Vancouver Heritage Foundation: Hogan’s Alley ~ A Collective History


Vancouver Heritage Foundation is a registered charity supporting the conservation of heritage buildings and structures in recognition of their contribution to the city’s economy, sustainability and culture.


Georgia Viaduct construction, destruction of Hogan's Alley 1972, Vie's Chicken and Steak House at 209 Union is still standing, later demolished in 1981. CVA 216 - 1.23, Campbell's Studio cropped. Courtesy of Vancouver Moving Theatre Collection

VHF has been overwhelmed by the awesome response we’ve received for our upcoming Hogan’s Alley  Places That Matter plaque presentation  Sunday Feb 24th at 2pm during Black History Month in Vancouver.  We’re very pleased to have partnered up with HAMP (Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project) to work with Wayde Compton and Sheilagh Caghill and with Hogan’s Alley Poetry Festival, Black Dot Collective organizer, Kevan “Scruffmouth Scribe” Cameron. This first permanent commemoration of the black history in Strathcona/East End has been a long time coming.

What we love best about Places That Matter is that we get to discover amazing people, projects and history in the city (often those that have been around for a very long time but remain relatively unknown), and we get to share these stories with everyone.  Every plaque presentation is a mini-reunion of sorts, and Hogan’s Alley is no exception. We can’t wait to hear first-hand stories from those who lived in the neighbourhood. It’s a chance to reflect not only on the history of what was, but to celebrate the next generation and a wider collaborative community that has come together to support these  permanent  markers of history. VHF’s Places That Matter plaque reads:

Hogan’s Alley was part of the ethnically diverse East End, centred between Prior and Union and Main and Jackson. It was home to much of Vancouver’s Black community and included businesses such as Vie’s Chicken and Steak House on Union and the Pullman Porters’ Club on Main. The neighbourhood was a popular cultural hub before mid-twentieth century urban renewal schemes and the Georgia Viaduct Replacement Project demolished many of its buildings.

It’s hard to provide the full scope of black history in early Vancouver but one excellent resource is from a special presentation by Vancouver Moving Theatre which took place in 2011 called ” Spirit Rising Festival & East End Blues & All That Jazz”. Click to see the full programme pdf and we suggest reading pages 24-31 for a great history compilation.

Related Article:  The story of Inspector Vance, Vancouver’s first forensic investigator

If you miss this event, you’ll still be able to check out the plaque.  Go and have a bite to eat at the Hogan’s Alley Cafe and let your imagination wander. For those of you who aren’t sure where exactly Hogan’s Alley existed, keep reading for more photos and a map below.

Hogan's Alley, 1958. CVA Bu P508.53 A.L. Yates
African Methodist Fountain Chapel Church Choir, including Leona Rigsby, Nora Hendrix, Mattie May King and Eleanor Collins. (The building still stands at 823 Jackson Ave.) Photo Courtesy of Thelma Gibson, Vancouver Moving Theatre collection.


1972 Construction of the Georgia Viaducts (uncropped picture from above)



Map created to show Hogan's Alley and Park Lane as they existed. "You are here" indicates where the plaque is located. Created by VHF. Map is printed on the plaque. 2013