We are proud to announce that a street name at River District will be named after a South Asian pioneer.

From The Province & Vancouver Sun news article:

For all of his life, Jack Uppal either endured racism or fought to overcome it. A self-made man and mill owner, he was one of B.C.’s pioneering South Asians who sought to put down deep roots.

Known as one of the patriarchs of the Sikh community, he wielded enormous influence, employed many immigrants in his sawmill on the Fraser River, and acted as a one-man social agency for many newcomers.

Now, nearly two years after his death at 89, Uppal is still breaking some of Vancouver’s old barriers; he’s having a street named after him in the River District, just upstream from where his Goldwood Industries mill operated. It is the first time that Vancouver, a city with a checkered history around racist immigration policies and acceptance of minorities, has named a street after a South Asian.

On Wednesday, city council is expected to approve a request to rename Road 8 — a longish north-south road in the new River District — Jack Uppal Street. The decision ends a long pattern of naming streets, lanes, buildings and other civic assets predominantly after white men. It also reflects a new effort by the city’s public asset naming committee to be more inclusive and respectful of the city’s diverse communities, whether they be immigrants, women, minorities, First Nations or members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

The renaming of the road comes after River District developers filed a development permit application for part of the massive 130-acre redevelopment, which will eventually house more than 15,000 people.

To read the entire story click here: Vancouver street named for South Asian pioneer