Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hogan's Alley

Just the other day, I received an invitation on Facebook, inviting me to join the "Include a Hogan's Alley Memorial at the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaduct Site" group. While I read the information regarding the group and browsed through the pictures, I had been under the assumption that the area that was named Hogan's Alley already had an historical marker indicating that Vancouver's Black community had lived and thrived in the area. After further investigation, I found out I was wrong. To give everyone a bit of history, Hogan's Alley was located between Union St. and Prior St.. After much debate and controversy, Hogan's Alley was almost completely destroyed due to the building of the Georgia Viaduct that we all know of today. There is not much left of it today except for what appears to be a few homes. Interestingly, now there is talk about tearing down or closing the Georgia Viaduct in order to build a pedestrian park and retail stores. If this were to take place, then the City of Vancouver or Vancouver Parks Board and Recreation should place a memorial alongside the new establishments to honour the Black community that used to live in that area. Actually, I think that the memorial should be built regardless. There are many memorials around Vancouver honouring the Veterans, victims of AIDS, Air India bombing, etc., so why not Vancouver's Black community who contributed to the city as much as anyone else?! Here are a couple of pictures of the green space next to the Viaduct and a place I would consider suitable for a plaque, a sign, or a memorial. The space is vast and very empty with only trees and three park benches. A marker would certainly not take away from the area. I don't consider myself an expert on heritage buildings but I did go by "Hogan's Alley" and I took a couple of pictures of the homes that appear to have been from that time in the early 1900s. It was great to see that even a little bit of Vancouver's history still remains.


  1. A very thoughtful post, Sylvia. Former Writer-in-Residence and SFU English Department alum Wayde Compton has written extensively about the history of Hogan's Alley.


  2. Hey Sylvia,

    Great Post. Hogans Alley is certainly a reminder that Canada has its fair share of marginalized and oppressed peoples. I agree with your post!

    In addition to Peter's comment,
    Dr. Karen Ferguson of SFU's History Department also places emphasis on the history of Hogans Alley in her 400 level Race Relations class.