News Local

Large tab to fix Chinatown lights

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Lights in Vancouver's Chinatown. (DANIEL HO)

Lights in Vancouver's Chinatown. (DANIEL HO)

The City of Vancouver is proposing to spend $400,000 to give Chinatown’s 336 iconic “dragon fixture” streetlights a new coat of paint and upgrade the bulbs to LED technology.

Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association director Henry Tom said on Thursday the lights were installed about 30 years ago and are badly weathered.

“When we first installed them they were lights — the existing street lights were inadequate — nowadays it’s become one of the city’s inviting signs for the area,” he said.

VCMA is expected to chip in $200,000 additionally for the refurbishments. Tom said LED technology would also allow the lights to change colour during special events.

“And it’ll be much more energy efficient than the old ones,” he said.

Tom said the VCMA will need to fundraise and seek sponsors to cover their share of the costs — the association shut down its annual night market earlier this year due to financial difficulties.

He said a next phase may be to build more of the iconic, dragon-topped lights, as Chinatown has grown its borders over the decades.


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