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City of Vancouver purchases Obasan author’s house

In a $634,000 deal, the City of Vancouver will purchase the Historic Joy Kogawa House from The Land Conservancy of B.C. (TLC) as the non-profit land trust continues to sell properties to rid itself of crippling debt.
Kogawa
This house in southwest Vancouver was the childhood home of Obasan author Joy Kogawa.

In a $634,000 deal, the City of Vancouver will purchase the Historic Joy Kogawa House from The Land Conservancy of B.C. (TLC) as the non-profit land trust continues to sell properties to rid itself of crippling debt.

The Marpole house was the childhood home of Obasan author Joy Kogawa. Required reading for many Canadian Literature students, the book is based on Kogawa’s forced relocation to a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War. The house at 1450 West 64th Ave. was confiscated under the War Measures Act, but purchased by TLC in 2006 to prevent it from being demolished.

The property will be transferred to the City of Vancouver on Nov. 1 for $634,000. Funds from the sale will retire the $134,000 mortgage on title and pay TLC’s creditors, according to a news release.

The house is managed by the Historic Joy Kogawa House Society as a heritage and cultural centre and will continue to operate under city ownership. The society facilitates literary events, as well as healing and reconciliation.

“The Kogawa board supports the transfer of the Historic Joy Kogawa House from TLC to the City of Vancouver,” said executive director Ann-Marie Metten.

The Supreme Court of B.C. approved the sale last week. TLC director Cathy Armstrong said TLC was “looking forward” to the conclusion of the organization’s arrangement with creditors in the near future.

TLC has completed all but three of the transactions contemplated in its court-sanctioned plan to pay off its creditors. The completion of the plan will require the sale of densities zoned on Abkhazi Garden, 6% undivided interest in Maltby Lake and the transfer of Wildwood Ecoforest.

TLC said it will continue to protect sensitive ecosystems throughout B.C. through the monitoring and enforcement of more than 230 conservation covenants.