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Options limited for gay club’s relocation

The probable closure of the Odyssey would be a major loss for the city’s gay community, one of the club’s owners said yesterday, after council quashed plans to relocate the club.

The probable closure of the Odyssey would be a major loss for the city’s gay community, one of the club’s owners said yesterday, after council quashed plans to relocate the club.

“City council gave it the kiss of death,” said co-owner Michael Levy, who is scheduled to meet with city staff this week to try to find another new location for the club.

“It’s frustrating, and ultimately the biggest loser is the gay community.”

The Odyssey is expected to move from its city-owned location by April 31 as the site is slated for social housing.

On Thursday, Vancouver city council denied the request to relocate the club to the 900 block of Denman Street.

Vision Coun. Kerry Jang said there was an “overwhelming” response from residents who were opposed to having the club in the neighbourhood.

NPA Coun. Suzanne Anton, the only councillor to vote for the new location, said the decision was not easy. She was concerned about what council’s ruling represents.

“Protection of minority rights has to lie with our elected officials,” Anton said. “This is one of the last remaining bars that gay people go to and feel safe.”

Levy said options are limited because of safety concerns for gay clubs in Gastown and Granville Street.
With Denman Street off the table, he said, the club is effectively limited to three blocks on Davie Street, where real estate is scarce. with files from kristen thompson

 
 
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