One of three Chinatowns in the Greater Toronto area, the area that runs from College just before Queen on Spadina as well as along Dundas, west of Beverly Street ( past the Art Gallery of Ontario) is the largest Chinatown in the city. The two other Chinatowns are located at Gerrard and Broadview in Toronto’s east end and in Mississauga, in the Greater Toronto area. The Chinese community is one of the largest ethnicities in Toronto. According to the 2006 data from Statistics Canada, there were 283,075 Chinese people living in the city; the Chinese population is the second largest visible minority--after South Asian--comprising of 11.4 per cent of Toronto residents.
It is no wonder that Chinatown is one of the most densely concentrated and chaotic areas of Toronto. Whether you’re trying to buy fruit at one of the many markets on a Saturday morning or find a bargain at one of the many shops, you’ll always be surrounded by excitement. Check out The Dragon City Mall at the corner of Dundas and Spadina for some fantastic shopping (and to get your Pocky fix). South of Dundas is the Chinatown Centre, where there is an adjacent Super 8 Motel.
Chinatown is known for its cluster of restaurants, many of which are last stops for late-night revellers. Swatow and New Ho King are popular options for a multiple course meal; Pho Hung is the destination for Vietnamese pho; Bright Pearl is known for its peking duck and Mother’s Dumplings is one of the best value restaurants in the city.
If you are in the city in late January, Chinatown is the best place to celebrate the Chinese New Year. In September, join the festivities of the Chinatown Festival, where you can learn more about Chinatown’s history, browse booths, eat plenty and watch the traditional Lion dances!
The best way to explore Chinatown in downtown Toronto is by foot. There are two entry points to downtown Chinatown. Chinatown begins west of McCaul on Dundas Ave. If you’re coming from Bloor, take the streetcar from Spadina station and get off at the College Street stop. From there, you can walk south to explore the area to Queen Street. Chinatown also borders Kensington Market at Baldwin or Dundas Street. You’ll be in the heart of Kensington Market, when you walk two blocks west to Augusta Avenue. Off the beaten path, you can find a few dim-sum restaurants on the charming Baldwin Street, chock full of sidewalk patios and restaurants.
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