Chinatown, Toronto
Get Chinatown, Toronto essential facts below. View Videos or join the Chinatown, Toronto discussion. Add Chinatown, Toronto to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Chinatown, Toronto
(West) Chinatown, Toronto
?
Neighbourhood
Street level in the "downtown" Chinatown on Spadina Avenue
Street level in the "downtown" Chinatown on Spadina Avenue
Chinatown, Toronto is located in Toronto
Chinatown, Toronto
Location within Toronto
Coordinates: 43°39?10?N 79°23?53?W / 43.6529°N 79.3980°W / 43.6529; -79.3980Coordinates: 43°39?10?N 79°23?53?W / 43.6529°N 79.3980°W / 43.6529; -79.3980
Country Canada
Province Ontario
City Toronto

Chinatown, Toronto known also as West Chinatown or Downtown Chinatown is a Chinese neighbourhood located in the city of Toronto's downtown centred at the intersections of Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street, West. It is one of Toronto's many Chinatowns and was formed in the 1950s-1960s when businesses and residents moved from the location of Toronto's First Chinatown due its expropriation in the late 1950s to build the new Toronto City Hall and its civic square, Nathan Phillips Square.

History

The present day West Chinatown is located along Spadina Avenue, emerging with the influx of Chinese immigrants in the 1960s.

Toronto's present day downtown Chinatown was formerly a Jewish district, although a small Chinese community was already present in this location prior to the 1950s.[1]

A lion dance in First Chinatown, 1975. Historically, residents of Toronto's First Chinatown and subsequently, West Chinatown, were immigrants from southern China and Hong Kong

The creation of this Chinatown was driven by the demolition of First Chinatown at Bay Street and Dundas Street West, from the 1950-1960s to make way for Toronto City Hall. While a handful of Chinese businesses still thrive there, much of the Chinese community have largely migrated west from there to the present Chinatown neighbourhood, thus its name, "West Chinatown".[2] Chinatown continued to expand with the influx of Chinese immigrants during the 1960s, many of thee wives and descendants of the Chinese men already in Canada due to the lifting of Canada's racial exclusion act.[3] With much of Toronto's downtown Jewish population moving north along Bathurst Street, the businesses in this area became largely Chinese.[3]

In the following decades, students and skilled workers arrived from Hong Kong, Guangdong province and Chinese communities in Southeast Asia and the Caribbean further increased the Chinese population, which led to the creation of additional Chinese communities east of Toronto. The neighbourhood has been noted as being a "near complete community" with housing, employment, and commerce, along with schools and social services all located within walking distance in the neighbourhood.[4]

Today, the economic and social centre of Toronto's downtown Chinatown primarily runs north-south along Spadina Avenue to College Street to Sullivan Street and east-west along Dundas Street West from Augusta Avenue to Beverley Street. A mansion that is converted to the Italian Consulate is at the northwest corner of Dundas and Beverley.

Since the 2000s the West Chinatown has been changing from the influx of new residents, businesses from immigrants and 2nd generation Canadians. The neighbourhood has continued to serve as a vital market hub and services, to people from inside the neighbourhood and outside.[5][6] The central location of the neighbourhood has also been a draw for property developers, changing the face of the neighbourhood.[6]

The El Mocambo live music venue is in the northern end of Chinatown, although this 1940s establishment was there before the neighbourhood became Chinatown.[7]

Both the 505 Dundas and 510 Spadina streetcar routes run through Chinatown.

Economy

The area hosts diverse set of East Asian cuisines, groceries, and shops.

Toronto's downtown Chinatown is one of the largest in North America. It is centred on the intersection of Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue, and extends outward from this point along both stralteets. With the population changes of recent decades, it has come to reflect a diverse set of East Asian cultures through its shops and restaurants, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai. The major Chinese malls in the area are Dragon City and Chinatown Centre.

Since the 1990s, downtown Chinatown is redefining itself in the face of changing demographics and gentrification of the neighbourhood. As the aging population shrank, revenues of businesses in the neighbourhood also decreased. While the majority of the grocery stores and shops remain, most of the once-famed restaurants on Dundas Street West, especially the barbecue shops located below grade, have closed since 2000.[8][5] Competition from commercial developments in suburban Chinese communities also drew wealth and professional immigrants away from downtown. Unlike those newer developments in the suburbs, Chinatown's economy relies heavily on tourism and Chinese seniors. As many younger, higher-income immigrants settled elsewhere in the city, those left in the district are typically from older generations who depend on downtown's dense concentration of services and accessibility to public transportation.[9] With developers changing or resulting in the closure of well regarded businesses, the Chinatown neighbourhood is facing the pressures of gentrification along with many other Toronto ethnic neighbourhoods and communities such as Greektown, Koreatown, Little Portugal, and Little Italy.[10]

In the early 21st century, downtown neighbourhoods became more attractive to urban professionals and young people who work in the Financial District, as well as its proximity to the University of Toronto and to OCAD University, leading to the gentrification of surrounding areas and potentially changing the face of West Chinatown.[5][2]

A key representative of the neighbourhood and its interests is the Toronto Chinatown Business Improvement Area (?), also known as the Chinatown BIA. A non-for-profit organization funded by the commercial property owners of the downtown Chinatown area, it was founded in 2007 and works closely with representatives of the federal, provincial, and city government, the police, as well as community stakeholders to promote and enhance the community as a commercial destination while maintaining its cultural character.[11][12][13][14]

Demographics

Historically, Toronto's Downtown Chinatown has been represented by immigrants and families from southern China and Hong Kong. Since the transfer of Hong Kong's sovereignty to the People's Republic of China in 1997, immigrants from mainland China have greatly exceeded those from Hong Kong. However, at present Cantonese remains the primary language used by businesses and restaurants in Chinatown. The Chinese immigrant population now consists of distinct subgroups.

To the east of Spadina Avenue, numerous university students attending the University of Toronto, OCAD University (formerly the Ontario College of Art and Design), and Ryerson University live in many of the small houses built as workers' housing. The diversity brings a more multicultural flavour to the district, but it may gradually reduce or eliminate its identity as Chinatown.

Translation of street names

Examples of street name signs in Old Chinatown. The bilingual signs (in Chinese and English) were first introduced in the 1970s.

A number of streets in Downtown Chinatown are bilingual, a feature first introduced in the 1970s. The translations are mainly phonetic and use Chinese characters defined through Cantonese or Taishanese pronunciations.

  • Augusta Avenue - (Jyutping: ou3 gat1 si6 daa2 dou6)
  • Baldwin Street - ( Jyutping: bou2 wan4 gaai1)
  • Beverley Street - ? (Jyutping: bei2 waa4 lei6 gaai1)
  • Bulwer Street - ( Jyutping: bou2 waa4 gaai1)
  • Cameron Street - ? (Jyutping: kaa1 mui4 ling4 gaai1)
  • Cecil Street - (Jyutping: si1 sou3 gaai1)
  • College Street - ( Jyutping: syu1 jyun2 gaai1)
  • D'Arcy Street - ( Jyutping: daat6 si6 gaai1)
  • Dundas Street West - (Jyutping: dang1 daa2 si6 sai1 gaai1)
  • Glasgow Street - ? (Jyutping: gaa1 si1 gou1 gaai1)
  • Grange Avenue - ? (Jyutping gu3 lin4 zi6 dou6)
  • Grange Place - ? (Jyutping: gu3 lin4 zi6 fong1)
  • Grange Road - ? (Jyutping: gu3 lin4 zi1 lou6)
  • Henry Street - (Jyutping hang1 lei6 gaai1)
  • Huron Street - (Jyutping: hiu2 leon4 gaai1)
  • John Street - (Jyutping: joek3 hon6 gaai1)
  • Kensington Avenue - ? (Jyutping: ging1 si6 deon6 dou6)
  • McCaul Street - ? (Jyutping: mak6 go1 lou4 gaai1)
  • Nassau Street - (Jyutping: naa1 sou3 gaai1)
  • Oxford Street - (Jyutping: ngau4 zeon1 gaai)
  • Phoebe Street - (Jyutping: fei1 bei2 gaai1)
  • Queen Street West - ? (Jyutping: wong4 hau6 sai1 gaai1)
  • Renfrew Place - (Jyutping: wan1 fu3 fong1)
  • Ross Street - (Jyutping: lo4 si6 gaai1)
  • Saint Andrew Street - (Jyutping: sing3 on1 dak1 lou5 gaai1)
  • Soho Street - (Jyutping; sou1 hou4 gaai1)
  • Spadina Avenue - (Jyutping: si6 baa1 daan1 naa1 dou6)
  • Stephanie Street - (Jyutping: si2 dai3 fan1 nei4 gaai1)
  • Sullivan Street - ? (Jyutping: sou1 lei6 wan4 gaai1)

Chinese neighbourhoods in Toronto

Although the present downtown Chinatown is one of the more well known Chinese neighbourhoods in Toronto, there are in fact many others in Toronto and the Greater Toronto area, many of them with historical significance:

In popular culture

The 1999 Chow Yun-fat film The Corruptor was set in the New York City Chinatown, with scenes filmed in the Chinatowns of New York and Toronto.

The television series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues was filmed in Chinatown at Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West for many episodes of its 1993-97 run. Filmed in Toronto, it portrays the Chinatown of an unidentified major U.S. city.

On an episode of the 1990s series Due South entitled "Chinatown" (Season 1, episode 6), Toronto's Dundas and Spadina Chinatown stood in for Chicago's Chinatown.

Toronto's Chinatown is featured prominently in the 2008 collection of short stories The Chinese Knot and Other Stories by Lien Chao.

Toronto band Do Make Say Think have a song titled "Chinatown" on their 2002 album & Yet & Yet.

The film Suite Suite Chinatown, directed by Aram Siu Wai Collier, was screened at the 14th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.[16]

The Pixar animated short, Bao, was set in Toronto, and included scenes from Toronto's Chinatown.[17]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Spadina Avenue & Chinatown West". www.lostrivers.ca. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b Chan, Arlene (2011). The Chinese in Toronto from 1878: From Outside to Inside the Circle. Dundurn Press. ISBN 9781554889792.
  3. ^ a b Yee, Paul (2005), Chinatown: An illustrated history of the Chinese Communities of Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax, Toronto, ON, CAN: James Lorimer & Company Limited
  4. ^ Thompson, Richard H. (1989). Toronto's Chinatown : the changing social organization of an ethnic community. New York: AMS Press. ISBN 0404194397.
  5. ^ a b c Silva, Michelle da (2017-01-25). "Toronto's changing Chinatown: who is it for?". NOW Magazine. Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b "Chinatowns grapple with new development, changing demographics". Retrieved .
  7. ^ "The grand promise of a new El Mocambo, hopefully". The Varsity. 2019-03-31. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Chinatown feeling pains of 'early transition' to gentrification, historian says | The Star". thestar.com. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Nasser, Shanifa (June 5, 2019). "What will become of Toronto's Chinatown? Activists worry gentrification will erase a unique piece of history". CBC News.
  10. ^ "Some residents fear gentrification is erasing Toronto's Chinatown". Global News. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Chinatown BIA upset Yonge Street shelter moving to Spadina and Dundas". toronto.citynews.ca. 2015-12-31. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Silva, Michelle da (2016-02-05). "City officials insist downtown Toronto is totally safe after Chinatown shooting". NOW Magazine. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "ABOUT US". Chinatown BIA. Retrieved .
  14. ^ SHUPAC, JODIE (November 11, 2011). "Chinatown BIA wants to clean up shop". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved .
  15. ^ Liu, Karon (August 21, 2019). "Dragon Centre was a catalyst for Scarborough's Chinese community, but the history is not all rosy | The Star". thestar.com. Retrieved .
  16. ^ Persaud, Nadia. "Chinatown comes to life on Scarborough big screen." Toronto Observer. November 22, 2010. Retrieved on August 22, 2013.
  17. ^ McLaughlin, Amara (15 June 2018). "Pixar's 'Bao' serves up the Toronto experience -- CN Tower, Chinatown, streetcars". CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Chinatown,_Toronto
 



 



 
Music Scenes