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Old 23-04-2012, 10:08 AM   #1
Bray88
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Default China Town Not Stepping Up

I have lived in Edmonton for 30 years now and with all this talk of downtown revitalization, I have noticed, 97st and most of the area known as China Town has not contributed to downtown revitalization, and most of the buildings and areas around China Town are still very much an eye sore to downtown edmonton. Chinese business leaders need to do their part and help clean up downtown.
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Old 23-04-2012, 10:15 AM   #2
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I have lived in Edmonton for 30 years now and with all this talk of downtown revitalization, I have noticed, 97st and most of the area known as China Town has not contributed to downtown revitalization, and most of the buildings and areas around China Town are still very much an eye sore to downtown edmonton. Chinese business leaders need to do their part and help clean up downtown.
Could you be a little more specific about what you think they should do? Are there any particular buildings that you think could have something done with them?
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Old 23-04-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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^^ Chinatown is not "downtown"

Regardess of that though, It seems like Chinatowns in most cities tend to be on the dirty & dumpy side... Calgary's and Vanocuver's are no better... in fact Vancouvers' is disgusting. However, If you look past the grit (and I am not talking dirty sidewalks.. more the things that the "local business leaders" have little control over due to the city's over concentration of social services in the area) our Chinatown is actually a very interesting place with lots of activity and ammenities.
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Old 23-04-2012, 10:26 AM   #4
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Sadly, China town is impacted by its location. COE always puts social services in this area, you just have to look at the line ups of people to get into shelters just north of the EPCOR building. It does hold the area back. The reason though, they tend to be in poor parts of town is that early Chinese immigrants were often poor with few opportunities. They started businesses in the cheapest part of town, and also often weren't welcome in other parts of town.

^I disagree on Calgaries, it is a bit better (although smaller), I think because in Calgary they spread the low income housing around more - you can't really "avoid" some low income housing anywhere in the downtown in Calgary, which is a good thing.

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Old 23-04-2012, 10:38 AM   #5
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^ Calgary's lacks the charater that ours has, and that end of DT is still not very nice, but getting better. But yes there's not the huge concentration of social services, and that helps.

Anyways, back to OUR Chinatown, I wonder if the OP actually botherd to park the car and take a walk down 97 street ? That's what the area needs more than anything... more people visiting and spending time there (and more people investing to live there)
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Old 23-04-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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Chinatown has always held the value for money (groceries, restaurants, mechanics, etc...) crown (in our city and many others). So long as it fills that needed and valuable role, it will always be a little on the "dumpy" side (which is a shared characteristic of all Chinatowns). You can't really afford to bling out your buildings when serving $3 Vietnamese subs or full lunches for under $10. The office lunch crowd definitely appreciates this service, and my guess is that they would not be willing to trade their cheap meals for nicer digs.

However, Edmonton's Chinatown has been really hurt by all the social services in the area. Other Chinatowns are just as dumpy and cheap, but are considered destination areas and packed with people from all over the city. In comparison, our Chinatown is avoided by a ton of our population due to the homeless situation and aggressive panhandling (the opening of alternative Chinese groceries like T&T was really the nail in the coffin). I'm not too sure what the solution is, I've heard some local businesses thinking about relocating to old Chinatown (east of Canada Place) alongside the Quarters revitalization, but that's more of a long view with not a lot of short term gain.

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Old 23-04-2012, 12:57 PM   #7
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They should focus on 97th street from 104 ave to 107th, and further north. That's the area that holds the most potential
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Old 23-04-2012, 02:03 PM   #8
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Personally, I don't find Calgary's chinatown ghetto or dumpy. It is older and at times rundown but that isn't the same as ghetto. There has been a revitilization area plan in Calgary's chinatown since the early 70s (achievements incl the Dragon mall & cultural centre back in the day, plus some future upcoming ones incl Sien Lok Park relandscaping and a new apartment building where the church is now.)

This is an excellent article about Calgary's chinatown
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinatown,_Calgary and the CCDTF contributions.

To a certain extent, I do think Chinese business leaders have the ability to influence the direction of Chinatown as detailed by the above wikiepdia article. If they had not put their efforts together in 1973, that area would have been a huge freeway by now.

However, I'm not sure what true purpose Edmonton's Chinatown serves today. It's not like the 70s where alot immigrants actually live there in a permanent capacity. It is not close to any nearby downtown attractions. (it in itself is not an attraction either. Even dumpy chinatowns like San Fran have "character" and are unbelievably tourist attractions). It doesnt have financial patronage from office workers. To me, chinatown just has cheap grocery stores and a large transient population of homeless people. Places like T&T slowly make Chinatown less relevant. Most "asian" population (I don't really want to stereotype - it's mostly all young families of all demographics) move to the suburbs anyway.

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Old 24-04-2012, 07:04 AM   #9
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^^ Chinatown is not "downtown"

Regardess of that though, It seems like Chinatowns in most cities tend to be on the dirty & dumpy side... Calgary's and Vanocuver's are no better... in fact Vancouvers' is disgusting. However, If you look past the grit (and I am not talking dirty sidewalks.. more the things that the "local business leaders" have little control over due to the city's over concentration of social services in the area) our Chinatown is actually a very interesting place with lots of activity and ammenities.
Funny, you're right. I've never realized that before. Is it a historical thing. I.e. They've had to fight for anything they have due to racist beliefs, etc?

Then they become used to it somewhat like the broken window syndrome...
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Old 24-04-2012, 07:21 AM   #10
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Good summation, KC. It seems a 'comfort zone' type of thing. If residents of Chinatown are happy with the status quo, then why change it.
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Old 24-04-2012, 10:09 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by KC View Post
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Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
^^ Chinatown is not "downtown"

Regardess of that though, It seems like Chinatowns in most cities tend to be on the dirty & dumpy side... Calgary's and Vanocuver's are no better... in fact Vancouvers' is disgusting. However, If you look past the grit (and I am not talking dirty sidewalks.. more the things that the "local business leaders" have little control over due to the city's over concentration of social services in the area) our Chinatown is actually a very interesting place with lots of activity and ammenities.
Funny, you're right. I've never realized that before. Is it a historical thing. I.e. They've had to fight for anything they have due to racist beliefs, etc?

Then they become used to it somewhat like the broken window syndrome...
Quote:
Originally Posted by howie View Post
Good summation, KC. It seems a 'comfort zone' type of thing. If residents of Chinatown are happy with the status quo, then why change it.
maybe it's just me and maybe i'm overly sensitive to stuff like this but do you have any idea how insensitive and prejuducial those comments are? why don't you try substituting native or black or jewish or italian or polish instead of chinese to those comments and reread them if you can't quite see it. your attributions perpetuate and enable racist beliefs and behaviour even if completely unintentional and innocent on your part. we all need to pay more attention to what we say and how we say it if we are going to continue to move past that history.
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Old 24-04-2012, 10:14 AM   #12
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maybe it's just me and maybe i'm overly sensitive to stuff like this but do you have any idea how insensitive and prejuducial those comments are?
I think its you this time, nobody wrote in those coments above that Chinese are dirty (something that was commonly claimed by White Canadians early in Canada's history), what they wrote is that Chinatown is dirty, and that Chinese residents seemed to have accepted this (in part possibly because attempts in the past to try and change things by residents, have likely fallen on deaf ears that aren't interested, historically due to racisim).

And it is a dirty part of town, not IMO because of the Chinese Canadian residents, but because of the location (its a very poor area), and the decisions of COE to use this part of town to concentrate social services for people struggling at the very bottom of the food chain (again, in part probably because the Chinese community wasn't accepted enough in the past to be able to complain effectivley). Like it or not, your average person who lives on the streets with an addiction and possibly mental health issues, isn't as clean or welcoming as your average suburban dweller.

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Old 24-04-2012, 10:56 AM   #13
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I visited the Ukrainian Bookstore on 97th Street, and it has somewhat of an eclectic feel. The Royal Alberta Museum might include ramps along the sidewalk to the CN overpass. This would be a great connection for 97th Street.
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Old 24-04-2012, 11:33 AM   #14
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There's been some investment in Chinatown. There's a bunch of buildings that have had some work done, some of it extensive. It is disappointing that the larger operations on the strip (Lucky) haven't really led the way though.
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Old 24-04-2012, 11:42 AM   #15
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The RAM will include a linkage from DT to Chinatown. I think we'll see things take off then.
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Old 24-04-2012, 12:10 PM   #16
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^isnt it great to casually reference the RAM without fear gnawing at your stomach thinking it might not happen? ..so happy / excited about it
I also agree, that area is becoming more and more of a destination as more people live and visit downtown but still has a long way to go in many regards and due to the concentration of social services will likely always be a little rough around the edges, but that's not to say you can't eventually incorporate such institutions into a diverse urban fabric.. I think the RAM and the new seniors residence in the Noodle Noodle space will be quite transformative for the area.
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Old 24-04-2012, 12:51 PM   #17
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^ Hahah I was gonna say something about the RAM in a previous post, but ended up deleting it cause I didn't want to jinx the election.

Edmonton's Chinatown has a ways to go before becoming a destination, but it definitely can succeed. If the arena goes in (hope I didn't jinx that), development along 101 St is kind of a no brainer, and a lot of that will likely be Chinese flavored. They should then work on "inner Chinatown" between 101 St and 97 St. This area, although a little beat up at the moment, is ripe for development/intensification and can also be very pedestrian friendly (not a lot of cars). It would be perfect for a market atmosphere that many Chinatowns and asian cities are known for.

Imagine on a Saturday morning, you shop the 104st Farmers market, then into the arena district for lunch and continue walking/shopping into a revitalized Chinatown, capping the afternoon at one of the attractions in the arts district. You can have 4 connected quadrants (warehouse, entertainment, chinatown, arts) in the core, perfect for tourists and Edmontonians alike.

When I lived in downtown Toronto, we kind of took this sort of thing for granted. Anything and everything was a walk away. I just youtubed this walking clip through Kensington Market/Spadina Chinatown which was basically something we did on a regular basis. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FreP7...eature=related

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Old 24-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bray88 View Post
I have lived in Edmonton for 30 years now and with all this talk of downtown revitalization, I have noticed, 97st and most of the area known as China Town has not contributed to downtown revitalization, and most of the buildings and areas around China Town are still very much an eye sore to downtown edmonton. Chinese business leaders need to do their part and help clean up downtown.
I disagree. There is only certain amount that the Chinese business' can do. They do pay business taxes so maybe the question should be asked to City Council. Don't forget that there is also Little Italy in that area.

Also they Chinese association has put money into some things. Like the animal zodiac statues at one of the parks (as I remember, someone posted about them on here and mentioned they were always being vandalized, but the Chinese association would always put money into fixing them). So please don't point fingers until you have done a bit more research.

I also agree that they can't help it if lots of the social services are located around there, attracting homeless people.
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Old 24-04-2012, 06:58 PM   #19
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People who are scared of inner cities, homeless, addictions, will never like our Chinatown.

If you can mingle with these elements without fear there are a lot of jems to be found in Chinatown
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Old 24-04-2012, 11:41 PM   #20
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I'm not sure how Chinatown and the city get along, especially with the debate on the LRT line on 102 Avenue.
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Old 25-04-2012, 02:29 PM   #21
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People who are scared of inner cities, homeless, addictions, will never like our Chinatown.

If you can mingle with these elements without fear there are a lot of jems to be found in Chinatown
Which sort of sucks, you shouldn't have to mingle with drug addicted homeless people to visit China town or Little Italy (it would be OK if the area was packed with regular people, but its not, so we have Catch 22). Given a choice, its not surprising most families would rather just "play it safe" and go to T&T for their Asian food experience.

^I also wonder if maybe the Quarters segment of ChinaTown could perhaps surplant the new China town if it can be cleaned up, to at least be a little bit less "scary". Maybe the LRT can help with this.

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Old 25-04-2012, 07:07 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by KC View Post
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Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
^^ Chinatown is not "downtown"

Regardess of that though, It seems like Chinatowns in most cities tend to be on the dirty & dumpy side... Calgary's and Vanocuver's are no better... in fact Vancouvers' is disgusting. However, If you look past the grit (and I am not talking dirty sidewalks.. more the things that the "local business leaders" have little control over due to the city's over concentration of social services in the area) our Chinatown is actually a very interesting place with lots of activity and ammenities.
Funny, you're right. I've never realized that before. Is it a historical thing. I.e. They've had to fight for anything they have due to racist beliefs, etc?

Then they become used to it somewhat like the broken window syndrome...
Quote:
Originally Posted by howie View Post
Good summation, KC. It seems a 'comfort zone' type of thing. If residents of Chinatown are happy with the status quo, then why change it.
maybe it's just me and maybe i'm overly sensitive to stuff like this but do you have any idea how insensitive and prejuducial those comments are? why don't you try substituting native or black or jewish or italian or polish instead of chinese to those comments and reread them if you can't quite see it. your attributions perpetuate and enable racist beliefs and behaviour even if completely unintentional and innocent on your part. we all need to pay more attention to what we say and how we say it if we are going to continue to move past that history.
it's just me and i'm overly sensitive to stuff like this but do you have any idea how insensitive and prejuducial those comments are? why don't you try substituting native or black or jewish or italian or polish instead of chinese to those comments and reread them if you can't quite see it. your attributions perpetuate and enable racist beliefs and behaviour even if completely unintentional and innocent on your part. we all need to pay more attention to what we say and how we say it if we are going to continue to move past that history.[/QUOTE]

Insensitive and prejudicial. Hmmm . . . never been accused of that before.

Anyway, I've fixed it for you Ken. Now, I'll substitute Welsh for any of your above suggestions, and I most certainly would/could not be offended by my use of the term "comfort zone" in this context were it used by anyone regarding my own nationality. I'll freely admit to having a "comfort zone" among other Welshmen, you know, commonalities and all that. You may be surprised to learn that that doesn't preclude me from enjoying the company of any other nationalty. Hope that doesn't jar your sensitivities. Have a good 'un.
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Old 26-04-2012, 03:44 AM   #23
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I have lived in Edmonton for 30 years now and with all this talk of downtown revitalization, I have noticed, 97st and most of the area known as China Town has not contributed to downtown revitalization, and most of the buildings and areas around China Town are still very much an eye sore to downtown edmonton. Chinese business leaders need to do their part and help clean up downtown.
Ummm, where exactly is Chinatown? I guess for most people it is on 97st. between the Remand Centre and 107ave.

But during my years in Edmonton, which is just over 30 years too, Chinatown has shifted locations. As a kid growing up in the 1970's, Chinatown central was on Jasper Ave. where the Shaw Conference centre now sits and the Hardware Grill was a hardware store (WW Arcade).

Later the BBQ shops and dim sum joints moved north on 102ave by the old police headquarters (around the current courthouse building and Winspear Centre). That is why the Chinatown Gate was built by the old City Centre Farmers Market.

Now the core Chinatown is north of the Remand.

See the pattern? Whenever there is major revitalization in Chinatown, the little grocery stores and eateries are forced to move to lower rent districts. There is a reason why you will never find a Chinatown across the street from a Holt Renfrew or a 5-star hotel in any city.

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Old 28-04-2012, 11:55 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
^^ Chinatown is not "downtown"

Regardess of that though, It seems like Chinatowns in most cities tend to be on the dirty & dumpy side... Calgary's and Vanocuver's are no better... in fact Vancouvers' is disgusting. However, If you look past the grit (and I am not talking dirty sidewalks.. more the things that the "local business leaders" have little control over due to the city's over concentration of social services in the area) our Chinatown is actually a very interesting place with lots of activity and ammenities.
Funny, you're right. I've never realized that before. Is it a historical thing. I.e. They've had to fight for anything they have due to racist beliefs, etc?

Then they become used to it somewhat like the broken window syndrome...
Quote:
Originally Posted by howie View Post
Good summation, KC. It seems a 'comfort zone' type of thing. If residents of Chinatown are happy with the status quo, then why change it.
maybe it's just me and maybe i'm overly sensitive to stuff like this but do you have any idea how insensitive and prejuducial those comments are? why don't you try substituting native or black or jewish or italian or polish instead of chinese to those comments and reread them if you can't quite see it. your attributions perpetuate and enable racist beliefs and behaviour even if completely unintentional and innocent on your part. we all need to pay more attention to what we say and how we say it if we are going to continue to move past that history.
Maybe so but my comments aren't racist and to think they are, is in fact racist. What I described is human nature. Say you're stretched for money and so seek out a used car. You find one that you can afford, thinking, boy does this car need a new paint job. A year later your financial situation has improved, do you now go and get that used car painted? Probably not. You probably justify inaction through some financial calculation and thinking thinking that you are now used to it and maybe even some thought to how others might view you spending money on jazzing up an old car.
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Old 29-04-2012, 03:15 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Bray88 View Post
I have lived in Edmonton for 30 years now and with all this talk of downtown revitalization, I have noticed, 97st and most of the area known as China Town has not contributed to downtown revitalization, and most of the buildings and areas around China Town are still very much an eye sore to downtown edmonton. Chinese business leaders need to do their part and help clean up downtown.
As a 34 year McCauley resident, I strongly disagree. 97 Street north of downtown is not an eyesore. In the absence of investment by Chinese leaders in area businesses, streetscape improvements, and local festivals, 97 Street would be in much worse shape than it is today. The Chinese community is also involved in trying to find solutions to the social problems in the area of which they are not the cause.
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Old 29-04-2012, 06:08 PM   #26
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Sounds like we need someone to post some pictures to give more objectivity.

Note though that I find some other business districts such as Stony Plain Rd. between 142nd St. and 170th Street to be pretty much an eye sores too.
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Old 29-04-2012, 06:40 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by KC View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
^^ Chinatown is not "downtown"

Regardess of that though, It seems like Chinatowns in most cities tend to be on the dirty & dumpy side... Calgary's and Vanocuver's are no better... in fact Vancouvers' is disgusting. However, If you look past the grit (and I am not talking dirty sidewalks.. more the things that the "local business leaders" have little control over due to the city's over concentration of social services in the area) our Chinatown is actually a very interesting place with lots of activity and ammenities.
Funny, you're right. I've never realized that before. Is it a historical thing. I.e. They've had to fight for anything they have due to racist beliefs, etc?

Then they become used to it somewhat like the broken window syndrome...
Quote:
Originally Posted by howie View Post
Good summation, KC. It seems a 'comfort zone' type of thing. If residents of Chinatown are happy with the status quo, then why change it.
maybe it's just me and maybe i'm overly sensitive to stuff like this but do you have any idea how insensitive and prejuducial those comments are? why don't you try substituting native or black or jewish or italian or polish instead of chinese to those comments and reread them if you can't quite see it. your attributions perpetuate and enable racist beliefs and behaviour even if completely unintentional and innocent on your part. we all need to pay more attention to what we say and how we say it if we are going to continue to move past that history.
Maybe so but my comments aren't racist and to think they are, is in fact racist. What I described is human nature. Say you're stretched for money and so seek out a used car. You find one that you can afford, thinking, boy does this car need a new paint job. A year later your financial situation has improved, do you now go and get that used car painted? Probably not. You probably justify inaction through some financial calculation and thinking thinking that you are now used to it and maybe even some thought to how others might view you spending money on jazzing up an old car.
your example above attributes the actions of a single individual based on personal circumstances irrespective of any aspect of their background. the discussions regarding chinatown that i commented on attributed group actions based entirely on the background of the group and then when on to "defend" those actions on the same basis. you can see the same thing surfacing in the river cree thread... as for the "human nature" interjection, human nature is not racist, racism is almost universally agreed to be learnt behaviour. please understand that i was not accusing you of being a racist. i was simply asking that everyone who is not should try and pay more attention to what and how we say things if we are going to get past that learnt behavior and not perpetuate it.
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Old 29-04-2012, 06:52 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howie View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
^^ Chinatown is not "downtown"

Regardess of that though, It seems like Chinatowns in most cities tend to be on the dirty & dumpy side... Calgary's and Vanocuver's are no better... in fact Vancouvers' is disgusting. However, If you look past the grit (and I am not talking dirty sidewalks.. more the things that the "local business leaders" have little control over due to the city's over concentration of social services in the area) our Chinatown is actually a very interesting place with lots of activity and ammenities.
Funny, you're right. I've never realized that before. Is it a historical thing. I.e. They've had to fight for anything they have due to racist beliefs, etc?

Then they become used to it somewhat like the broken window syndrome...
Quote:
Originally Posted by howie View Post
Good summation, KC. It seems a 'comfort zone' type of thing. If residents of Chinatown are happy with the status quo, then why change it.
maybe it's just me and maybe i'm overly sensitive to stuff like this but do you have any idea how insensitive and prejuducial those comments are? why don't you try substituting native or black or jewish or italian or polish instead of chinese to those comments and reread them if you can't quite see it. your attributions perpetuate and enable racist beliefs and behaviour even if completely unintentional and innocent on your part. we all need to pay more attention to what we say and how we say it if we are going to continue to move past that history.
it's just me and i'm overly sensitive to stuff like this but do you have any idea how insensitive and prejuducial those comments are? why don't you try substituting native or black or jewish or italian or polish instead of chinese to those comments and reread them if you can't quite see it. your attributions perpetuate and enable racist beliefs and behaviour even if completely unintentional and innocent on your part. we all need to pay more attention to what we say and how we say it if we are going to continue to move past that history.
Insensitive and prejudicial. Hmmm . . . never been accused of that before.

Anyway, I've fixed it for you Ken. Now, I'll substitute Welsh for any of your above suggestions, and I most certainly would/could not be offended by my use of the term "comfort zone" in this context were it used by anyone regarding my own nationality. I'll freely admit to having a "comfort zone" among other Welshmen, you know, commonalities and all that. You may be surprised to learn that that doesn't preclude me from enjoying the company of any other nationalty. Hope that doesn't jar your sensitivities. Have a good 'un.

sorry howie, but i don't need you to "fix" my posts. you're free to disagree with them to your heart's content but - per the above and once more - i was commenting on the posts, not the poster.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:11 PM   #29
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I was guessing that racism in the past, lack of political power, lack of homeland or whatever support funding put the Chinese at a disadvantage. I'm generalizing here but I'd guess that our pioneering black families also faced a tougher struggle to get established here too. Probably so for Ukrainians, Germans, etc. too. It becomes a cultural artifact... In some cases maybe lower quality land holdings, commercial holdings, etc. So while the racism/discrimination is gone, its legacy persists. Similarly for women's issues.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:19 AM   #30
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I don't find Chinatown that bad, although the sidewalks under and around the 97th Street pedestrian overpass are some of the filthiest, most disgusting pieces of our urban fabric downtown.

Spotted yesterday by the overpass: a dead pigeon with a syringe stuck in it.

I really hope the new RAM transforms that entire area...
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #31
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I was guessing that racism in the past, lack of political power, lack of homeland or whatever support funding put the Chinese at a disadvantage. I'm generalizing here but I'd guess that our pioneering black families also faced a tougher struggle to get established here too. Probably so for Ukrainians, Germans, etc. too. It becomes a cultural artifact... In some cases maybe lower quality land holdings, commercial holdings, etc. So while the racism/discrimination is gone, its legacy persists. Similarly for women's issues.
I agree. It was particularly harsh on the Chinese, with a Head Tax that only Chinese had to pay (not even Japanese, although they faced their own racisim during WWII), and other discrimnatory immigration policies (e.g. no Chinese women at first, just men).
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Old 24-07-2012, 03:22 PM   #32
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I think the better question would be - why is there even a Chinatown? It's just a relic of a time where "racial" segregation was rampant and people of Chinese descent were "encouraged" to live in a ghetto. Truth be told, I don't think there is a lot of residents in Chinatown that are Chinese, but mostly people of little or no income regardless of background.

That said, when you're struggling to survive and living paycheque to paycheque, "revitalization" of your neighborhood is probably very low on the list of your priorities.
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Old 24-07-2012, 07:01 PM   #33
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A few points from my perspective:

1. Chinatowns in Canada are often destinations- think of Toronto or Vancouver's. sure they might be a little rough around the edges, but there's plenty of cheap groceries, good food and eclectic atmosphere to draw in the tourists. Calgary Chinatown is very clean and lacks the slightly seedy vibe. Our Chinatown/s (see below) lacks both.

2. Edmonton has TWO distinct Chinatowns, a fact which is never mentioned in print (I wonder why), which causes all the confusion and misunderstanding. (A) The 'original' chinatown along 102 Ave (95-97St) is on its last legs. Except for a few community associations and old peoples' homes, very little Chinese character is present there. What it has is greasy spoons, SRO hotels, homeless shelters and a large number of drunks and other indigents (none of whom seem to be of Chinese extraction). (B) The newer 'North' Chinatown is along 97st from 104-107Ave with some spread along 98 and 99 St. This is the heart of most Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants and shops with two major groceries (Lucky97 and 99St market) serving a more pan-Asian clientele. For a lot of younger ppl, this IS the 'real' chinatown, not the slum east of Canada Place.

3. Ethnic neighbourhoods are a fact of life in Canada- every major city has Chinatown or Little Italy and such- these are no longer ghettoes but intersting communities that offer some variety in the malled-out homogenized world.

Hope this helps!
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Old 24-07-2012, 07:27 PM   #34
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I think the better question would be - why is there even a Chinatown? It's just a relic of a time where "racial" segregation was rampant and people of Chinese descent were "encouraged" to live in a ghetto.
Fair enough. But because we did discriminate (and horribly so) we should get rid of all vestige of that? I think it better we have a Chinatown and if a grandkid asks why - we tell them the terrible truth.

Maybe that's harsh, we can also tell them a hopeful truth how we have become a more welcoming society.

At least we hope!
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Old 24-07-2012, 07:32 PM   #35
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That would lead to a very strange situation then. Many cities also have a Germantown where the cultural centres and German groceries/bakeries, etc. can be found. Are you saying that this is valid, but a Chinatown would not be?

My impression of Chinatowns is most are natural products of a group of people that like to live together because they share a common language, culture and cuisine. That tourists may drop by is only an afterthought.

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Old 24-07-2012, 07:46 PM   #36
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Many Canadian cities also have a Little India, including Edmonton. Did the South Asian immigrants settle in Millwoods because
a) they were ghettoized,
b) Millwoods was a brand-new neighborhood that sprang up at the same time when lots of South Asians immigrated to Alberta (circa early 70s), or
c) historically, people with a common language, culture and cuisine want to settle together in a new place to stave off feelings of alienation?
I'd say a combination of b) and c).

Or to look even further back in history, how about the Franco-Albertan and Ukrainian communities in this province?
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Old 25-07-2012, 08:41 AM   #37
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Unfortunately, the new wave of mainland Chinese immigrants wouldn't be caught dead in Chinatown. Most of them are upper class and would rather drive their Mercedes to WEM and buy groceries at T&T. I go to the "North" Chinatown a few times a week and mostly see older Chinese (50s and up) or Canadian born Chinese there.

I hate to say it, but they really need to move some of the social services out of there. At any non-peak time (not weekday lunch or weekend) in Chinatown, the homeless significantly outnumber the visitors and it's hard to walk down the block without being hassled for money.
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Old 25-07-2012, 10:58 AM   #38
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^sad, but true. This is the cities dumping ground for social services, its just not inspiring to be walking from your car parking past line ups of smelly people waiting for the shelter to open, much easier to pay a few more bucks and go to T&T.
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Old 25-07-2012, 11:10 AM   #39
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But the problem is trying to figure out whose problem this is to solve. I don't think it's Chinatown's problem except from the point of view that often Chinatown residents (the proper ones) are much more tolerant than your typical suburban neighborhood. So it's someone else who should be stepping up to the plate (but I don't know who).

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Old 25-07-2012, 01:48 PM   #40
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I have lived in Edmonton for 30 years now and with all this talk of downtown revitalization, I have noticed, 97st and most of the area known as China Town has not contributed to downtown revitalization, and most of the buildings and areas around China Town are still very much an eye sore to downtown edmonton. Chinese business leaders need to do their part and help clean up downtown.
Ummm, where exactly is Chinatown? I guess for most people it is on 97st. between the Remand Centre and 107ave.

But during my years in Edmonton, which is just over 30 years too, Chinatown has shifted locations. As a kid growing up in the 1970's, Chinatown central was on Jasper Ave. where the Shaw Conference centre now sits and the Hardware Grill was a hardware store (WW Arcade).

Later the BBQ shops and dim sum joints moved north on 102ave by the old police headquarters (around the current courthouse building and Winspear Centre). That is why the Chinatown Gate was built by the old City Centre Farmers Market.

Now the core Chinatown is north of the Remand.

See the pattern? Whenever there is major revitalization in Chinatown, the little grocery stores and eateries are forced to move to lower rent districts. There is a reason why you will never find a Chinatown across the street from a Holt Renfrew or a 5-star hotel in any city.
Edmonton can be a first as a five star hotel is being built at 96 st and Jasper. When Canada Place was built in the late 70's the City presented the Chinese Community with the Chinatown Plan which encouraged the community to move to a strip on 102 ave between 97 and 95 street. Unfortunately there wasn't anything there and the merchants who needed immediate income moved further north where cheap rent was available in run-down buildings. Since the the Chinese have built nice accomodation for their seniors on 102 ave, too bad the City transportation department didn't care that the 1979 Chinatown Plan was the reason the community was there to begin with. A person would have to do title searches for the buildings on the north end (107 ave) of 97 street to see who the landlords are and ultimately who is responsible for the run-down conditions there. I recommend that visitors to the area open their eyes and see the drug addicts and such as people rather than problems. Most of these 'street people' are quite friendly and respectful if you talk to them in a respectful manner, they are more victims of their circumstances than anything else. Anyone who stays away from the area out of fear is missing out on a chance to excercise their own humanity.
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Old 25-07-2012, 03:31 PM   #41
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. I recommend that visitors to the area open their eyes and see the drug addicts and such as people rather than problems. Most of these 'street people' are quite friendly and respectful if you talk to them in a respectful manner, they are more victims of their circumstances than anything else. Anyone who stays away from the area out of fear is missing out on a chance to excercise their own humanity.
Great post!!
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Old 25-07-2012, 08:23 PM   #42
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. I recommend that visitors to the area open their eyes and see the drug addicts and such as people rather than problems. Most of these 'street people' are quite friendly and respectful if you talk to them in a respectful manner, they are more victims of their circumstances than anything else. Anyone who stays away from the area out of fear is missing out on a chance to excercise their own humanity.
Great post!!
Drug addicts and homeless are people, but they are also a problem for the area. Open your eyes a little wider. I talk to them regularly and even they know its an issue and want to spread out more, but unfortunately all the services and programs are clustered in the same area.
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Old 30-07-2012, 04:09 AM   #43
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exactly China should do something to clean-out after its their duty too.
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Old 30-07-2012, 04:25 AM   #44
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exactly China should do something to clean-out after its their duty too.
Really, China, you need to talk to Harbin, our Sister City, no wonder the Chinese people who live here still feel like foreigners. They've only been here for 100 years but people still need to call them 'from China'.
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Old 30-07-2012, 12:16 PM   #45
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'Edmonton can be a first as a five star hotel is being built at 96 st and Jasper. '

Hotel yes, 5 star no
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Old 30-07-2012, 01:22 PM   #46
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Who's idea was it to put the Hope Mission in the middle of China Town?
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Old 30-07-2012, 02:05 PM   #47
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exactly China should do something to clean-out after its their duty too.

OMG this if the funniest thing I've read all day!
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Old 30-07-2012, 02:07 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Slaughtermaster View Post
I think the better question would be - why is there even a Chinatown? It's just a relic of a time where "racial" segregation was rampant and people of Chinese descent were "encouraged" to live in a ghetto.
Fair enough. But because we did discriminate (and horribly so) we should get rid of all vestige of that? I think it better we have a Chinatown and if a grandkid asks why - we tell them the terrible truth.

Maybe that's harsh, we can also tell them a hopeful truth how we have become a more welcoming society.

At least we hope!
True enough, but I think this would be better served taught in museums and in schools than having it as part of the city where its relevance isn't really there any more.
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Old 16-08-2012, 03:14 PM   #49
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Default McCauley/Chinatown Revitalization

I have a little bit of involvement in Chinatown through my past roles with the City’s Façade Improvement Program, BRZ Planning, and the McCauley Revitalization which encompasses both the Chinatown, Little Italy, Church Street, and areas in between.

The business members of Chinatown and Little Italy BRZ do care about their area and they do invest funds into the beautification. They employ a couple of street cleaning staff, much as the Downtown BRZ does, and the Lucky 97 grocery purchased and shipped from China the stone lantern on 97 St and 107 Ave. They also paid for (through the BRZ tax levy) the 97 Street decorative lamps and planters.

There are a few building owners that are proud of their buildings. Some have invested in façade upgrades and heritage designation. Many of the businesses are on the marginal side and don’t own the buildings they operate in. The City has advanced the Façade program to partner in beautification. It is a matching dollars program.

It is acknowledged that there is a high concentration of social service and emergency shelters in the area but the City of Edmonton did not act alone or intentionally to make this so. Many of the emergency shelters are run by faith based (church) organizations that had historic property holdings in the area, and also found it affordable to build and expand facilities in the area. Downloading of social services for the physically, mentally, and chemically, ill by the Government of Alberta has resulted in non-profit health and well-being organizations or contractors building facilities in this area to be close to clients and because land was cheap due to the low property values. Some facilities are large and some are group homes and others are rooming houses. It does add problems with drugs and human waste to the Chinatown area.

I think the Chinatown community puts up with a lot of problems that most other areas of town don’t or wouldn’t. Some of it is probably a lack of trust or faith in the City government. Others are just used to it.

The McCualey Community League (resident community group) also cares very much about the community. To prevent further saturation of high needs citizens they have launched several legal challenges to city permits for additional social housing and treatment centres and are driving initiatives aimed at keeping future development more family and market oriented rather than introducing further stresses on the community.

The McCauley Revitalization is ongoing. It has identified several urban design enhancements, via community directives on the matter. Other enhancement will include:

• Overall safety plan to improve the area and make it safer for all residents, businesses, and citizens who visit.
• Enhancements to Chinatown with banners, lighting, and sidewalk decorations.
• Improvements to 107A Ave including a name change to Marco Polo Way.
• Pocket areas in McCauley will be designed into housing and community parks.
• Improvements in Little Italy to increase the size and development heading south on 95 Street.
• Developing plans for the multicultural tea house along 107A Ave.
• Creating a community hub where coffee houses and other events can be housed and staged.
• The 2010 portable washrooms pilot has helped to deal with issues in McCauley and is advancing the goal is to develop permanent public washrooms.

More information on the McCauley Revitalization, the Façade Improvement Program and Chinatown can be found here: http://www.edmonton.ca/city_governme...alization.aspx
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Old 16-08-2012, 04:14 PM   #50
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http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/08/...e-a-chinatown/

Why My Favorite American Cities Have a Chinatown

Having a Chinatown marks a city as of the railroad era, built up before the wide deployment of the automobile. As Lewis Mumford said, “The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city.” Cities with Chinatowns had enough roots to escape carmageddon.
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Old 16-08-2012, 06:03 PM   #51
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Looks like you found the thread ! Congrats !
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Old 16-08-2012, 06:21 PM   #52
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Med, it is sad that you rant and pick on him as so. Pretty sad, pathic and, quite frankly, uncouth. That person made a simple mistake, so please grow up! With that said, you have also contributed some great insights overall, please keep that up!
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Old 16-08-2012, 11:54 PM   #53
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A few points from my perspective:

1. Chinatowns in Canada are often destinations- think of Toronto or Vancouver's. sure they might be a little rough around the edges, but there's plenty of cheap groceries, good food and eclectic atmosphere to draw in the tourists. Calgary Chinatown is very clean and lacks the slightly seedy vibe. Our Chinatown/s (see below) lacks both.

2. Edmonton has TWO distinct Chinatowns, a fact which is never mentioned in print (I wonder why), which causes all the confusion and misunderstanding. (A) The 'original' chinatown along 102 Ave (95-97St) is on its last legs. Except for a few community associations and old peoples' homes, very little Chinese character is present there. What it has is greasy spoons, SRO hotels, homeless shelters and a large number of drunks and other indigents (none of whom seem to be of Chinese extraction). (B) The newer 'North' Chinatown is along 97st from 104-107Ave with some spread along 98 and 99 St. This is the heart of most Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants and shops with two major groceries (Lucky97 and 99St market) serving a more pan-Asian clientele. For a lot of younger ppl, this IS the 'real' chinatown, not the slum east of Canada Place.

3. Ethnic neighbourhoods are a fact of life in Canada- every major city has Chinatown or Little Italy and such- these are no longer ghettoes but intersting communities that offer some variety in the malled-out homogenized world.

Hope this helps!
To answer your question as why there are two china towns:

Im of chinese heritage born in Vietnam- been and proud to be here for 33 yrs. ( although with residence in tribeca, NY city). Initially, Chinatown was east of 97st. from Jasper -103ave.
By mid 80's, the success of china town really show fuition as there was an influx of what was called the 'boat people (Chinese heritage-Vietnamese) whom were forced to leave thier homes from Vietnam as China and Vietnam had a huge conflict after the American war. In essence, first media coverage of ethnic cleasing. The Landlords of the old China town started to heighten exorbitant amount of rent to runned down buildings, so one by one the community march north to the Lucky 97 area.
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Old 17-08-2012, 12:22 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Cal76 View Post
A few points from my perspective:

1. Chinatowns in Canada are often destinations- think of Toronto or Vancouver's. sure they might be a little rough around the edges, but there's plenty of cheap groceries, good food and eclectic atmosphere to draw in the tourists. Calgary Chinatown is very clean and lacks the slightly seedy vibe. Our Chinatown/s (see below) lacks both.

2. Edmonton has TWO distinct Chinatowns, a fact which is never mentioned in print (I wonder why), which causes all the confusion and misunderstanding. (A) The 'original' chinatown along 102 Ave (95-97St) is on its last legs. Except for a few community associations and old peoples' homes, very little Chinese character is present there. What it has is greasy spoons, SRO hotels, homeless shelters and a large number of drunks and other indigents (none of whom seem to be of Chinese extraction). (B) The newer 'North' Chinatown is along 97st from 104-107Ave with some spread along 98 and 99 St. This is the heart of most Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants and shops with two major groceries (Lucky97 and 99St market) serving a more pan-Asian clientele. For a lot of younger ppl, this IS the 'real' chinatown, not the slum east of Canada Place.

3. Ethnic neighbourhoods are a fact of life in Canada- every major city has Chinatown or Little Italy and such- these are no longer ghettoes but intersting communities that offer some variety in the malled-out homogenized world.

Hope this helps!
To answer your question as why there are two china towns:

Im of chinese heritage born in Vietnam- been and proud to be here for 33 yrs. ( although with residence in tribeca, NY city). Initially, Chinatown was east of 97st. from Jasper -103ave.
By mid 80's, the success of china town really show fuition as there was an influx of what was called the 'boat people (Chinese heritage-Vietnamese) whom were forced to leave thier homes from Vietnam as China and Vietnam had a huge conflict after the American war. In essence, first media coverage of ethnic cleasing. The Landlords of the old China town started to heighten exorbitant amount of rent to runned down buildings, so one by one the community march north to the Lucky 97 area.
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