Hello there fellow Canadians and Torontonians! I want to highlight a less heralded part of Canada’s greatest urban center: Chinatown East in Toronto. While many people may be familiar with the more recognized Chinatown West near Spadina and Kensignton Market, I want to bring attention to the historically-rich Chinatown East, also known as “Little Saigon,” because of its sizeable Vietnamese population. Emerging in the 1970s at Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street as a result of the rising prices of Toronto’s original Chinatown, Chinatown East should be visited for its amazing Zhong Hua Men Archway and its Dr. Sun Yat-sen statue located in Riverdale Park.

The Zhong Hua Men Archway is Toronto’s first traditional Chinese archway. The archway features 13 Chinese Lion statues that the People’s Republic of China donated. The Zhong Hua Men Archway was designed in the traditional Paifeng-style, a form of cultural commemoration through architecture. According to former Toronto mayor David Miller, the archway is a tribute to the Chinese-Canadians who pioneered the railways spanning across Canada.

Another reason to come visit Chinatown East is the beautiful statue of the great Dr. Sun Yat-sen in Riverdale Park! Erected in 1985, this statue was built by artist Joe Rosenthal and depicts Sun holding his famous book The Principles of the People. Known as the “Father of Modern China,” Sun Yat-sen was the leader of China’s nationalist movement and was instrumental in overthrowing the Qing Dynasty, helping to bring a republic to China.

Come visit Toronto’s underrated cultural hot spot! One will not be disappointed.

Front view of the Zhong Hua Men Archway. In front of the statue, you see two white stone lion statues. Behind the lion statues, the image shows the three arches of the archway. The left and right arch are both the same size and smaller than the middle arch. There is Chinese writing above each arch and along with the sides of each arch. The archway has a dark green roof, with two levels. The center being the highest level and the left and right levels being symmetrical and lower than the center. Buildings, street lights, many cars surround the background and front of the image.
Image of the Zhong Hua Men Archway. Photo credited to Lou Manning.
At the center of the image stands the large grey statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Sun Yat-sen is standing on a large rectangular block and is holding a book. The statue is located in a large park surrounded by greenery. There is a large open space of grass in the background, along with many large green trees. Also in the upper background, you can see the blue sky, with a few white clouds.
Photo taken of Dr. Sun Yat-sen statue in Riverdale Park. Copyright 2017, taken by Jeff Hitchcock.

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