Chinatown Toronto has a large Asian community and is home to one of the largest in North America. Actually, there are more than one of these districts with the largest one in the Spadina and Dundas West area. The second Chinatown is in the Broadview and Gerrard area. Over the years, other “Chinatowns” have emerged in Toronto (particularly in Markham, Richmond Hill and Agincourt).
Chinatown Toronto is known for its wonderful Asian restaurants, family-run grocery shops and other specialty stores. If you want authentic Chinese or Vietnamese food, you must visit here. My personal favourite is the Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant. It’s pretty much open 24 hours a day, the food is fantastic and the service is fast and friendly. If you like dim sum, you must visit the Rol San Restaurant at 323 Spadina. If you are intending to visit Rol San, make it fast as there are reports that it may close due to redevelopment of the area.
Chinatown is very vibrant and seems to operate under its own terms. Gambling is a major pastime in back rooms of various shops and sometimes right at the front of the store. If you missed last call for drinks, some Toronto Chinatown restaurants offer a “Special Tea” to be consumed with your late night/early morning dim sum.
Throughout the year, Chinatown hosts various festivals such as the Toronto Chinatown Festival and the Lunar New Year Festival. Here you can sample some of the best Chinese foods and other goods. There are ethnic parades and costumes – making one think they are in the middle of Hong Kong. For more information on Chinatown, please visit the Chinatown BIA.
Below are some photos I have taken of the two main Chinatown districts in Toronto.