Japanese Canadian Historic Sites in Metro Vancouver: the building of Home

The Japanese Canadian community before World War II was a thriving and growing urban community in metro Vancouver.   The Powell Street area’s largest employer was Hastings Mill.  In 1941, with the outbreak of the Pacific War, there were 8000 Japanese Canadian residents living in the area and 400 businesses along Powell Street.   The Vancouver Japanese Language School, founded in 1906, was a second language community school with over 1000 students.  Now Vancouver’s new National Historic Site, its 1928 expansion – Japanese Hall – was designed by Sharp & Thompson Architects, the same architects who designed UBC Point Grey Campus and the Burrard Street Bridge.

The fishing industry was the largest industry in Steveston (Gulf of Georgia Cannery), where Japanese Canadian fishermen dominated the industry prior to World War II.

Also, there were smaller communities of Japanese Canadians living in the Marpole Area (Historic Joy Kogawa House), Kitsiliano, and Fairview/False Creek.

Visit these three sites to get a sense of the vibrant and thriving urban life of Japanese Canadians in Metro Vancouver before the community was shattered by the Internment and Dispossession.

 

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