Fondest memory: Which Chinatown doesn’t have a tea store? I loved one we visited for aroma that was around and for numerous types of teas for sale. The most interesting I found were tea kettles and cups sets. Telling the truth, I didn’t buy tea, because I have so many kinds at home, but I was happy to hear about ceremony from shop’s assistant. I won’t repeat the story I have heard from her, but I see this ceremony now in different light. I was almost ready to buy one of the tea kettles, but, unfortunately their price is too high (from $70 and into hundreds), so I withdrew my wish with regret.
Favorite thing: We walked around some residential areas in Chinatown and noticed how poorly handled houses and apartments were. The houses didn’t see paint work for a long time; front yards had numerous piles of garbage, very dirty windows. Windows of apartments were stashed with clothes, boxes, blankets, all kind of staff that at first we even didn’t believe they were residential. Back side of restaurants was even in the worse condition: puddle of some colorful stinky liquids, rotten food on the road. After watching this we quickly retreated ourselves to the main streets trying to forget what we saw and not to eat in restaurants.
Favorite thing: Toronto has the one of the largest Chinatowns in North America. It is centred around the intersection of Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue, and extends outward from this point along both streets. It has grown significantly over the years and has come to reflect a diverse set of Asian cultures through its shops and restaurants, including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai.
Favorite thing: This ever-expanding area, consisting of Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue, is home to Asian communities from Hong-Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam. A wealth of oriental shops and fruit markets, spill out onto the street to tempt passers-by and a vast selection of authentic Chinese restaurants feature such delicacies as pork dumplings, dim sum and Peking duck. You will also see street sculptures along Spadina, including a dragon, a black cat on a chair and the colorful moose, pictured in my extra pics.
I don't think I've ever eaten as much asian food in such a short period of time, but when you hang with Hotsauce28....
On Saturday afternoon, despite nursing massive hangovers (kids, do not mix Guinness and Tequilla) Hots brought me all through Chinatown. I wish I had taken a few photos because this place was ALIVE. All the shops and markets were open with their goods displayed in huge baskets in front. I could have spent the entire weekend there and never been bored.
Fondest memory: Honestly, too many memories to mention. But the best memory was meeting people who I know will always be a huge part of my life.
Favorite thing: Most large cities have a district that is designated as Chinatown. Toronto on the otherhand has something like five of them. However the one that everyone has grown to call the "official" Chinatown centres around Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue. Although this Chinatown is one that most tourist will most likely visit, it does not cater simply for them. This area is very popular with Toronto's huge Chinese population. There are countless grocery shops that they flock to. A couple of Chinese malls are also located in this neighborhood. However if you are visiting from out of town, what will most impress you with this district is the masses of high quality restaurants. If you like Chinese cuisine then there is probably no neighborhood in North America, that is so congested with so many varied restaurants featuring the various cuisines from all four corners of China. I have friends who cannot get enough of this area for this reason.
Visit Chinatown and Kensington Market. Along Spadina Avenue between College and Dundas. A series of outdoor markets, featuring imported Asian foods and beverages. The southern portion of Chinatown includes Toronto's Fashion District. Also, in the College/Spadina area, you can visit "Computer Alley". A two-block area lined with computer stores. A great place to pick up computer parts and peripherals at very good prices.
Favorite thing: There are 5 Chinatowns in Toronto, but the main one in the downtown area is always lively. Huge crowds, especially on the weekend. (And yes, my frightened American friends, it's always safe.)