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Vancouver council approves Nora Hendrix Way, city’s first street named after a Black woman

Click to play video: 'Vancouver council honours city’s Black history by naming new street Nora Hendrix Way' Vancouver council honours city’s Black history by naming new street Nora Hendrix Way
Vancouver city council voted unanimously to name one of the new streets around the St. Paul's hospital redevelopment Nora Hendrix Way – Feb 11, 2021

One of the key figures in Vancouver’s Black history will have a road named in her honour.

When Nora Hendrix Way is completed as a part of the new St. Paul’s Hospital precinct, it will be the first street named after a Black woman in the city.

Read more: Students lead charge to have more Black history taught in Canadian schools to fight racism

Grandmother to legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, Nora moved to Vancouver from Seattle in 1913 with her husband Ross.

She worked as a cook at Vie’s Chicken and Steak House, a late-night diner known for hosting touring musical greats including Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

But she is better known for her key role in the historically Black Hogan’s Alley community.

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Read more: Vancouver to debate policy allowing residents to rename streets, buildings

That work included co-founding the African Methodist Episcopal Fountain Chapel at Prior and Jackson Avenue, Vancouver’s first Black church and a lynchpin in the city’s early Black community.

The new street will run one block from National Avenue to Atlantic Avenue, about a block away from the Fountain Chapel at Union Street and Jackson Avenue.

Read more: Vancouver councillor wants to see more First Nations names on city sites

Council approved the name Wednesday, along with a street named for Jeanette Andersen, an advocate for persons with disabilities, as a part of the new Pearson Dogwood development near Cambie and 58th Street.

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Both names were recommended by the city’s Civic Asset Naming Committee.

Vancouver city council approved the rezoning of the lands for the new hospital precinct in 2019, and Providence Healthcare says it plans to see the facility in operation by 2026.

Click to play video: 'Uncovering the history of Black Vancouverites in Hogan’s Alley' Uncovering the history of Black Vancouverites in Hogan’s Alley
Uncovering the history of Black Vancouverites in Hogan’s Alley – Jun 6, 2020

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