About/ What Happened?

This is a blog for sharing information and updates about 437,439, 441 Powell Street, collectively known as the Ming Sun Benevolent Society building.

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The Ming Sun building is one Vancouver’s 20 oldest remaining buildings. It had stood proudly since boomtown days, built in 1890.

On July 23, 2013, the City of Vancouver demolished the abandoned neighbouring building (451 Powell Street) next to it. The abandoned building had sat empty for over 3 years, and had been subjected to the exposure of adverse weather.

451 Powell Street demolished by City of Vancouver under mysterious circumstances

451 Powell Street (neighbouring building) demolished by City of Vancouver under mysterious circumstances

The purchaser of the then abandoned building (451 Powell Street) called the City of Vancouver with a complaint of a “collapsed wall”, thereby precipitating the sequence of events that led to today. The City cut power to 439 Powell and ordered the immediate evacuation of the building, displacing all the elderly tenants and an artist collective from 439 Powell St.

The Ming Sun building at 439 Powell Street was a well maintained heritage structure. The City’s own records show a building with decades of unblemished maintenance records, trade and inspection reports.

Tenants of 439 Powell have shared recent photographs of their suites – homes that had new cabinets, new appliances, new flooring and newly painted walls.

A number of independent consultants on separate occasions had stated 439 Powell is solid and structurally sound. Eventually, in December 2013, the city of Vancouver’s own consultants agreed the building was indeed, structurally sound. However, the City of Vancouver has yet to accept responsibility for the chain of events they initiated.

This is the key issue

the City of Vancouver must accept full responsibility for its actions that has  placed the Ming Sun building in such a difficult situation.


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If you have information you would like to contribute to the blog, please send a message to friendsof439@gmail.com

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