants Association to extend business hours in Chinatown to correspond with other tourist and souvenir shops that cater to tourist traffic was also put off until the greater issue of the freeway could be decided.  Ancillary projects important to the Chinatown  community were now eclipsed by the challenge to the existence o f Chinatown itself. In addition to Chinatown's opposition to the freeway, City Council considered fourteen briefs on the proposed freeway. Neighbourhoods along M a i n and Venables streets were also affected by the freeway proposal and residents organized to oppose its construction. 216  217 2 1 8  Notably, opposition to the freeway focused on the unnecessarily  Ibid, at 2-3. Ibid, at 4. Street name appears as "Caral" and "Carall".  93  narrow limitations o f the City's transportation study. The San Francisco consulting firm o f P B Q & D recommended a freeway alignment under the constraints o f the C i t y ' s own terms o f reference that limited the scope to only two alignments. Such limitations on the scope o f the study called the motives o f the C i t y ' s engineering and planning departments into question. The Vancouver Sun reported that City Council was divided on the freeway issue and decided to table a decision on the V T S that was strongly recommended by City staff.  219  City Council favoured expanding the scope o f the transportation study  to examine more alignments because the consensus among Council members was that no freeway link should be built through C h i n a t o w n .  220  The National Harbour Board  supported Chinatown's opposition by being amenable to a freeway connection east o f Carrall even i f it would mean encroachment onto the harbour area.  Because the  assumptions i n the P B Q & D study did not allow other options to be considered, City Council now instructed a wider study. Despite objections from Commissioner Gerald Sutton Brown and civic bureaucrats, who wanted to press forward with the freeway proposal, they would have to wait few more months before their freeway project could be considered by City Council again. B y September 8, 1967, P B Q & D produced a six-page recommendation letter to the City Engineering Department. In addition to summarizing the City's expanded terms o f reference initiated on July 11, 1967, P B Q & D recommended Sketch Plan H that showed the connection to the major highway west o f Gore Avenue. There would be an interchange o f four stacked ramps together with new one-way distribution  219  Vancouver Sun, 6 July 1967, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives.  94  access streets for Prior and Union streets.  P B Q & D purported that they carefully  considered a number o f factors when designing Sketch Plan H : "land use, community impact, economic, topographic, highway geometries and other engineering and planning  considerations."  221  After  reviewing all o f these factors,  PBD&Q  recommended a preferred alignment that specified the "tie-in" or "connection" for the freeway at a location west o f Gore Street through the heart o f Chinatown. But, there was one lesser known factor that greatly influenced P B D & Q ' s recommendation that outweighed land use and engineering factors: it was money. It was common knowledge that the residents o f Chinatown preferred the freeway connection to be located east instead o f west o f Gore Street where it would slice through the heart o f Chinatown. A freeway connection east o f Gore Street would reduce overall disruption to the area and keep the commercial centre o f Chinatown intact. A n east connection would make logical sense overall except that the City would lose federal funding from the Strathcona slum clearance project i f a freeway was built east o f Gore street. A s engineer R M Martin wrote, Location o f this connection east o f Gore Avenue would involved extensive encroachment on the Strathcona Redevelopment Project which is well advanced in its stages o f development, and for which substantial contracts exist between the City o f Vancouver and both the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation o f the Federal Government and the Province o f British Columbia. Construction o f portions o f this project, including the block bounded by Georgia and Union Street and by Dunlevy and Jackson Avenues, is already  completed. The Vancouver City Planning Department has stated that location of any portion of a major highway or its ramps within the Strathcona Redevelopment Project and its required clearances would involve the loss to the City of further financial support to the Project by the senior levels of government? 22  Letter dated September 8, 1967 from PBQ& D Inc., Engineers, to R . M . Martin, City Engineer, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives, at 4. Ibid, [emphasis added].  2 2 1  2 2 2  95  From R M Martin's own admission, the City preferred that ramps be located west o f Gore or else it would lose financial support for the Project.  Even though P B D & Q  purported to have considered all objective criteria such as land use and engineering i n determining a preferred  location, locations east o f Gore were never properly  considered because o f the City's desire to safeguard federal funding. O n Tuesday, October 17, 1967, City Council officially decided to build an elevated freeway with tie-in connections located east o f Carrall Street and west o f Gore Street, wholly adopting all o f P B Q & D ' s recommendations. The new freeway proposal would have its critics but City Council and administrators underestimated the public outrage that would follow and how quickly Vancouverites galvanized support to oppose the freeway. The next day the Vancouver Sun reported:  A n g r y protests swept through Chinatown Tuesday following city council's decision to build an elevated freeway across the district's heart. Chinese businessmen and property owners heatedly charged that council reneged on its promise to consult them before deciding on the route. They claimed the eight-lane traffic artery above Carrall means a death sentence for Chinatown as a tourist attraction and viable business community. Opposition echoed through Chinatown, as did allegations o f bad faith and sentiments of bitterness by those who participated i n the C B A ' s Brief submitted to City Council two months earlier. Dean Leung, co-chair o f the C B A , was reported to say, "They didn't even consult us. We didn't even now that the question was to be considered by council on Tuesday."  224  The Vancouver Sun also reported that Henry Fan,  Vancouver Sun, 18 October 1967, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives.  96  spokesperson for the Chinatown Property Owners' Association said that: "The 99S  reaction among the Chinese merchants and businessmen is very bad." Opposition to the freeway came also from sources outside o f Chinatown as well as Taras Grescoe described: The day after city council approved plans for an eight-lane freeway across Chinatown, fifty University o f B . C . architecture and community planning students decided that they had to do something. They marched along Pender Street carrying banners saying "Undemocratic and Irresponsible" and "Is Sutton Brown G o d ? " 2 2 6  Property owners such as Lawrence K i l l a m o f the Birmingham architectural firm also joined the voices o f opposition when he was quoted saying, "It w i l l be a tragic 997  blunder i f the city demolishes half o f Chinatown for a freeway."  Indeed, the  location o f the connection between Carrall and Gore streets would involve the acquisition and demolition o f a strip o f buildings 120 feet wide, mostly along the historic buildings on Pender Street. The general manager o f the Greater Vancouver Visitors and Convention Bureau, Harold Merilees, thought that the C i t y ' s decision was disappointing: "What's a few million dollars more in costs compared with destroying Chinatown - one o f our leading tourist attractions?"  228  B y Saturday after the announcement on Tuesday, black banners were draped over buildings in Chinatown with white lettering opposing the freeway.  229  The large  banners that hung over the entrances o f the C B A office and the Marco Polo restaurant confronted residents and visitors to Chinatown's notable hotspots with the message  Ibid. Ibid. See also, Vancouver Sun 4 November 1967, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives at 12. Ibid. Vancouver Sun, supra note 223. 229 Vancouver Sun, 23 October 1967, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives.  225  226  2 2 1  228  97  that Chinatown was under attack.  About 100 people attended a Saturday meeting  called by the C B A , and an ad-hoc committee o f seventeen members was struck to spearhead the anti-freeway campaign. The committee immediately convened to draft a brief to the local, provincial and federal governments to force the City to change its freeway plans.  In contrast to assurances from the M a y o r that businesses could be  built under the pillars o f the freeway, Chinatown business and property owners were more concerned about preserving the historical character o f Carrall Street.  The  Monday edition o f the Vancouver Sun reported that Dean Leung said: " W e also want Chinatown preserved now and 100 years from now." Leung was referring to many family associations in the unit block o f Pender street, including the Chinese Times newspaper which were going to be destroyed by the freeway.  The block between  Carrall and Pender streets is the most historic area o f Chinatown that dates back to the first settlement in Chinatown and Vancouver itself.  Leung said that the Chinese  community did not trust promises; the City had reneged on its promise to consult with the public, and the City failed to find new homes in the Chinatown district for the hundreds o f Chinese who remained scattered about the city. Opposition to the freeway mounted quickly.  Within a week, M a y o r T o m  Campbell responded by hosting a luncheon meeting with Chinatown leaders on Monday, October 23, 1967. A s reported in the Vancouver Sun the next day, Mayor T o m Campbell retreated from Council's decision on the Carrall freeway link by promising to include Chinese representatives on a committee o f citizens he planed to appoint to work with architects on finalizing the design.  He apologized to the  Chinese leaders for not having invited them to the Council meeting the previous  98  Tuesday, and "promised to check whether the controversial Carrall Street elevated OO A  freeway could be built on the west instead o f the east side o f the street." Promises from City H a l l did not carry much weight any more in Chinatown. From the ignored Pagoda Project to the failed promises o f appropriate housing in Strathcona, residents o f Chinatown feared that the freeway proposal would follow the C i t y ' s spirited zeal to rebuild Vancouver and destroy Chinatown. Chinatown campaign.  organizers,  supporters outside  Chinatown joined  the  Together with anti-freeway  There was a diverse range o f supporters to save Chinatown: history and  architecture academics from U B C , the C i v i c Unity Association, Community Arts Council, Vancouver Visitors' and Convention Bureau, Vancouver Board o f Trade and OO 1  even private citizens joined the freeway debate.  Numerous letters o f support were  sent to the Mayor, including one such letter dated November 3, 1967 from a M r s . W . S . Kate Watson, who wrote: Dear M r . Campbell, - yesterday I was at a Citizen's seminar sponsored by the School Board and the Vancouver Citizenship Council. A n d one o f the people taking part was M r . Foon Sien o f the Chinese Benevolent Association. He was feeling very upset about the proposed plans for planning a freeway through Chinatown. N o w I do not profess to know the ins and outs o f this plan but I do think that the Chinese are very good citizens, and Chinatown a real [ ] attraction, second only to the one in San Francisco, and I do think it should not be destroyed in any way or the lives o f these good people be disrupted. I want to put in a good word for them. Sincerely, M r s . W . S . Kate Watson. 232  The diverse anti-freeway campaign became focused on three key issues: i) opposition to a freeway in Vancouver and preference for rapid transit system, ii) destruction o f Vancouver Sun, 24 October 1967, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. Correspondence file, Mayor's Office, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives (Foon Sien boxes). Letter dated November 3, 1967 from Mrs. W.S. Kate Watson to Mayor Campbell, City of Vancouver Archives. Mayor Campbell received at least ten letters of support for the opposition of the freeway from various authors, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives (file 45-B-6filel6). 2 3 1  2 3 2  99  Chinatown community and business, and iii) preservation o f historic buildings in Chinatown. A newspaper photograph o f the protesters picketing the October Council decision for the freeway reveals Caucasian faces amid Chinese ones.  Original Removed for Copyright Reasons  Figure 10 Photograph of Protesters The November 4, 1967 edition o f the Vancouver Sun reported: The reaction at city hall at first was: " H o w do we win?" If the city does something, the elected and hired officials get it in the neck for doing it wrong. If they don't they get it for stalling and indecision. 234  The freeway proposal had deeply divided views for and against. Newspapers tracked the positions, votes and absences o f Council members at meetings that considered freeway proposals - and Council members soon became identified as either "pro" or "anti" freeway.  234  Vancouver Sun, 4 November 1967, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives at 12. Ibid.  100  In next civic election o f 1968, the "Rathie" Council (i.e. pro-freeway) was replaced predominantly by "anti-freeway" Council members.  While the majority o f  the general public opposed the freeway and voted accordingly, private developers and city planners were deeply invested in the issue and continued to press the freeway proposal f o r w a r d .  235  Advocates for the freeway had the benefit o f years o f planning  studies that supported a comprehensive regional freeway system and which included the construction o f a third crossing to the north shore (the real prize for north shore property owners and developers who were "pro-freeway").  Anti-freeway advocates  scrambled to find qualified transportation engineers and architects to critically evaluate the freeway design; it was difficult to address seemingly persuasive reasons tendered by pro-freeway developers and north shore property owners. In the very polarized freeway debate, a voice o f opposition came from a surprising source - a person who was associated with the freeway proposal itself. Arthur Erickson, an aspiring architect, was hired by the City as an external consultant to provide some perspectives on the impact o f the freeway. Erickson credits his firm, Erickson & Massey, for having stopped the freeway because his report said that the Carrall street connection to the freeway would be a "big mistake" and that 236  "Chinatown would be completely underneath the piers o f the freeway." Four months later, City Council's views on the freeway proposal changed. The City moved from being pro-development to later adopting as their basic principle the desire to integrate  a completed expressway and transit  system into the  Hardwick, W., Vancouver (Ontario: Collier-Macmillan, 1974). Jay Currie and Michele Denis, "Thinking about the City- A n interview with Arthur Erickson and Stephen Hynes, The Social Developer, online: http://www.hillside.ca/twochairs/twochairs.htm.  2 3 6  101  "community f a b r i c . "  237  A t the General Council meeting on January 9, 1968, City  Council narrowly passed a resolution to rescind Council's prior decision to endorse the Carrall Street section o f the proposed freeway.  238  A s described in the Vancouver  Sun, this "about face" followed public outcry that was credited to leaders o f the Chinatown community and U B C academics such as Walter Hardwick and Dr. Peter Oberlander.  239  "Leading critics were heartened by council capitulation but refrained  from claiming a final victory" - they were well aware that Council could simply vote again to reverse its d e c i s i o n .  240  Jack Lee from the C B A and Harry Fan from the  Chinatown Property Owners were grateful for City Council's decision but their gratitude was tempered by the looming possibility that Council could always go back on their decision.  Lee demanded, " W e would like a firm commitment that the  freeway link w i l l not go through C h i n a t o w n . "  241  The freeway fight was won, at least momentarily. Organizers while grateful, were also mindful that they may be called upon to fight again i n a few months. The Vancouver Sun reported that Chinatown organizers celebrated cautiously, mindful o f the impermanence o f the v i c t o r y .  242  Their caution was warranted. During the time  that the freeway proposal was reviewed and debated,  City Council  approved  construction o f portions o f the Georgia viaduct on the premise that a freeway would be built.  Council authorized Philips Barratt and Partners to consult on the new  viaduct and to start designing the structure. A t a further cost o f $4,300 and four and a  Minutes of General Council Meeting, January 9, 1968, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. * Ibid, at 18. Vancouver Sun, 10 January 1968, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives at 2. Ibid, at 1. Ibid, at 2. Vancouver Sun, 10 January 1968, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives at 18. 7  9  0  1  2  102  half months, more sketches depicting the viaduct and connectors to the freeway were drafted. The Georgia Viaduct was constructed and opened two years later. Indeed by 1970, Harry C o n on behalf o f the Strathcona Property Owners and Taypayers Association ( S P O T A ) found himself addressing the M a y o r again to advocate against a freeway and the heavy use o f Prior Street resulting from the opening o f the Georgia Viaduct: In February 1970, the people o f Strathcona area appeared before City Council three times to protest the construction o f any freeway through the area. W e convinced the Council to rescind its decision on the Union-Prior couplet. A l s o , we strongly recommended the Council should determine a better solution for dispersing traffic leaving the Viaduct before the actual construction o f the Viaduct. Needless to say, the opening o f the N e w Georgia Viaduct and the subsequent heavy use o f Prior Street, finds us very disappointed with City H a l l . This loading o f Prior Street has created and w i l l continue to create problems for the citizens o f the area. The heavy traffic has alienated those South o f Prior Street from those North o f Prior Street by effectively discouraging any easy contact with each other. Obviously this discouragement o f personal communication severely damages the atmosphere and hope for a viable neighbourhood. Access to False Creek Park has become increasingly difficult. The Park is our only regional park and is used by people o f all ages. In the past, we protested against having a freeway thru the Downtown and thru our Chinatown. N o w we are faced with a freeway proposal in the East, this w i l l affect the Strathcona Area where the rehabilitation program, supported by the three levels o f government, w i l l proceed soon. In our neighbouring communities, to the East o f us, we are very concern[ed] over the hundreds o f homes to be displace[d] by this proposed freeway. The experience that was faced by many o f our residents from the forced expropriation by the Urban Renewal Scheme was not a happy one. The lack o f fair play, knowledge, citizens participation and the great social hardship for many w i l l be long remembered. Again, we stress that we do not want any freeway cutting through our area. W e ask the City Traffic Department work on an over-all transportation system which is geared to the safety o f people not just automobile[s]. It is hoped that the Council Members w i l l  103  concern themselves more with their people and housing rather than  04-7 with freeways. Unlike its external allies who joined them in the prominent freeway fight, SPOTA continued to work actively behind the scenes to influence the continuing road construction and redevelopment of its neighbourhood.  SPOTA organized to send  volunteer representatives to many of the special sub-groups with long names, such as the "Special Committee of the Liaison Group Re Freeway Connection Georgia Viaduct to Highway 401", that were established by City Council to review piece-bypiece the construction of the Viaduct and the freeway.  2 4 4  While these sub-groups  appeared to have been charged with the responsibility of freeway review, they had very little power or influence. Without budgetary resources or political authority, these groups were nothing more than bureaucratic attempts to placate and occupy the anti-freeway opposition. D.  SPOTA's  RESISTANCE  SPOTA's tireless and unsung efforts encompassed recruiting volunteers to become knowledgeable  of freeway and neighbourhood development,  attending  countless special committee meetings, and raising awareness within the Chinatown community on the broad range of City-initiated construction projects. These projects ranged from technical traffic and road planning (e.g. the Viaduct) to thinly-veiled  Letter from Harry Con from SPOTA to the Mayor and Council Members, dated July 23, 1970. Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. Minutes from April 19, 1971 Meeting of the Special Committee of the Liaison Group re Freeway Connection - Georgia Viaduct to Highway 401, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. 2 4 4  104  beautification projects , all o f which had the potential to significantly impact the 245  character and vitality o f Chinatown. For example, the Beautification Programmes proposed by the City Planning Department to City Council in February 23, 1967 and July 31, 1968 aimed to develop civic "hardware" toward the physical rehabilitation o f Chinatown.  246  City Planners proposed streets, sidewalks, street furniture and public  decorations even after the previous "Pender Pedestrian Project" was abandoned. There remained a fervent desire to reconstruct Chinatown by decorating it i n a manner that reflected the City planners' conception o f Chinatown. Was Chinatown not authentically Chinese enough? City planners felt it necessary for gold dragons and red-painted light posts to be erected to adorn the neighbourhood. wanted  to  demarcate  an  already  distinct character  City Planners  o f Chinatown by  using  distinguishing features that were stereotypically Chinese to the occidental viewer. Ironically, the stereotypical elements o f Chinese architecture (dragons, red paint and crevices) conflicted with the diverse architecture o f the traditional buildings. The historic buildings in Chinatown with their bay-windows, balconies and ornate lattices reflected the architecture o f past colonizers o f parts o f China. Settlers in Vancouver's Chinatown constructed Victorian- and Portuguese-style buildings because they were reminiscent o f the architecture constructed i n the colonized provinces o f China from which many o f the labourers had immigrated.  247  The gold dragons and red lamp  posts were confusingly juxtaposed against Italian lattices and Victorian bay windows,  Vancouver, City Planning Department "Beautification" - Goals and Procedures (October 21, 1968) Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. Ibid, at 3. http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/chinatown/history/index.htm 4  2 4 6  2 4 7  105  which more accurately reflected the colonial history o f the people who settled in Chinatown. Guided by stereotypes, the  City Planners proposals  failed to properly  understand and enhance Chinatown as a unique historical area that illustrated the history and character o f its settlers.  The stereotypes used in the City-initiated  beautification proposals defined Chineseness as a singular dimension as observed at the time o f first colonial contact, i n contrast to the lengthy and complex geographical, social and political history o f a diversity o f Chinese people. In addition to physical road construction that threatened Chinatown in the name o f progress, there were attempts to reconstruct Chinatown socially and symbolically as artificially Chinese i n the name o f beautification. O n June 25, 1969, the Vancouver Sun reported that architect B u d W o o d o f Birmingham W o o d had accused City officials o f delaying release o f the beautification report to influence Council's decision in selecting a route for approaches to a new third crossing to the north shore.  While Mayor T o m Campbell denied the  accusation, the interconnectedness o f the Carrall Street bypass and distributor route and the Chinatown-Gastown beautification program was clear.  Barrett and Wright  presented  Development  before  the  Standing  Committee  of  Planning,  and  Transportation on July 3, 1969 a report that condemned the C i t y ' s revitalization plans: The problem stated by the report is one o f revitalization and beautifying the pockets o f decay in the downtown area. The word "decay" would more accurately read "neglect" and that does not apply necessarily to the physical structures but more specifically to the social Vancouver Sun, "City Council Gets Report on Chinatown, Gastown" 25 June 1969, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. 248  106  groupings and individuals that occupy the area. Whenever we talk of altering the physical make-up of anything, be it a house, a district, a city, no matter how large or small, it is the people that will be affected and the way they will react that must be considered before all else. Once again the people of these areas have been neglected. The report's recommendations can hardly be considered grounded in the needs or even basic requirements of those now living in the area. Our opinion is that the framework of the report now before Council is essentially in error and that it contains no solution to any problems the area is now faced with. Any attempts that have been made at problem solving have been poorly and superficially presented. In short, the issues have not been dealt with. 249  With two of the city's major architecturalfirmsspeaking out, the City's revitalization 9 SO  plans were completely unnecessary and accordingly abandoned. On the other hand, the City's report advocated major beautification plans, including the perspective that: The city is at the stage where it can still choose to recognize the value and beauty of its cultural inheritance. ... It has a very special and attractive human heritage, and through it has impetuously squandered some of it, and through ignorance and willful blindness has often pitifully neglected to take proper stock and care of its possessions, a substantial sum of them remain intact and only need to be revealed and cultivated to help Vancouver refine and strengthen that character and * *  251  personality which will make it great among great cities of the world. The self-effacing tenor of the City's beautification proposal contrasts sharply to the pejorative tone of the earlier freeway and viaduct dictates. This change could be credited to the City's experience from the media scrutiny during anti-freeway campaigns. Alternatively, it could be that the proposed beautification projects were not funded by federal grants and required the support of Chinatown merchants who Presentation before the Standing Committee of Planning, Development and Transportation on July 3, 1969, Barrett and Wright, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives (emphasis added). Vancouver Province, "Dress up old city - planners"- 11 July 1969, Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. Vancouver, City of Vancouver Planning Department, "Restoration Report: A case for Renewed Life in the Old City: (December 19, 1969, released June 1970) Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. 2 4 9  250  2 5 1  107  would be expected to pay increased property taxes between $6.00 to $7.00 per lineal 252  frontage foot per year for fifteen years. In the midst o f the debate over what to do with the "dangling" Georgia viaduct and the Chinatown beautification schemes that were ardently proposed and equally objected to, the community o f Strathcona was also quietly fighting the last stage o f the slum clearance.  Headed by prominent community leaders such as Mary Lee 253  Chan, the last stage o f slum clearance was not going to happen unopposed.  A t the  outset o f stages one and two o f redevelopment, City officials promised the Strathcona community that residents would consulted for stage three o f the slum clearance. B y the time stage three was about to commence, City officials blatantly refused to honour their commitments and proceeded without consultation. Chinatown advocates  decided to appeal  M a r y Chan and other  to a higher authority -  the  federal  government. Paul Hellyer, the federal transportation minister visited Strathcona in the later stages o f the slum clearance project.  During his visit, Mary Chan led a group o f  advocates to convince the Minister to consider the affected residents o f the urban renewal project that was being funded largely by federal dollars.  C i v i c officials  touted slum clearance as being wholly successful, but failed to mention the negative impacts o f clearing old-timers from these key residential areas and destruction o f historic areas o f Chinatown for the freeway.  proposed  Impressed with Mary  Chan's group and suspicious that civic officials had misled him, Minister Paul Vancouver, City of Vancouver Planning Department,: Alternative Beautification Projects for Chinatown" (January 13, 1970), Vancouver, City of Vancouver Archives. Susan Poizner, "Mary Lee Chan: Taking on City Hall," D V D : Mother Tongue, (Toronto: Think Stock, 2004).  2 5 2  2 5 3  108  Hellyer instituted a moratorium on further urban renewal until all stakeholders, including the residents themselves, were consulted.  N o further projects were  completed in Chinatown under the slum clearance scheme. The federal government gained a certain fondness and respect for Chinatown and its residents, culminating in the federal heritage designation o f Chinatown's historic blocks. C i v i c authorities who planned to dissect Chinatown with a freeway through Chinatown's heritage buildings were trumped by federal and provincial authorities who stepped in to protect Chinatown's architecture. These contestations over the (re)development o f Chinatown revealed a strong community that could be galvanized to protest attacks on Chinatown's physical structures that represented greater social and political implications.  In other words, the projects and protests  over Chinatown were not only contestations about freeways or pedestrian areas.  In  the fervent protest over urban renewal and freeways, there was an underlying debate about the notion o f property in land, and about the ways in which these contestations about land served a more discursive purpose, that o f constituting a nation. In the next chapter, we unmask the complex layers o f the intersection o f race/space and legal geographies.  109  C H A P T E R FIVE - V A N C O U V E R ' S CHINATOWN:  RACE/SPACE  L E G A L  GEOGRAPHIES  The sixties marked a critical transition in Chinatown. Through struggles over space, this locale was transformed from a foreign and exotic neighbourhood during the post-war years, to the emergence of a prominent community in an increasingly multicultural nation.  Chinatown, as many now recognized, could neither be  assimilated or eradicated. In each of these projects, place-based mechanisms were employed to construct, regulate and produce a Chinese racial identity. The result was that Chinatown was produced and reproduced as a racialized space. Following the race/space legal geographical analysis described in an earlier chapter, I now turn to how the geographical interrogations of racialization in Africville and Stanley Park apply to Vancouver's Chinatown. Strathcona Slum Clearance  Not only was the Slum Clearance project precipitated by federal funding, it gained momentum with popular support from Vancouver City officials who wanted to implement a modernist agenda by appealing to racial categories. Modernism became defined in racial terms (white is modern, advanced and therefore superior, the Other is backward, and therefore inferior).  254  In Nelson's recount of Africville,  opposition to slum clearance by Africville residents had a negative moral connotation as "anti-modern" or "primitive". In Chinatown, opposition to slum clearance also connoted the same negative moral judgment.  Blight became conflated with the  characterization of Chinese people and culture as "anti-modern", "primitive" and  See bell hooks, Feminist Theory: margin to center (Cambridge: South End Press, 2000). Goldberg, David in Racist Culture (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993).  2 5 4  110  "inhuman" for living in "squalor conditions". If they opposed slum clearance, then by definition they were morally inferior and unable to help themselves. This powerful message was communicated i n the slum clearance discourse. For example, the denigrating tenor o f newspaper editorials suggested that the Chinese needed to help themselves to make it a better, more modern and finer Chinatown, presupposing that Chinatown was not good enough as it was. Editorials implied that Chinatown residents were either unwilling or unable to help themselves, and that only the slum clearance project would be capable o f eradicating "blight" - a conspicuous condition to which Chinatown residents seemed oblivious.  Moreover, there was an  underlying theme that Chinatown was slum not because o f some unconscionable breach o f objective living standards (e.g. overcrowding densities, lack o f water and unhygienic sewer, etc.) - standards which could be applied externally. Chinatown was considered a slum because the Chinese chose to live in high-density familial units that were different than the traditional single-family Euro-Canadian pattern. It was the culture o f "Chineseness" itself that made it a slum, and the resident's unwillingness to change that made them inferior. Residential patterns o f the elderly living in small quarters with or near kinship ties were considered an inferior way o f social organization. The Chinese Benevolent 257  Association  (CBA)'s  written proposal to the  City o f Vancouver i n  1963  emphatically argued that large single-house development (capable o f accommodating large families) was preferable to the mass multifamily-tower housing (of small single units) that the Redevelopment Committee favoured. C B A ' s impassioned plea alluded 255  Supra note 173.  2 5 6  Supra note 19.  2 5 7  Chinese Benevolent Association, supra note 215.  Ill to high educational accomplishments which the C B A argued was the result o f strong family units. But such residential patterns were the very target o f slum clearance. City authorities opposed the residential density variances proposed by the CBA.  These  seemingly  inconsequential  planning  policy  measures  would  preferentially impose Euro-Canadian family patterns onto the Chinese community. The City proposal to develop rental housing appeared to provide low-income housing but this type o f single-rental housing would in fact cost more to the individual than the cost o f a one-room unit in a large manor home shared with family or kinship members.  Quite apart from the stated objectives o f the City, the slum clearance  initiatives were directed to clearing a culturally-specific residential pattern, not the eradication o f intolerably low living conditions. The residents who choose to live i n a slum did so because o f some unassimilable or immutable inferiority - such is the racialization o f Chinatown. A k i n to how the "dump" i n Africville was created, Chinatown's slum was created socially and physically through place-based legal mechanisms.  Water and  sanitary sewer services were denied in Africville because it was not zoned as residential district, causing l o w hygiene and thereby creating deteriorating conditions. Chinatown was downzoned in 1931 to "light industrial". This degrading o f land-use zoning from "residential" to "light industrial" prevented property owners from mortgaging their properties or obtaining bank loans to repair their homes and rooming houses. Downzoning led to the general disrepair o f properties and reduced the overall number o f transfers o f property ownership, when home repairs would typically be done to improve value for resale or upon purchase by the new owner. The financial  112  means and economic impetus for reinvestment and maintenance o f properties were effectively removed when Chinatown was downzoned. The built-form was regulated in a manner that created deteriorating conditions. These deteriorating conditions in Chinatown were aligned with the Chinese being anti-modern, ignorant and morally inferior. In addition to zoning regulation, civic authorities implemented other placebased legal mechanisms i n Chinatown that had social and physical consequences. City officials sent expropriation letters to Strathcona residents threatening forcible 258  eviction with little or sometimes no mention o f compensation.  *  J  If the City offered  compensation, it was only for market value o f the physical property, and no compensation was offered or awarded for any rents or contributions received from family members for sharing accommodation. Because Strathcona was not zoned for rooming houses or shared accommodation, any rents or income derived from nonconforming uses were rendered legally non-compensable.  259  Without the additional  income or cost-splitting, residents were unable to repurchase homes o f similar size and character in the neighbourhood.  A s a result, expropriated residents  were  dispersed from the community to the detriment o f the previously vibrant churches, schools and businesses situated i n Strathcona. In the area previously known as A - 2 i n the Strathcona Redevelopment Project, Maclean Park now stands as a quiet testament to the once flourishing neighbourhood before bull-dozers eliminated the lively city blocks o f kinship family homes.  Only  the relic o f a too-steep fire-escape from an odd third-storey window betrays the quiet Poizner, supra note 253; see also Lee, supra note 24. If rents could not be considered in the compensation, the fair market value of the home would not reflect the property's actual value from its ability to generate rooming income. 2 5 8  2 5 9  113  domesticity o f a scientifically planned and redeveloped neighbourhood. There are no plaques or historic markers. Even the park, named after M a l c o l m Maclean the first mayor o f Vancouver, does not reflect the life and career o f the Chinese C P R families who eked out a living and settled i n Strathcona. This is reminiscent o f the "burial" and erasure identified by Nelson i n naming o f Seaview Memorial Park where Africville once stood. The slum clearance project constructed Chinatown as a racialized space through place-based legal mechanisms.  The Strathcona area o f Chinatown was  labeled as "blighted". This was a characterization that was laden with negative moral judgments o f Chinese racial identity in contrast to the superiority o f modernism o f Euro-Canadian settlers.  City authorities enacted legal mechanisms o f downzoning  and expropriation to forcibly remove residents and to change the character and residential patterns o f the neighbourhood. Because the loss o f residential density in Strathcona had a negative economic impact on the growth o f commercial businesses west o f Gore, the whole o f Chinatown was affected by the slum clearance in Strathcona. It is important to note that the geographical exclusion o f Strathcona from the official boundaries o f Chinatown was one o f the place-based mechanisms employed by the City to delimit the growth and identity o f this historic neighbourhood. B y drawing "official" boundaries with a thick red line, City officials mapped Chinatown imposing an external view o f the definition o f the neighbourhood. Lefebvre's  formulation  of  social  space,  the  exclusionary  Using Henri  mapping  as  a  "representation" o f place, attempted to change the way residents "perceived" and  114  "experienced" C h i n a t o w n .  260  Until this redevelopment project, Chinatown residents  did not think o f Strathcona as being separate from Chinatown. The use o f mapping as a delimiting tool affirmed civic authority, harkening back to M a w a n i ' s argument o f how colonial authority was similarly imposed upon Stanley Park by its exclusionary mapping. Throughout the discourse o f Chinatown's slum clearance and urban renewal project, the privileging o f the dominant white settler society over the cultural history o f the Chinese Canadian settlers played out over and over again. C i v i c authorities used place-based objectives.  mechanisms  and impositions o f authority  to achieve social  These social objectives included limiting the social characterization o f  Chinatown as a strictly commercial district, and the characterization o f Chinatown residents as anti-modern or in effect, anti-Canadian. These place-based mechanisms were prejudicial downzoning, unfair expropriation and exclusionary mapping, all o f which were directed at the built-form but served a common purpose.  This purpose  was to eradicate, redefine and construct "Chineseness" according to a white EuroCanadian cultural norm. These same mechanisms are even more manifest in the 1964 Beautification Proposal for Chinatown.  1964 Beautification Proposal When the  City o f Vancouver revealed  its  1964 proposal to  improve  Chinatown, the map showed a red-outlined area o f study. This seemingly innocent red line asserted civic authority and entitlement to manipulate and dictate social and spatial identities. The red-outlined area defined Chinatown as a purely tourist area, 260  Supra note 1 at 9.  115  and not a community or business enclave. existence for consumption by outsiders.  This red line defined Chinatown's  Chinatown was not allowed to exist for its  residents and existing users - it had to be improved for external tourist consumption. In addition, this red line had the effect o f limiting the expansion and growth o f Chinatown, physically and socially.  M a i n Street divided the tourist's Chinatown  from the resident's Chinatown to the east, and Gore Avenue (as defined in the slum clearance project) divided the commercial and residential parts o f Chinatown. These distinct divisions were arbitrary because there were cross and mixed uses throughout the area, (although there were general concentrations o f similar uses in some blocks). These concentrations were entrenched by mapping divisions that served to control and limit Chinatown's growth. Indeed, as Mawani notes, mapping reflects colonial ambivalence over their own authority too, needing to represent and impose their particular viewpoint through attempted to produce  maps.  261  The exclusionary mapping Chinatown  Chinatown as a commodity dependent upon  dominant  consumption o f the Orient instead o f Chinatown as a powerful organized community, as it increasing became. K e y features o f the proposal demonstrated the desire to produce a tourist's Chinatown.  For example, the proposal to close Pender Street allowing only tour  buses and taxi cabs did not meet the needs o f Chinatown businesses that credited freeflowing vehicular traffic in front o f their stores with business.  There was also a  highly inconvenient proposal to develop an "Oriental Bazaar" in the triangular parcel o f land created by the Keefer-Pender diversion. Under the Oriental Bazaar proposal, Mawani, supra note 14 at 104. Chinatown activists raised war bonds and elected the first Chinese Canadian Member of Parliament, Douglas Jung.  2 6 1  2 6 2  116 shopkeepers who enjoyed storefront sidewalk displays were expected to transport their wares, and to hire more staff to sell tourist goods i n one area. Invariably, these kiosks or stores tend to sell similar souvenirs targeted for sale to tourists, which are o f little use for local residents who need everyday goods such as hardware or services like key-cutting, alternations or shoe c o b b l i n g . civic officials is a political s y m b o l .  263  The appropriation o f tourist by  264  The beautification proposals also included hardware streetscape installations such as lampposts decorated with dragons and painted red topped with street name signs translated into Chinese. These hardware proposals were designed to visually define and reinforce the area as Chinese for the tourist.  City planners wanted to  improve Chinatown by "repackaging" it using decorative items stereotypical o f traditional architecture o f China but irrelevant to the inhabitants o f Vancouver's Chinatown. Red lampposts and dragons traditionally reserved for the imperial regime o f China were imposed upon Chinatown. The residents o f Chinatown did not adorn their buildings i n this fashion. The organic style o f the residents produced culturallymixed buildings owing to the actual colonial history o f the residents.  The early  railway and mining workers from China had seen Italianate lattices, Portuguese balconies, Victorian bay windows, and other distinctive architectural elements.  It  would have been unlikely that the early settlers o f Vancouver's Chinatown ever saw  This is an example repeated in many tourist destinations, such as the Mercato Market in Florence, Italy that has rows upon rows of kiosks selling near-identical leather belts, purses and pashmina scarves, the crowded kiosks of the International Marketplace in Honolulu, Hawaii selling similar gold jewelry in plumeria or pineapple shapes, or kiosks on Lady Street in Hong Kong, PRC selling nearidentical souvenir t-shirts commonly with the saying, " M y [blank] went to Hong Kong and all I got was this lousy t-shirt". Tourist-focused kiosks do not sell reasonably-priced goods and services needed by locals for everyday living, such as hardware or services like key-cutting, alternations or shoe cobbling. 2 6 3  2 6 4  Anderson, supra note 19 at 209.  117  true imperial architecture, as railway and mining workers came mainly from the poor South Pearl River delta area and would not have traveled to the Forbidden City to see grandiose gold dragons or ornate carvings. Similar to the erection o f the totem poles in Stanley Park, the 1964 Beautification Proposal sought to insert inauthentic cultural symbols.  B y repackaging Chinatown in this manner, civic authorities  were  effectively disregarding the history o f Chinatown as a settlement post o f early railway and mining workers, and creating it as an artificial foreign import belonging neither to its landscape or history. Stereotypical streetscape decor coupled with exclusionary mapping attempted to modify authentic Chinese Canadian architecture in Vancouver's Chinatown. The 1964 Beautification Proposal attempted to repackage Chinatown into a false or inauthentic tourist quarter, fully divorcing the community from its self-existence to reconstitute it as being created for consumption by the white Euro-Canadian society. Before the  legal mechanisms  implemented, the  o f expropriation and tax assessments could be  1964 Beautification Proposal was abandoned  in light o f the  Freeway Proposal in 1967. O f the three projects proposed in Chinatown during the 1960's, the freeway proposal was the ultimate threat to Chinatown's continued existence.  The freeway  proposal threatened to destroy entire city blocks o f historic buildings erected during the earliest settlement o f Chinese Canadian labourers i n North America. This was a symbolic annihilation o f Chinatown as expendable as much as it was a physical destruction o f Chinatown itself. The vigourous protest by Chinatown residents and members o f the greater community suggested that the freeway proposal was more  118  than a contestation about land i n Chinatown.  A freeway through Chinatown  represented a clash over larger social issues. Modernity and assimilation were pitted against cultural preservation.  In  Chinatown, this contestation was enacted i n a land dispute about who was entitled to allocate and use land. A subtext in the discourse surrounding the freeway debates centered on the concept that Chinese residents wanted to remain separated from greater Vancouver, both physically and culturally. Therefore, i f you did not support the freeway, you were considered anti-Canadian, had foreign interests at heart or were simply unassimilable as a "people" or a "race". The discourse suggested that support for the physical connection to the City v i a the freeway represented willingness by the 265  Chinese community to integrate, assimilate or connect to the larger society.  This  willingness would be evidenced by sacrificing Chinatown for the construction o f the freeway. In effect, modernity required the collateral destruction o f an "unimportant" history - the life and career o f early Chinese Canadian settlers. Hence, the space o f Chinatown was racialized in the freeway debates that pitted modernity (as represented by pro-freeway Euro-Canadian society) against the racial category o f "Chineseness" constructed as Byzantine and unassimilable. Consider also the role o f legal mechanisms in the freeway debates. Shortly before the freeway proposal, legal mechanisms such as the zoning freeze i n Chinatown created deteriorating buildings, which seemed less worthy o f saving. The legal mechanism o f expropriation was also available to civic officials who were experienced  i n delivering expropriation notices  i n Strathcona.  Other legal  Anna-Lisa Mak, "Negotiating Identity: ethnicity, tourism and Chinatown" (2003) 77 Journal of Australian Studies 3. See also, Jan Lin and Ran Lin, Reconstructing Chinatown (Minnesota: University Press, 1998). 2 6 5  119  mechanisms were further manipulated i n the political maneuvers within City H a l l . From artificially narrow terms o f reference i n City-initiated review reports to special sub-committee meetings that were not announced, civic officials hoped to manipulate the political process to exclude Chinatown advocates from meaningful participation in the City development process.  The City Engineering department carefully  orchestrated a series o f road-planning decisions designed to lead inevitably to the construction o f the freeway west o f Gore Avenue through Chinatown as the natural and only option to tie-in the dangling Georgia Viaduct.  Place-based legal  mechanisms created a physical environment (such as deteriorating buildings and separated tourist-residential areas) where the freeway proposal would be supported. But for the overwhelming outpouring o f opposition from within the Chinese community (such as S P O T A , C B A , Mary Chan and Bessie Lee) and from greater Vancouver residents (such as U B C academics, architects and residents like Kate Watson), the freeway proposal would have proceeded.  The history o f Chinese  Canadian settlement would have been buried under piers and towers o f a freeway system. motif,"  C i v i c officials proposed "incorporating the freeway into the Chinatown 266  as the only recognition an eight-lane freeway would give to history o f  Chinese Canadian soldiers, settlers and residents i n Chinatown. Chinatown's history was going to be buried, and the tombstone was already written as a "Chinese m o t i f on an eight-lane freeway. Chinatown residents cautiously celebrated the successful fight against the freeway, saving historic Chinatown.  The tireless lobbying efforts at the federal  government led to Chinatown's heritage designation that precluded demolition for the 2 6 6  Vancouver, supra note 209.  120  freeway.  However, this "solution" against the freeway  served also to  reify  government authority as the final arbiter o f Chinatown. While Chinatown was no longer threatened by physical destruction, it then donned a new heritage label that also precluded its "reinvention". A n y and all renovation or reconstruction would now have to comply with a whole new set o f planning and design b y l a w s .  267  N e w place-  based mechanisms under different auspices were instituted to regulate Chinatown from the 1970's onward.  The impact of the heritage designation on the impeded natural development of Chinatown is an area for further study.  2 6 7  121  C H A P T E R SIX:  REFLECTIONS O N RACE/SPACE  V A N C O U V E R ' S  A N D L E G A L GEOGRAPHIES  O F  C H I N A T O W N  Slum clearance, beautification and the freeway proposal revealed place-based mechanisms that were employed to construct, regulate and produce racial identities, and itself to constitute racialized space.  Similar to the examples o f Africville and  Stanley Park, we see that these projects in the 1960's were directed specifically to constituting racial categories within land contestations o f Chinatown. In service o f white Euro-Canadian nation building mythology, civic officials wanted to constitute the Chinese community as "anti-modern" in addition to evicting residents valuable land while destroying an "expendable" history.  from  These attempts were not  entirely unsuccessful. T w o o f the three Chinatown projects were ultimately defeated. However, within each o f the projects there was a common thread where space was racialized in order to control, regulate or expropriate land.  These  land-use  contestations related directly to the struggle over who could control the definition and identity o f a community. A t the end o f the sixties, Chinatown escaped redecoration and destruction by averting the beautification and freeway proposals, unlike Africville and Stanley Park. Such success cannot be heralded as an absolute victory.  M u c h o f Strathcona had  been completely cleared and its residents dispersed from the area.  A n d while  Chinatown was able to save its historic built-forms, the control over its identity still rested with governmental authorities, albeit now at the federal level i n Ottawa. Federal authorities exercised more prudence than local authorities who wanted to simply pave over Chinatown. However, federal authorities and Chinatown residents have naively understood the full impact o f heritage designation on Chinatown.  122  B y passing a complete moratorium on the area, the federal government had effectively legalized the installation o f a time-frozen Chinatown. Inscribed by thick lines  delineating  Chinatown's  geographically contained.  historic  area,  Chinatown  became  firmly  and  Without adjacent lands zoned or available for expansion,  Chinatown over the last thirty years has dwindled and declined into an old Hollywood variant dominated by curio stores and deteriorated restaurants. Success on one level was followed by threats and failure on another. That struggle continues i n the 2000's as City o f Vancouver planners seek to revitalize Chinatown as part o f the City o f Vancouver's Downtown Eastside Revitalization Program.  In 2002, City Council adopted The Chinatown V i s i o n  Report which set out three broad objectives for Chinatown: a place that tells history with its physical environment, a place that serves the needs o f its residents, youth and visitors, and a hub for commercial, social and cultural activities.  Even in the  present, the struggle over Chinatown's identity continues, and the debates heat up as developers such as B o b Rennie represent forces o f homogeneity converging on inner city real estate.  This type o f current redevelopment and revitalization, i n the wake  of the influx o f wealthy Hong K o n g immigrants in the late 1990's, calls for further study. Returning to what I have identified as a critical turning point for Chinatown, the three Chinatown proposals i n sixties were land-based contestations  representing  Community Services, Report (Report from Community Project Manager to Vancouver City Council) Jessica Chen-Adams (Vancouver: Downtown Eastside Revitalization Program, July 9, 2002) RTS 2783. The Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee ( V C R C ) was formed by city planners, Chinatown community associations and merchant groups. The goal for the V C R C was to bring community members to address key issues in the area such as safety and economic growth through extensive community consultation. Bill Richardson "Best of Vancouver: Strathcona - Gentrified Strathcona grows old peacefully" Georgia Straight (22 September 2005). 2 6 8  2 6 9  123  struggle over the identity and meaning o f Chineseness.  Conjuring K a y Anderson's  controversial thesis, the struggle over Chinatown i n the 1960's was a question o f whether Chinatown was defined as a colonial construct representing those with the power and authority to regulate Chinatown or more organically, as representations o f the life and career o f those regulated by such authority. That life and career opposed the white Euro-Canadian nation building myth o f peaceful settlement by white colonial power.  In this myth, there cannot be any recognition o f a historic  "Chineseness" i n Canada, or any credit ascribed to Chinese Canadian settlers for their efforts in building the nation. A s Anderson observes, multiple strategies i n government practices informed the construction o f knowledge about the C h i n e s e .  270  have  Building from  Anderson's conclusion, I have shown how the territorial arrangements in Chinatown have been achieved through multiple legal mechanisms.  Beyond chronicles o f  Chinese narratives, I argue that these legal mechanisms had a specific purpose and effect o f racializing space.  C i v i c authorities developed planning and land-use laws  with a social purpose. They successfully cleared Strathcona by characterizing it as a slum, and using powers o f expropriation. C i v i c authorities attempted to appropriate Chinatown as a tourist Chinatown, politically symbolizing the Chinese as foreign and exotic. This symbolism reifies the Euro-Canadian white as the centre and point o f reference for defining Chineseness. A s in the empirical examples o f Africville and Stanley Park, the struggles over the three projects in Chinatown implicate legal mechanisms as being constitutive o f racial categories.  Anderson, supra note 19 at 246.  124  I have shown how place-based contestations i n Chinatown are i n fact intense social struggles over identity enacted through geographical and legal mechanisms that are mutually constituted and informed. Race becomes collapsed with place - and the space that is produced creates and maintains structures o f dominance by white EuroCanadian settler society. This race/space legal analysis reveals the distribution o f power and subjects i n Chinatown, and socio-spatial ideology underlying that distribution. L a w ' s role i n the production o f racialized spaces is evident i n Africville and Stanley Park, and i n the Chinatown example. The apparent racelessness o f slum clearance, beautification or a freeway is unmasked as land-based appropriation o f Chinese identity in support o f a white Euro-Canadian society. In this thesis, I sought to reveal how the legal mechanisms were used to produce Vancouver's Chinatown racially and spatially, i n order to highlight the ambivalent nature o f Chinatown and m y resulting equivocation with its familiarity and foreignness.  Escape from the place-based mechanisms o f redecoration and  demolition i n the 1960's did not emancipate Chinatown from the stronghold o f government control over the identity o f Chinatown through laws. This observation supports the principle tenet o f my thesis.  Legal mechanisms are implicated as the  means by which Chineseness continues to be dictated by those who control mechanisms.  A t the same time, those who resist contribute to the legal and racial  formulations o f Chineseness as well. In addition to revealing the legal mechanisms responsible for the racialization o f Chinatown in the 1960's, I also emphasize the role o f resistance against socio-spatial mechanisms i n land contestations. Chinatown was negotiated  by the complicity o f and resistance  The identity o f to dominant  125 representations o f both Chinese and non-Chinese residents. Vancouver's Chinatown is a point o f reference through which Chinese and Canadian identity is invested with cultural meaning, being vulnerable to and capable o f (re)representation.  Because  classificatory spatial practices can be reconfigured and (re)negotiated in and through law, this resistance represents the promise and nature o f social change.  126  BIBLIOGRAPHY: PRIMARY SOURCES  Archives City o f Vancouver Archives: C i t y o f Vancouver, Vancouver Technical Committee, Vancouver Redevelopment Study 1957 Vancouver Redevelopment Study-Draft, Redevelopment Project N o . 1 A - 3 Call for Development Proposals. 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