History

Fifty years ago, the construction of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts displaced the diverse immigrant enclave, historically known as Hogan’s Alley and home to Vancouver’s Black population.

The City of Vancouver’s systemic and deliberate erasure of this community at that time created not only an immediate impact on the individuals, families, businesses, and social networks that were dismantled and displaced, but has had a long-term and sustained impact on the economic prosperity, political visibility, historical recognition, and social well-being of citizens in Vancouver and the region from the African Diaspora over generations.

In October 2015, Vancouver City Council voted to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts. The removal of the viaducts and planning for the North East False Creek Area presents an opportunity for reconciliation between the City of Vancouver and the Black community, ensuring there is adequate historical recognition on the site, and to enable the community to lead and steward the rebuilding of what was lost so many years ago.

Outcomes of initial community consultations and discussions have highlighted that recognition must go beyond the acknowledgement of history (space and place), but that there also be the highest possible standards of inclusive and participatory process to guide how we can best address what was lost.

INTENTION

In support of this vision of inclusion and participation, a group of engaged members of the community have came together, to create a working group, bringing their professional skills and acumen to begin realizing a vision of community-led planning and long-term land stewardship.

This working group has already received a commitment of seed funding from Vancity Credit Union and will be working in close partnership with them, in order to realize this vision.

This working group has been inspired to determine how the City of Vancouver can ensure a just and viable outcome through the opportunity and occasion presented by the resolution to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.

As key contributors to the North East False Creek (NEFC) area planning process and guided by proposed core principles of the Hogan’s Alley Working Group (including Honouring, Access and Inclusion, Security of Tenure and Investment), In February, this community-led working group presented the following proposal to the City of Vancouver:

That the City of Vancouver make possible the transfer of the city-owned lands bordered by Main Street, Union Street, Gore Avenue, and Prior Street to a not-for-profit community organization (eg. Community Land Trust), led by citizens of African Descent and elected and public interest representatives. This organization will work in good faith with the City of Vancouver to pursue residential, commercial, cultural, and public land use opportunities on the site. Those opportunities will be built together with community-based service providers, community organizations, residents of adjacent neighbourhoods (ex. Chinatown, Strathcona, DTES, NEFC, etc.) and a specific intent to include Indigenous peoples on these, their traditional territories.

VISION

The Hogan’s Alley Community Land Trust is a Community-led nonprofit organization*, which will create a renaissance movement for social, political, cultural and economic revival from Vancouver’s black community.

 
 
Through partnerships, the Hogan’s Alley Land Trust will acquire and develop land and operate assets as a community land trust.  It will create neighborhoods that are inclusive, healthy and just while preventing future displacement.
 
The trust will promote inter-generational community benefits, affordability, and building the capacity of racialized and marginalized communities to participate in city building.

* In the process of registering as non-profit organization

Guiding Principles of Development


Recognition
An authentic and just course of recognition of the collective contribution of the black Canadian identity both historical and contemporary.

Honouring
Honour the black community that lived in Hogan’s Alley by celebrating the history and ensure pursuits on the land honour the history of those that were displaced and will create a legacy of acknowledging, honouring the past Black community while nurturing and developing the contributions of our contemporary black community.
 
Access and inclusion
This space will generate meaningful and substantive opportunities for social and economic inclusion, driven and led by the community. It will be a space that creates access by unlocking resources, reshaping markets, and generating equitable opportunities for all people and provides the necessary stability to build assets in community.
 
Security of Tenure and Our Definition of Land Use
The redevelopment of Hogan’s Alley must consider the legacy of displacement that unfolded on this land. Zoning of this development will provide long-term and self-determined security of land tenure that guards against the possibility of forced displacement and also is mindful of the urban fabric that it is integrating with as to promote this same value. This includes access to affordable housing, cultural, arts, retail and commercial spaces. By collaborating with our community partners, we will develop innovative solutions to support the social and economic well-being of our community.
 
Investment
This land will be seen as an investment in community. It will support the black community in rebuilding the strong social networks that were lost and generationally entrenched, while recognizing that cultural and demographic diversity creates unique needs in our community.  We can now begin to find opportunities to share and repurpose resources that have traditionally been poorly distributed and begin to build social and economic capital.

Find out more

Do you support the Hogan’s Alley Trust’s vision and the inclusion of that vision in the North East False Creek Official Plan?

We’d love to hear from you: get involved, sign up for more info, or share your feedback:

Events

Redressing Urban Displacement: The reimagining of Hogan’s Alley

Friday November 17, 6 PM – 9 PM
Fletcher Challenge Theatre (1900)
SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street

Redressing Urban Displacement: The reimagining of Hogan's Alley
Redressing Urban Displacement: The reimagining of Hogan’s Alley