Staff at the W2 Centre in the Downtown Eastside are celebrating today after City Council granted a planning permit for a new café and a media arts centre that’s seems poised to revitalize this impoverished part of Vancouver.

“We’re hoping that this is the first of many opportunities to invest in that community and we’re hoping that the community will thrive,” said City Councillor Raymond Lewis after the motion was passed today.

The W2 building on Hastings is a block that includes social housing, retail, and non-profit social space to benefit the poor of the Downtown East Side. As the café-arts centre complex was part of W2’s business plan, the centre won its bid for permission to expand.

W2 media coordinator Kris Krug was pleased about the City‘s permission for the extension, but said that the centre would still need to pay for the amenity space.

According to its organizers, the aim of the W2 centre is to become a cultural hub for the Downtown Eastside, providing a base for residents, community groups, and artists to work together.

Photo by Kris Krug of Woodward's Redevelopment W2 Community Media Arts Centre
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