Hogan’s Alley

Hogan’s Alley, the only predominantly (though not exclusively) black neighbourhood in Vancouver was destroyed by the City in the late 1960s. The reasons were two-fold: partly it had to be demolished to make room for a highway that (thankfully) never got beyond the early development stage; partly it was a component in the City’s drive to end real estate “blight” in Lotusland. (For more on the anti-blight movement, see the CMHC/City of Vancouver co-production, To Build a Better City).

CVA 203-28-259 Prior Street Choe Doely Gam Cabins (from front; facing north), 1968.

CVA 203-28: 259 Prior Street – Chou Doely Gam Cabins (from front; camera facing north), 1968.

The image above is of a tenement housing block in the heart of Hogan’s Alley and known as the Chou Doley Gam cabins (though whether it was actually known by that name except by archivists and historians long after it was gone, seems doubtful). I have not been able (so far) to figure out why an apparently Asian name was applied to this development, but I assume that it was owned by an Asian landlord. Hogan’s Alley is, after all, adjacent to Chinatown. The “cabins” above, as well as the other buildings on the block, and structures across the street (on Union) were destroyed to make way for the Prior Street off-ramp of Georgia Street viaduct (1970s edition).


271(?) Union Street. Empty lot. Author’s Photo, 2014.

This isn’t the exact location of the ‘cabins’, but it is just across the street from Chou Doley’s resting place beneath the earthen mound that became the Prior off-ramp.


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