1910-1970: Vancouver’s Black community: Hogan’s Alley

Circa 1910 Black people began settling in the East Side neighbourhood of Strathcona in Vancouver creating an active and distinctive community. There were a number of businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues owned and operated by Black community members.
At its height in the 1930s and 1940s, the Black population in the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver numbered approximately 800. It was a mixed community of mainly Italian, Chinese and Black people.
In 1958 the Vancouver City Council approved a redevelopment plan that called for the demolition of nearly all of Strathcona which resulted in the suspension of regular city maintenance; no new construction was allowed and property values plummeted. Owners were forced to sell and finally houses were expropriated.
The destruction of Hogan’s Alley was part of a wave of “urban renewal” efforts across Canada and the United States that often targeted Black communities and their cultural enclaves. In the 1960’s and 70’s, the western half of Hogan’s Alley was destroyed when the Vancouver city council of the time made the decision to demolish it in order to build the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts.