Chinese Times Newspaper
Wing Sang Company commissioned prominent Vancouver architect W.T.
Whiteway to design this building in 1902. He incorporated a mezzanine
above the first floor, and seven oriel windows on the top floor.
The Chinese Times newspaper had been published in Chinatown since
1914, and in this building between 1939 and 1994, when it ceased
operation due to the introduction of Hong Kong-based daily newspapers
This sign is in good condition and stored in Richmond BC.
East Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
of Historic Place
Chinese Times Building at 1 East Pender Street is a two-storey
brick building, comprising a row of retail stores with accommodation
above, on the northeast corner of Pender and Carrall Streets -
the gateway to Vancouver's historic Chinatown.
heritage value of the Chinese Times Building lies in its important
place in the history of the physical development of Chinatown,
the role of leading businessman Yip Sang in its construction and
his retention of leading designers for its construction and subsequent
alteration, and finally, its enduring use by organizations and
individuals who played important roles in Chinatown for many years.
Constructed in 1902, the heritage value of the building, within
the context of the physical evolution of Chinatown, lies in the
use of brick to construct the building, establishing a new trend
and effectively changing the character of the streetscape in Chinatown,
which had been predominately one of wooden structures. The heritage
value of the building is also derived from its association with
leading architect W.T. Whiteway, who designed it, and with W.H.
Chow, who was responsible for later alterations. Both men contributed
substantially to the architecture of Vancouver, with Chow playing
a particularly important role in Chinatown. The choice of Whiteway,
and his client, Yip Sang, of a style that was common to commercial
buildings at this time adds to its heritage value by providing
a good example of this type of building in Chinatown.
The heritage value of the building is also derived from its direct
association with individuals, organizations, and uses that played
important roles in the Chinese community. Constructed by Yip Sang,
one of Chinatown's leading businessmen and a community leader,
the building reflects his business success and his consolidation
of this through real estate investment. The use of space within
the building conforms to the representative pattern in Chinatown,
with retail on the ground floor, and offices, meeting rooms and
small residential rooms designed to accommodate 'married bachelors'
on the upper floors. The representative character of this mixture
of uses adds to the building's heritage value.
The heritage value is further enhanced by the significant role
two of the building's later tenants played in the history of the
Chinese community in Vancouver and in Canada more generally. The
first of these is the Chee Kung Tong, also known as the Chinese
Freemasons. This Tong dates its establishment as a fraternal order
to the earliest immigration of Chinese to British Columbia during
the Fraser River Gold Rush of 1858. It is therefore associated
with the establishment of the Chinese community in British Columbia
and in Canada. The second significant tenant was the newspaper,
the Chinese Times, which had its offices here from the 1930s until
c. 1990. The Freemasons owned the Chinese Times and both organizations
were intensively involved in the politics of China. Intense involvement
in Chinese politics was a characteristic of the overseas Chinese
community for many years, with divisions within the community
reflecting adherence to different political agendas. In addition
to its political role, the Chinese Times also served as a vehicle
for disseminating local news and raising funds for local endeavours.
The histories of these organizations tell us a great deal about
aspects of the history of the Chinese community, in particular
the role of political and organizational life and the enduring
connections to China. While the specifics are peculiar to Vancouver,
the general pattern of engagement is common to overseas Chinese
communities more generally.
Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program
character-defining elements of the Chinese Times Building include:
- Location on a prominent corner lot at the gateway to Chinatown
- A row of mixed commercial and residential units with architecturally
- Principal elevation to East Pender Street with secondary elevation
to Carrall Street
- Deep decorative metal cornice with dentils, set against the
- The brick corbelling and recessed panels that express the party
- Metal-clad bay windows at the second-storey level, resting on
the storefront string course
- The slender 'cheater' storey (illegal mezzanine) above the ground
- The corner chamfer with a shop doorway
- Stairs on right-hand side, accessed directly from the street
- Building-wide glazed storefronts