China’s Immigration Boom Triggered Vancouver “Improvements”

Vancouver has been undergoing a transformation of sorts with all the immigrants to the city, led in massive force by the Chinese. According to National Public Radio, Vancouver's geography may have something to do with it. The Granville Street Bridge appears to have been a street out of Hong Kong, while the place's skyline reminded one of something similar.

The establishments in the region have also warmed up to the number of Chinese immigrants. A McLaren Automotive car dealership has sold six $740,587-worth cars last year, with Asian supercar buyers leading the way. Mainland Chinese aren't the only ones buying; also included are Taiwanese, Hong Kong nationals, Singaporeans, and East Indians.

The allure for the Chinese to own something is deeply rooted in their history, according to a 27-year-old Chinese student in Vancouver, Marianne Wu. She shared that her property in Vancouver was one which she bought with help from family back in China. She also added they pushed her to buy property there for more stability in her life, as well as for the feeling of security in owning a piece of property.

There is a huge market of items for the Chinese to spend their money on in Vancouver. Aside from its real estate, Vancouver is a popular place for the Chinese to spend their cash because of its art. The Art Newspaper reported that the art scene in Vancouver managed to get a welcome "shot in the arm," thanks to a growing community of art collectors coming in from China.

The surge is led by locally based collectors. Qingxiang Guo is a popularly cited art aficionado, who lent his "Claude et Paloma" to the Vancouver Art Gallery's Picasso exhibition in 2016. He is also one of those Chinese collectors who are buying up art produced by the Vancouver artists' community, revealed by the very same artists and dealers themselves.

These art buyers often find guides in the form of people like Diana Freundl, associate curator of Asian art at the Institute of Asian Art. The school, associated with VAG, was recently gifted $40 million by the Chan family. Freundl said that she and the art school had to continue and increasing engagement with members of Vancouver's Asian communities.

Art and real estate can be a great magnet for immigrants to call a place like Vancouver home. However, with the arrival of cash also comes higher home prices, which may alienate those who are trying to come back to Vancouver. The key, according to the local government, is to make sure that the locals have a level playing field with those who are coming in from abroad. 

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