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Chinatown
—  Neighbourhood  —
Quartier Chinois
The paifang on Saint Laurent Boulevard
Chinatown is located in Montreal
Chinatown
Location of Chinatown in Montreal
Coordinates: 45°30′27″N 73°33′39″W / 45.50759°N 73.5608°W / 45.50759; -73.5608
Country Canada
Province Quebec
Borough Ville-Marie
Established 1877
Elevation 66 ft (20 m)

Chinatown in Montreal (French: Le quartier chinois de Montréal; simplified Chinese: 蒙特利尔唐人街) is located in the area of De la Gauchetière Street in Montreal. Newer Chinatowns are located along Saint Catherine Street west of Concordia University and in the suburb of Brossard on Montreal's south shore. Both Chinatowns contain shops that sell Asian food and home products as well as serving as important centres for Montreal's East Asian communities.

Contents

History

A Victoria Day parade on De la Gauchetière Street in the 1945 Montreal Chinatown

The area was once home to Montreal's Jewish community, with thousands of Yiddish speaking immigrants settling in the area from 1890 to 1920, as part of a Jewish quarter centred around Saint Laurent Boulevard.[1]

Many Taishan Chinese settled (all following the Leung Family) in the area because they worked for the railways and it was convenient for these occupations. Over the years, Hong Kong Chinese and ethnic Chinese refugees from Vietnam also set up shops and restaurants in the area.

In recent years, Montreal's Chinatown has seen a major influx of mainland Chinese, mostly exchange students who have opened many commercial businesses well liked by the new generation such as internet cafes and bubble tea stores.

Features

Looking down De la Gauchetière Street in Chinatown.

The official Montreal Chinatown is located on La Gauchetière Street and around Saint Urbain Street and Saint Lawrence Boulevard (boul. Saint-Laurent), between René Lévesque Boulevard and Viger Street (Place-d'Armes Montreal metro station). It occupies roughly the area of a city block. The part of La Gauchetière that crosses through Chinatown is a pedestrian walkway, making it more inviting for a stroll. On several weekends during the summer, the street becomes a lively outdoor fair.

Montreal's Chinatown is a vibrant nightspot for locals and tourists alike thanks to a special regulation by Montreal's city officials which slates the sector as a tourist area, thus allowing it to continue operations well into the evening.

Cantonese seafood, barbecue and dim sum restaurants and Vietnamese Phở eateries are featured in Chinatown. Many local Asian-Canadians frequent the area since the shops offer products directly imported from Mainland China or Vietnam that are difficult to find elsewhere in town. During lobster season, restaurants there are so crowded that it can be difficult to get a seat without a reservation.

Aside from its economic importance in the sector, Montreal's Chinatown actively participate in numerous community activities. The offices of many Chinese newspapers, organizations and associations are located in the surrounding buildings. Moreover, the Chinatown houses the biggest Chinese school of Montreal (over 1500 students) as well as the Montreal Chinese Catholic Mission. Over the years, the Canadian government has continually sought to invest in the area by funding the construction of Montreal's Chinese Hospital and the Montreal Chinese Cultural and Community Center.

Media

Chinatown was the filming location of the 2008 film release The Punisher: War Zone. Some parts of Chinatown were redressed with English-language signage to recreate the atmosphere of Chinatown, Manhattan.

There are three Chinese language weekly newspapers operating in Montreal. Les Presses Chinoises, Sept Days, and the Luby.

Other Chinese areas

Chinatown West

A new Chinatown has begun to develop in the area west of Concordia University in the last fifteen years, particularly along Sainte Catherine Street between Guy Street and Atwater Avenue. It caters primarily to the growing mainland Chinese and East Asian student and immigrant population in the area.[2][3] As of 2006, 22.9% of the area's population were of Chinese origin.[4]

Brossard

Various Asian-themed malls have arisen along Taschereau Boulevard in the south shore suburb of Brossard, where a significant portion of the population is of Chinese origin. The provincial government of Quebec actually enticed Hong Kong millionaires to settle and invest in the province, particularly in Brossard. The shopping centres were largely funded by Hong Kong Chinese immigrant investors, many of whom have since returned to Hong Kong or have relocated to larger Chinese immigrant centres such as Toronto and Vancouver. A wide range of Chinese restaurants, grocers, and services can still be found in Brossard. Many of the Chinese residents of Brossard are ethnic Chinese from Vietnam.

Gallery

A bus stop located along Saint-Laurent Boulevard in Chinatown.  
Holiday Inn hotel in Chinatown  
The guardian lions at the paifang  

References

External links


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