Mary Lee Chan

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Mary Lee Chan (1915–2002[1]) was a civic activist in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, who is noted for leading the opposition to the bulldozing of the Strathcona neighbourhood in the late 1960s. She helped establish the Strathcona Property Owner and Tenants Association (SPOTA), going door to door to canvass opposition to the freeway plans. All that was built was the Georgia Viaduct and the McLean Park housing project. She has been profiled at the Vancouver Museum.


Her mother immigrated from China[citation needed] in 1879 to Vancouver, a town which was then very new and only 20 years occupied by non-natives.

Her daughter Shirley Chan participated in SPOTA organizing as a young girl. She has since become an established figure in the Chinese-Canadian community. She ran as a Liberal Party of Canada candidate in the 2004 federal election against the incumbent Member of Parliament, New Democratic Party Libby Davies.


  1. ^ TV series celebrates women in ethnic groups, Kevin Griffin, Vancouver Sun, 1/11/2006
  • Mary and Shirley Chan, in Daphne Marlatt and Carole Itter, eds. Opening Doors: Vancouver's East End. Sound Heritage series vol. VIII, Nos. 1 and 2. Victoria, BC: Aural History Program, 1979, 85-86. [1]
  • Dogma Radio podcast discussion of Mary with Susan Poizner, creator of Mother Tongue, a 16 part series on Canadian woman of many ethnic backgrounds that first aired in January, 2006 on Vancouver's Channel M. [2]
  • Mothertongue description