Chinatown is one of the more unique neighbourhoods in Toronto. Sure cities such as New York, Boston and San Francisco have similar communities but the feel and the rush of this one is unique to Toronto. Travel to any other area in Toronto and you will not find the same hustle and urgency that Chinatown has.
The beauty of this community lies in its’ immense size. Stretching from around Queen Street East to College Street, Spadina Avenue is consumed by the surge of traffic, fresh markets and vendors that extend from their shops onto the sidewalks.
The best thing to do in Chinatown is to take advantage of their fresh produce. I’ve lived in Toronto all my life and I always make the trek down to Chinatown for certain fruits. A personal excursion of mine is buying some red bean buns, branches of longan fruit and fresh sugar cane juice before walking to the park behind the Art Galley of Ontario to eat and do some writing.
Rich culture with a bright environment.
Toronto’s Chinatown is colourful. It’s bright with reds, greens, and yellows, contrasting against the old brownstone buildings made years ago.
If you are travelling in the summer, make sure to stop by the Toronto Chinatown Festival. Attracting over 100’000 people in two days, the festival features dragon dances, street delicacies from China and a parade. The festival is a celebration of the lunar harvest, originating from the old legend of the immortal archer Hou Yi.
The Legend of Change E and Hou Yi. http://www.moonfestival.org/the-legend-of-chang-e.html
Experience the neighbourhood.
Chinatown is a quick walk so by spending an hour or two in this neighbourhood you will be able to see all of the sights and markets in this area.
For great modern Chinese food stop by the R&D. It’s a restaurant owned by the first MasterChef Canada winner Eric Chong and Michelin star chef Alvin Leung. The restaurant is an urban beauty with great food and great cocktails. Recently I had an interview with Eric Chong, the young chef as modest and humble as the day he won the popular cooking show.
Article on the excellent culinary star R&D. https://rutvnews.com/2016/11/23/eric-chongs-restaurant-rd-is-a-culinary-star-in-torontos-chinatown/
A unique Toronto energy.
Chinatown is a part of Toronto’s mosaic identity, you can’t visit the city without dropping by this urban beauty. With beautiful iron signs that stand tall over the street car lines, graffiti that brightens up the old buildings and stores that you will find nowhere else in Toronto, it’s a special neighbourhood to say the least.
Chinatown has a different energy that anywhere else, it’s a certain chaotic urgency that somehow manages to flow together. Make sure you add this special centrepiece of Toronto’s culture to your list when visiting the great city.