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Greektown in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada is an area in the Kitsilano neighborhood that was historically an enclave of Greek immigrants and their descendants. The term is an informal one, and Greektown's borders were never strictly defined. However, West Broadway at Trutch Street is generally considered the neighbourhood's heart. Residents of Vancouver's west side also refer to Greektown as "Greek West Broadway." Vancouverites of Greek descent, who live in Kitsilano, nostalgically also call the area Ουέστ Μπροντουέι (literally "West Broadway").
This Greek identity has waned considerably since the area first became a community of exiles during the dictatorship in Greece of the 1960s and early 1970s, and the primary markers of Greektown are St. George's Greek Orthodox Church at 31st Avenue and Arbutus, the local Athens Social Club, a Greek supermarket, and a higher-than-average concentration of Greek restaurants. St. George's Greek Orthodox Church has been noted for its beautiful, traditional Byzantine Iconography. St. George's Hellenic Community of Vancouver (attached to the church with the same patron saint), has a long standing tradition of holding every year a Greek Food Festival from October 20 to October 22.
The Hellenic Cultural Festival takes place every June in Kitsilano. The highlight is Greek Day, when Broadway is closed to vehicle traffic between MacDonald and Blenheim for free, family-oriented festivities. The festival is part of an ongoing effort to restore the Greek identity of Greektown.
After World War II, Greek refugees from Europe and western Canada congregated in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver. They founded the aforementioned Greek Orthodox church, several businesses and social clubs, schools, a bank, newspapers, and, later, a television station.
In the 1971 Canada census, Greek was the second-most common language and ethnicity in the Kitsilano area (most common was English and the British Isles, respectively). In 1974, the city of Vancouver sanctioned an annual Greek Day celebration in the area.
During the 1980s a combination of cultural assimilation, an influx of baby boomers, rising property prices, and Asian immigration began to significantly erode the Greek influence on the area. During this time, many Greek businesses moved or closed, and the television station went off the air. Greek Day was canceled in 1988. Many of the Greeks migrated to other parts of the greater Vancouver area or even returned to Greece. Also, many Greeks who moved to Vancouver during that time period had neither connection to nor immediate knowledge of Greektown.
In the 2001 Canada census, the percentage of people in Kitsilano reporting Greek as their mother tongue had shrunk to 2 percent, fewer than those speaking English, Chinese, French, or German.
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