Chinatown is the largest in Canada and one of the largest
in North America. Its main tourist attraction is the Dr. Sun-Yat-Sen Chinese Classical Garden and Park.
Vancouver has a large history of Chinese immigration.
Initially, Chinese immigrants came to Vancouver to work
roads and railroads. Already in 1874, main roads were
being constructed with Chinese labor. Immigration of
Chinese was restricted and regulated since 1885, when
an act imposed a 50$ head tax on Chinese immigrants.
The large Chinese population in Vancouver (350 out of
2000 at the turn of the 19th century) was often subject
to racist attacks, the earliest large white mobs attacks
were reported in 1887. In 1923 a new immigration act
disallowed Chinese immigrants,
and it would take another
44 years before they were able to immigrate to Canada
on the same basis as other immigrants. The world expo
in 1986 again attracted new Chinese immigrants, mainly
from Hongkong, leading to the
While most Vancouverites of Chinese origin now live
in Richmond, Vancouver itself can still boast a large
Chinatown district. It has an authentic oriental atmosphere,
with many well-preserved buildings in oriental style.
Chinese Cultural Center
The whole district was declared a historic site in 1971
by the B.C. government, together with the neighboring
Chinatown's center is situated around the Chinese Cultural
Center (CCC) in Pender street. This street can be considered the neighborhood's main artery so it's no coincidence you'll find the colorful chinatown arch here. The entrance to the (rather bland) cultural center is also marked by a beautiful arch.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden and Park
Behind the CCC is
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden
Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Park and Garden
The $5.3 million garden opened in 1986 for the Vancouver
world expo and was the first full-scale classical garden
ever built outside China. It was built by a team of
52 experts from the city of Suzhou, who used the ancient
techniques of the originals.
The whole garden, named
after the founder of the first Chinese Republic, took
a full year to complete. It contains multiple buildings
in oriental style and maintains a balance between vegetation,
rocks and pools.