March 13th 2014
In the past 48 hours over 2,000 local residents have signed a “Stop The Demolition Of The Rumpus Room” online petition calling on Vancouver City Council to do more to protect art, culture, community and affordability in our city.
Word spread quickly that a unique, charming, creative, community-focused and beloved Mt. Pleasant eatery will soon be shut-down and demolished to make way for yet another unaffordable housing development.
The reaction from residents has been swift and personal. Here is an extended sample of their statements:
<em>I am from the city, grew up there all my life, but continuing with this sort of cold development without leaving space for something eclectic, fun and cherished like this place cements Vancouver’s fate as a cold dense city without character.</em>
<em> – Pam Bhatti, White Rock</em>
<em>I have been in this area for 15 years. I choose Main St. for its eclectic vibe and welcoming community. I was too artsy for Kits, not hippy enough for The Drive and found a balanced combo here. I have seen the changes happen over the years. Some good, some bad. It’s true that a lot of Main Street’s character and community comes most from the fun, cool, funky, local small businesses and people that populate the street. They give us places to meet and greet our neighbours, places to socialize, and places where we can build strong community foundations. Can’t we find ways to build more affordable housing without sacrificing the very things that make a neighbourhood unique?</em>
<em> – Tara Webster, Vancouver</em>
<em>Vancouver, if you knock this down, you’re seriously doing it wrong.
– Jessica Bolton, Vancouver</em>
<em>This is one of the few unique places in Vancouver. Taking it away from us is DETRIMENTAL to the community and the city. We need more spaces that are not catering to just the Canucks games and expensive dining. This space is inclusive and anyone can feel right at home. It will be a sincere SHAME for it to not be in the Mt. Pleasant community anymore.</em>
<em> – Amy Elderkin, Vancouver</em>
<em>I’m tired of this garbage. First the Ridge, and now the Rumpus Room. I love you Vancouver, but you’re bringing me down.</em>
<em> – Chelsea Campbell, Vancouver</em>
<em>Vancouver is at it’s best when it stands in support of unique local businesses. Condos can go anywhere, but a beloved local destination – a cornerstone of the neighbourhood and a requirement of community – is irreplaceable.</em>
<em> – Laura Barton, Vancouver</em>
<em>The nickname “No Fun City” was not gained overnight, rather it took years of concerted gentrification and archaic zoning regulations to achieve the drab state of cultural affairs in Vancouver. Now is our chance to halt this trend and breathe some diversity into the city!!</em>
<em> – Andrew Ages, Vancouver</em>
<em>The character of a community is defined by its unique institutions. Lower Main has already lost Slickety’s, Bert’s, the Rhizome, Watson Street’s BS&T, and many more. Rising taxes and up zoning are devastating our local culture. Vancouver is being hollowed out, and will soon be an empty shell.</em>
<em> – Randy Chatterjee, Vancouver</em>
<em>We need the Rumpus Room. Condos are ripping Mount Pleasant apart, and is slowly becoming a concrete wasteland.</em>
<em> – Victoria McDonald, Vancouver</em>
<em>The Rumpus Room is one of the few remaining spots that makes the neighbourhood worth visiting. Adding another condo to the skyline isn’t adding anything to Vancouver’s culture – it’s taking away from it.</em>
<em> – Max Tennessen, Vancouver</em>
<em>Keep Rumpus Room alive!! You can’t buy character like Rumpus. This is a hub on Main Street that breeds community and connection. xoxox</em>
<em> – Natalie Tillen, Vancouver</em>
<em>VANCOUVER IS LOSING ITS CHARACTER!</em>
<em> – Catie Campbell, Vancouver</em>
<em>There are already far too few good places left to go and have a good time. Do we need yet another Starbucks?</em>
<em> – Calvin Feniak</em>
<em>I work across from the rumpus room and love going there to grab lunch or meet with clients before appointments. it’s part of what gives the area it’s funky vibes – who doesn’t love the witty sandwich board and pink flamingos? The Rumpus Room is one of the places I take people to specifically when they visit Vancouver.</em>
<em>- Justine De Boer, Vancouver</em>
<em>This is my FAVOURITE place to go in Vancouver. It is a mainstay of the neighbourhood, always packed, and a big part of the community here. EVERYONE loves Rumpus Room. So many fond memories. This business MAKES MONEY. It is stupid to tear it down. Please please stop this!</em>
<em> – Tegan Verheul, North Vancouver</em>
<em>The reason I purchased property in this neighbourhood 8 years, was to live near places like this and not the downtown condo scene.</em>
<em> – Kat Leon, Vancouver</em>
<em>Classic Vancouver businesses like this give the city it’s character. Demolishing them at speed to make way for condos will destroy this beautiful city. Stop this insanity.</em>
<em> – Jennifer Harrington, Vancouver</em>
<em>As a both a resident and business owner on Main Street, I’m constantly faced with the ever-relentless onslaught of ill-conceived residential development, and the erasure of compelling culturally relevant private and public social and hospitality amenities. Losing the Rumpus Room is apparently the result of another nasty move by the development corporatocracy, aided and abetted by City Hall. Every condo development like this that happens at the expense of our urban civic culture, and at the expense of private business owners, drives out the people who make our city socially vibrant, relevant, and meaningful, while driving up living costs even further.</em>
<em>Vancouver: WAKE UP! The longer this goes on, the more you’ll see the vitality of our town bleeding out, and relocating elsewhere in the country. Stop showing hostility towards small business owners and hospitality/cultural entrepreneurs — and to your voters, who deeply value these amenities — and stop giving preferential treatment to every single development corporation looking to make a buck, while systematically</em> <em>absorbing all of the viable space that creates opportunities for organic metropolitan culture to unfold, and for local entrepreneurs to succeed.</em>
<em>The very reason new people want to live in our neighbourhood is being demolished by the new people who want to live in it. Save our hood!</em>
<em> – Courtney Jensen, Vancouver</em>
<em>Because I come out to Vancouver a lot and each time I do I’d like to experience more of Vancouver the way It should be experienced with the people and culture of Vancouver. Taking little places like The Rumpus Room away from Vancouver, wrecks Vancouver.</em>
<em> – Alisha Folk, Vancouver</em>
<em>The Rumpus Room is unique, has character, is involved in the community and has Great food! Vancouver is losing it’s character, it’s heart. We want to retain some of it’s character- what makes Vancouver unique</em>
<em> – Shannon Lorrie, Vancouver</em>
<em>Ugh I love Vision but this makes me soo mad, really mad.</em>
<em> – Brittany C., Vancouver</em>
You can find over 200 public statements from local residents at the bottom of the Stop The Demolition Of The Rumpus Room petition page.
With the recent loss of many cultural institutions to condo and commercial development, the City of Vancouver is quickly becoming a cold, unaffordable, and cultural wasteland. Hardly a selling point to young entrepreneurs and tech companies the City is trying to recruit and retain.
We will continue to engage the fast growing community who are becoming increasingly disillusioned and disenfranchised by a Vancouver City Council that is promoting condo and unaffordable housing development that is gutting so much that makes our city unique, vibrant, inclusive and livable.
In support of the over 2,000 who have already spoken out,
Gen Why Media + EastVanLove
Citizens Speak Out To Stop The Demolition Of The Rumpus Room
The demolition of community spaces needs to stop.