Restoring Dignity to the Building

Our consultant team is busy preparing drawings and documentation to obtain permits to repair 439 Powell Street.

One of the goals the Ming Sun Benevolent Society had indicated was their desire to bring dignity back to the 125 year old building, and hope that this goal may be realized. Here is a draft rendering of the restored building:

Ming Sun_restored

The Ming Sun will consult with heritage experts in an effort to prepare a good representation of the original façade. Donations from supporters are very much appreciated, and some of the funds will be earmarked toward the building’s street front restoration.

You can now contribute to the defence and restoration of 439 Powell now! Please donate by clicking this link via Paypal or make a contribution at any VanCity branch under the account, “the Friends of 439 Powell” (Branch 28 Account Number 165951).


Clean out of building completed! Repair effort about to begin

The doors to 439 Powell Street, the Ming Sun building, were finally opened up, after the preparation of a clean up plan. It was so nice to welcome in the sunshine, after months of being locked out by the City.

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After a week of removing debris and damaged personal belongings from the displaced tenants of 439 Powell, we are pleased to inform that the building clean out is now completed. The saddest thing was to see so many personal effects, once lovingly cared for by the elderly tenants, all water damaged by the cut water lines – chairs, sofas, photographs, books, dishes, clothing, wall displays… all had to be thrown into the garbage bin.

Here are some photos during the clean out:

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Several garbage bins had to be filled.

Here are some photos of the building’s SRO (SIngle Residential Occupant) units. Note how new the appliances and countertops were. All the SROs had new appliances. Even the walls had been carefully painted and maintained. The building was very well maintained with decades of city inspection reports and permits that document a responsibly kept and properly maintained structure.

Regrettably, the criminals who broke in to vandalize the building, stripped metal from all the appliances and damaged the cabinets – stealing water fixtures, copper pipes, light fixtures and much of the personal belongings from the tenants.

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By this past weekend, the building had been cleared out. So begins the next phase of the building’s repair and restoration. Our engineers and architects are now working with a contractor team to properly assess the building and will make the necessary repairs to bring 439 Powell Street back to its original useable space so that the Ming Sun Benevolent Society may continue to help provide affordable housing.

Here is a photo of our structural engineer surveying the building’s foundation earlier this week:

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Stronger Together


February 2, 2014

Ming Sun Community Photo - February 2, 2014

THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!! An amazing turnout for today’s community photograph…the official final photograph is soon to come, but, for everyone who attended, please feel free to share your images.  A very special thanks to our great photographers and helpers from the Friends of 439 Powell and Instant Coffee Artist Collective. We would also like to thank all our supporters (and donors) throughout Vancouver and beyond.

For our Twitter followers, please use the hashtags #mingsun #Uchida, #Powell Street, and @439Powell. Thanks!!!! 謝謝! 多謝!


It is easy to bend or break one chopstick,
It is difficult to break or bend a bundle of chopsticks.

Towards the Brighter Future

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These are some images from this morning’s community photo event and of our incredible band of volunteers and artists who made it happen.