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.
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