As I was walking along exploring I saw this building with what looked like a Chinese temple on top of it. At first I filed it away and promised myself to go check it out in a bit. Coming closer i wandered on and found the paifang, the traditional chinese archway that signifies the entry into Chinatown. Its along St Laurent, if you keep going you will find lots of little restaurants and shops. Some of them were chinese dolls, party good but you also had herbal treatments, acupuncture.
This is the old Chinatown. Due to redevelopment needs of the city, some of it has made way for other non-Chinese buildings. At the same time, some of the east asian community has moved to Chinatown West (Ste Catherine, near Concordia University.) There is also a large community that was invited to settle in the suburb of Bossard.
As always I head straight for Chinatown when visiting a new city. Love Chinatown. There are several small Chinatowns in Montréal, but the largest official one is the one I visited. It has got a traditional Chinese gate where you enter on Saint Laurent Bouleward. It is a fun area, with lots of Chinese shops, food stores and restaurants. And a good tourist attraction they say.
What I missed though in Chinatown in Montréal is clothes-stores, the only clothes-stores they had sold traditional Chinese clothes. I wonder why as in many countries the Chinese have got so many good clothes-stores and I usually buy my clothes in their stores.
Montreal's Chinatown dates back to about 1860, when the earliest Chinese immigrants settled here. The neighborhood evolved from mostly residential to primarily commercial. Of course, this is one of Montreal's best places to eat, with bargains on good meals.
As most big Canadian cities Montréal has a Chinese quarter.
At the four major entrances you are welcome by the typical dragon gates.
Around 1860 Chinese immigrants came to Montreal in search of work and they settled mainly on de la Gauchetiere and lower St. Laurent Blvd.
Try one of the typical restaurants in the area.
The Chinatown in Montreal is conveniently located at the city centre area, and consists of many shops and restaurants. This is perhaps the only area which I went to besides my hotel while I was at Montreal in Feb 2009.
For tips on restaurants in Chinatown, please go to the "restaurant" section of this VT page.
Chinatown is like a piece of China outside of China. All the store signs and posters are in Chinese, and in most places, Chinese is the language spoken first. Chinatown is filled with all sorts of little shops, grocery stores (selling food imported from China), dim sum restaurants, etc. In summer, there are street vendors on the sidewalk selling their stuff.
But girls, please remember that since most Chinese women are very petite, you might have a hard time finding clothes that fit if you're bigger than a size 2 or have feet bigger than size 7. I wanted to buy a pair of shoes once, but the store didn't carry that particular style in my shoe size (compared to most Chinese women, I have huge clown feet - size 9.5).
Like many other North American cities, Montréal has its own Chinatown. The area around Boulevard St. Laurent and Rue de la Gauchetière is where a large part of Montréal's Asian population lives. You're very likely to hear people speaking Chinese and Vietnamese, the shops offer exotic spices and fruits and the air smells like Chinese food for take-away. One Asian restaurant neighbours the next, so if you enjoy Chinese food, this is the place to be. Apart from the restaurants and the slightly exotic flavour, there's not too much to see in Chinatown. Just walk around and let the area affect you.
Chinatown Montreal is a small quarter in the city center, located in Old Montreal, it's about 3 blocks, it is not that big or impressibe as it is in other cities; such New york and San francisco but still it's a place where you can find kind of chinese atmosphere with chinese restaurants, chinese shops ..etc
Montreal's Chinatown is very small, compared to Toronto or Vancouver. Chinese immigrants arrived here in late 19th century. There is a giant traditional archway at St. Laurent and Viger, a smaller one can be found on the narrow pedestrian only La Gauchetiere, just east of St. Laurent. You can find many cheap food here - Chinese or Vietnamese.
Chinatown is a relatively small neighbourhood of downtown Montreal. I didn't actually spend a whole lot of time here, and it wasn't really evident to me where Chinatown started and ended.
Montreal's Chinatown is predominantly centred around St-Laurent and Gaucheti?re. This part of Gaucheti?re is pedestrian-only. Apparently in the 1950's a lot of its buildings were demolishes, and Chinatown's existence was threatened. However, since the 1980's, more effort has been put into reclaiming Chinatown and its heritage.
Coming from Vancouver, a city with a huge Chinese population, I found Montreal's Chinatown somewhat underwhelming, and yet, it was wonderful. Just like most Canadian cities, Montreal's Chinese community isn't confined to Chinatown - its community lives all over the city and its suburbs. Chinatown represents Montreal's Chinese heritage, and how a community can exist and thrive among the dominating cultures of the French and English speaking worlds.
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