• Mayssoun Hatoum

City Hall Pushes Chinatown out



Chinatown along Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street is one of Toronto’s busiest streets, lined with shops and restaurants it’s always bustling with people. With a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses today, it’s hard to believe that Toronto’s Chinese community started with one man. In 1878, Sam Ching owed a hand laundry business on Adelaide Street. He was the first Chinese person listed in the city’s directory however it quickly grew and in the next two decades there were hundreds of Chinese men arriving through Western Canada after building the Canadian Pacific Railway.


By 1910, Toronto’s Chinese population grew to over a thousand and hundreds of Chinese owned businesses developed along the area. The Chinatown community was then established in 1930 however it suffered during the Great Depression where more than 200 businesses closed. The first Chinatown went along Elizabeth and York Street between Dundas and Queen Street. In 1961 the construction of Toronto’s City Hall and Nathan Phillips square forced more than three-quarters of Chinese businesses to move out. Many began relocating up Spadina Avenue around Kensington Market. In 1967 Chinatown was once again relocated to make room for development of new office buildings in the area. Today 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. It continues to strive and remains a lively and colourful place to eat and shop.


When you live in the city, you can enjoy the convenience of ethnic shops and cuisine in your neighbourhood. Call me if you are looking to invest in real estate downtown.