Montreal’s Chinatown is a small neighborhood between Jeanne-Mance street to the west, de Bullion street to the east, Viger street to the south, and René-Lévesque boulevard to the north. It may be smaller than the Chinatown districts in cities such as New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver, but its history is just as long.
The first Chinese business opened in the neighborhood in 1877, but Chinese families have been living there since the 1860s. As the Chinese community in Montreal grew, so did Chinatown. Many businesses opened, but also community centres, clubs, churches, and hospitals. Over the years, many families left Chinatown to live and work in other parts of the city, but the neighborhood remained the cultural and commercial centre of the Chinese community.
In Chinatown, there is a small park that was built in 1977 and named after Dr. Sun Yat-Sen (孫中山), the first president of China. and several traditional Chinese gates, like big one over Saint-Laurent street near René-Lévesque. This gate was given to the city of Montreal by the city of Shanghai. De la Gauchetière street was closed to cars and changed into pedestrian mall in the 1980s. In the 1990s, a new Chinese hospital was built, and so were several residences for senior citizens.
Not many people live in Chinatown nowadays, but it is still the best place in the city to buy many Asian groceries, and it is still where you will find some of the best restaurants in Montreal.
Metro Saint Laurent (green)
Metro Place d’Armes (orange)