Previously, the city had said the 122-year-old building at 439 Powell St. had become structurally unsound after a neighbouring building was demolished in July.
The city was planning to take down the historic structure, which is one of the last remnants of what was once Japantown, this week.
But the society's David Wong says the city has now accepted a report from a respected historian, showing the building has historic significance.
Wong said a brick veneer is now being removed to address some of the structural issues. The society will then focus on restoration of the building, which is expected to cost about $800,000.