Heritage Vancouver Society has released its Top 10 watch list of places under pressure, especially from new residential developments.
One of these valuable spaces is the mainly Filipino food hub near the Joyce-Collingwood Station.
A rezoning application has been filed by J+S Architect on behalf of owner and developer 1112151 BC Ltd. for 5163-5187 Joyce Street.
The property is home to six small food businesses, five of which cater to Filipino Canadians.
Two are small grocery shops, where hard-to-find food and household items are available: Sari-Sari Filipino Convenience Store, and Kay Market.
Three are restaurants, namely, Kumare Express, Pampanga’s Cuisine, and Plato Filipino.
The sixth business is Joyce Jiaozi, which serves Chinese food.
The proposed development seeks to build a 32-storey mixed-use building.
The 5163-5187 Joyce Street proposal involves commercial use at ground level, a new Vancouver Public Library space on the second floor, and 293 condos on the upper floors.
“This part of Joyce is particularly important for the Filipino-Canadian community that is centred in the neighbourhood, as well as those in the Metro Vancouver region who make this strip a destination,” Heritage Vancouver Society noted in an article about the area.
The group recalled that organizations such as Collingwood Food Justice and Sliced Mango Collective engaged the community about the “impacts that the loss of these businesses will have”.
It related that Sliced Mango Collective describes how “culturally important this hub is”.
“They allow community members to access cultural food items like herbal medicines and traditional dishes,” Sliced Mango Collective noted.
Moreover, “These businesses are what make the Joyce-Collingwood neighbourhood a diverse cultural hub and a place that immigrant folks can feel at home.”
Online, the City of Vancouver states that it “recognizes that the loss of these important cultural food assets would be a significant impact to the community”.
Hence, “after hearing the community feedback, City staff will be discussing these concerns with the project applicant and will be requesting that they consider making provisions for displaced businesses to return to the site following redevelopment”.
Heritage Vancouver Society has taken note of this move by the city, but it is far from impressed.
“Although the City is now looking at this issue, if these are indeed significant cultural assets, how can they be treated so that they are not regarded as tradeoffs and made vulnerable in the first place?” the nonprofit asked.
In June 2016, city council approved the Joyce-Collingwood Station Precinct Plan.
The plan’s goal on paper is to create a transit-oriented community around the major transit hub.
The plan has spurred new developments in the area, particularly high-rise condos, causing land prices to increase.
In its article about the Filipino food hub, Heritage Vancouver Society noted the 2016 plan has been touted to create new spaces that will “activate the street level”.
Also, that these spaces will “activate the neighbourhood”, and produce “a more active, vibrant local shopping street” or “more socially connected neighbourhood”.
“It disregards the fact that this street is already activated, active, vibrant and socially connected,” the heritage group stated.