Open Doors Project

390 Powell Street

TAMURA BUILDING 1912 | WORLD HOTEL ca. 1914 -1941 |  NEW CANADIAN 1938 -1942

Built during the economic boom of 1912, the monumental Tamura building became home to an eclectic mix of businesses, including the World Hotel, banks, offices, exporters, shops and pivotal organizations like The New Canadian newspaper.

"We started the New Canadian over the print shop down on Alexander… The impetus behind starting the newspaper was the struggle for civil rights... The community faced discrimination that was very pervasive.  We stayed through all that evacuation period. We were among the last to leave." - Tom Shoyama

Artist Comments and Additional Facts

Panel 390 depicts a day-to-day moment inside the Tamura building where the writers of the Japanese Canadian newspaper The New Canadian ran their office.The New Canadian was the only Japanese Canadian newspaper granted printing permission during World War II. During the Japanese Canadian internment, The Royal BC Commission used the paper as a way to communicate with the Japanese community. Due to the internment, The New Canadian was forced to relocate its headquarters from Vancouver to Kaslo, Winnipeg, and finally to Toronto.