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Market to close in Vancouver's Chinatown

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Help is needed to save the night market in Vancouver's Chinatown.

Help is needed to save the night market in Vancouver's Chinatown. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)

One of the organizers of Vancouver’s Chinatown night market says it might take new dollars from neighbouring developments to save the 17-year tradition that’s ending this year.

Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association director Henry Tom said on Wednesday the night market simply wasn’t collecting enough rent to keep it afloat.

During the first few years of the market in the late 1990s, he said, there were more than 200 vendors — a number that dwindled to about 90 last year.

In addition, the night market has found it tough to keep competitive — there are now two competing night markets in Richmond and both the competitors have larger lots at the edge of the muncipality.

Chinatown is surrounded by buildings and narrow streets near the heart of Vancouver, which means vendors at the night market have to set up their stalls and strip them down daily.

However, many of the buildings are older and in the midst of redevelopment. It’s these new inbound projects Tom hopes to leverage support from.

“I know most of the developers, most of the residents there, when they move in they’ll be happy to support something like the night market,” he said.

“If there’s a chance, we can work with the new owners, with the new buildings coming in to help with storage, help with getting power, things like that.”

It’s unclear when the night market could remain closed until.

“It’s been a good run and we hope to bring it back,” Tom said. 

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