The Pidgin Restaurant in the DTES: Gentrification? Opportunity?
The recently opened Pidgin Restaurant has seen nightly protests by some residents of the Downtown Eastside who believe it is a symbol of continuing gentrification of Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood which is making the DTES less affordable. Restaurant supporters say the new businesses provide training and jobs for street people, some who inhabit Pigeon Park opposite the restaurant, who are eager to improve their lives.
Why are new restaurants drawn to the DTES? What are the benefits and trade-offs for current residents? Is the broader issue inadequate social services in the DTES? Why did the Pidgin¹s owner frost the big windows that looked out to the street?
To frame the controversy, City Conversations has invited:
- Ian Tostenson, co-founder of HAVE cafe, a training program for street people to get into the workforce, and the head of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
- Ivan Drury is an organizer with the Carnegie Community Action Project, supporting the protests.
- Wes Regan is the head of the Hastings Crossing Business Improvement Association, which covers the disputed area.
Then it’s your turn to join the conversation.
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Room 1600