Located at the edge of Vancouver’s Chinatown, the Murrin Substation has received the heritage recognition designation from City of Vancouver on September 23, 1986 without much publicity, Saltwater City Social Enterprise’s new book, “Murrin Substation and Main Street 700 Block, Vancouver, Chinatown”, speaks the history and possible redevelopment of the substation as well as the surrounding community.
The Murrin Substation is a windowless large brick building with Art Deco motif, which dominates the west side of Main Street 700 Block between East Georgia and Union Streets. The construction between 1945 and 1947 as part of the BC Electric Company’s ambitious post-war development plans formulated under President W. G. Murrin.
Aside from the power generating purposes of the substation, what makes the Murrin Substation particularly special to Chinatown and the Chinese people living in the neighborhood is the facility’s placement in an area considered unsuitable for habitation by white Canadians, the rationale of the location choice is caused by a legacy of historical anti-Chinese feeling.
On this note, Saltwater City Social Enterprise has compiled their first bilingual art book with Murrin Substation as the subject, 20 heritage photos about the site and neighbourhood are printed on 100 lbs. heavyweight paper, which could be easily torn off and framed as artwork. The book written in English and Traditional Chinese is a very small part of a community engagement project, which we have been working on for three years,” said Anne Lamb, the executive director of Saltwater City Social Enterprise. “This project means a lot to us, it develops in perspective of project development for the community engagement project for Vancouver Chinatown’s revitalization,” she added.
Established over a century ago after the completion of Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886, Vancouver Chinatown is one of the largest Chinatowns in the world, and has been reckoned to be a citadel of culture and local serving business until the municipal rezoning and redevelopment policies robbed the unique characteristics. Being one of Vancouver’s distinct cultural neighbourhoods and Canada National Historic Site, Chinatown once hosted vibrant locals, retail, and small entrepreneurs, before it becomes synonymous with danger, drugs and filth.
The Kickstarter campaign launched August 10, 2021 would cater for the production cost of the book, after COVID-19 pandemic occurred the book product cost increased significantly just the paper cost alone raised 48%. Being a social enterprise, Saltwater City Social Enterprise will use the revenue as operation reserve for the social betterment.
For further details about the book “Murrin Substation and Main Street 700 Block, Vancouver, Chinatown”, please visit the Kickstarter campaign at the following webpage:
Company Name: Saltwater City Social Enterprise Inc.
Contact person: Anne Lamb, Saltwater City Social Enterprise Inc.
Email address: [email protected]