Mau Dan Gardens is situated between two of vancouver’s most historic and interesting neighbourhoods: Chinatown and Strathcona.
Chinatown to our west is Canada's largest Chinatown. It is a popular tourist attraction, and is one of the largest historic Chinatowns in North America. However, it went into decline as newer members of Vancouver's Cantonese Chinese community dispersed to other areas of the metropolis.
Chinatown was once known for its neon signs but like the rest of the city lost many of the spectacular signs to changing times and a new sign bylaw passed in 1974. The last of these was the Ho Ho sign (which showed a rice bowl and chop sticks) which was removed in 1997.1"
Strathcona to our east is a beautiful neighbourhood with schools, parks, and a community centre. Strathcona, the heart of Vancouver’s old East End, stretches from Gore Avenue in the West to Clark Drive on the East, from Burrard Inlet on the north, south to Malkin Street. As diverse as the ethnic and social mix was the diversity of housing in the East End. People lived in a variety of housing types, from humble row houses, tenements and pioneer cottages to turreted Queen Anne and Victorians and stately porched Edwardian boxes. Single family dwellings quite often functioned as boarding houses. Here and there, especially on street corners, three to four storey apartment buildings were erected, often containing corner stores. Much later, in the 1960s and 70s came the Vancouver specials, the CMHC Projects and later the Joe Wai-designed SPOTA houses.
Though of many backgrounds and traditions, and living in varying conditions, the history and special circumstances of our common location, Strathcona, imbues this neighbourhood’s residents with a deep sense of place and pride.2