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The History of Chinatown Restaurants

The History of Chinese Restaurants viagra 75 mg Source: “Chinese History in Toronto” 1toronto.ca. Toronto Archives. N.d. Web. 7 Feb 2015. sildenafil 50 mg para eyaculacion precoz The Beginning Due to the increasing number of Chinese immigrants coming to Toronto, Chinatown became a popular residential and commercial centre for many businesses including restaurants, laundries, and […]

The Chinese in Early 20th Century Toronto: 846 Yonge Street

846 Yonge Street has a multifaceted and rich history, hosting operations as a laundry facility, auto mechanic garage, a Canadian Tire in 1955 and most recently as the hair-styling Salon Bespoke, the establishment that occupies the building today. Valerie Mah’s invaluable manuscript The Bachelor Society confirms the scant details known about operations at the turn of the previous century. As of 1899 the property was merely designated as a nondescript Chinese Laundry, but circa 1900 was listed as being rented to a specific Chinese entrepreneur. The registered owner of the building, James Weir, lived just down the street at 783 Yonge Street. It is interesting to note that that at the young age of 23, one Lee Kam You is documented as the presiding business owner at that time. There were a total of 4 residents listed as living at the premise, but only Lee Kam You’s name and details were to be found in historical accounts of the time. As of 2014 the whole adjoining stretch of commercial properties, ranging from 838-848 Yonge Street, was purchased by Bazis International for development of the newly conceived 1 Yorkville Condo Project. Previously valued at $1,474,000 in the 2014 Toronto Tax rolls, the proposed plans thankfully include a conservation strategy to preserve the heritage commercial building properties gracing the front area of Yonge Street, dating back farther than even the dawn of the last century.

 

1846-1850 Yonge Street, 1901.

1846-1850 Yonge Street, 1901.

846 Yonge Goad's Fire Insurance Map, 1913.

846 Yonge Street. Goad’s Fire Insurance Map, 1913.

846 Yonge Street neighboring buildings, 1930

846 Yonge Street neighboring buildings, 1930.

846 Yonge Street, 2014. As seen today.

846 Yonge Street, 2014. As seen today.

Works Cited

Assessment Rolls: Ward 3 Division 3. 1899-1900. Toronto Archives. Microform.

Goads Fire Insurance Plan (1913, plate 1a). Web. Obtained 05/02/2014 from http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=04ab757ae6b31410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextfmt=default#central

Mah, Valerie.  The Bachelor Society: A Look at Toronto’s Early Chinese Community from 1878 – 1924 (unpublished, 1978).

Staff report for action – Preliminary Report – 836-850 Yonge St/1-9A Yorkville Ave. Web. Obtained 05/11/2014 from http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/te/bgrd/backgroundfile-64732.pdf

Toronto City Directory. 1899-1900. Toronto Archives. Microform.

The Chinese in Early 20th Century Toronto: 399 ½ Yonge Street (East side)

During 1899, a man named Sing Law operated a laundry store at 399 ½ Yonge Street. The laundry operation changed owners in 1900 to Park John and in 1901 to Lee John.  The landlord in 1899 named John Phipps died in 1900 leaving his estate to his wife Julia Phipps.

The information found in the Assessment rolls corresponds to that found in the Toronto City Directory from 1899 – 1901. Every other year the owner of the laundry store underwent a change.

Yonge Street has been the most historical street name in Toronto and has not undergone a street name change for the last century. According to Goads Fire Insurance Plans, 399 ½ Yonge Street was located on “Plan: 22A ; PT: Lots 37” intersecting on Yonge Street and Gerrard Street. After checking with the Toronto Archives computer directory I found out that, 399 ½ Yonge Street back in 1899 has changed to 399 Yonge Street today. The street number 399 ½ Yonge Street does not exist anymore.

20140414_192234

399 Yonge Street on April. 14th 2014

Work Cited

Assessment Roll:  Ward 3, Division 2 1899

Assessment Roll:  Ward 3, Division 2 1900

Assessment Roll:  Ward 3, Division 2 1901

Toronto: Might’s Directory Co. 1899. Microform. The Toronto city directory for 1899

Toronto: Might’s Directory Co. 1900. Microform. The Toronto city directory for 1900

Toronto: Might’s Directory Co. 1901. Microform. The Toronto city directory for 1901

Goads Fire Insurance Plans: Central Toronto 1899; Toronto Archives Website

The Chinese in Early 20th Century Toronto: 370 Yonge Street (West Side)

During 1899 a store called Ying Chong Tai Co. selling ‘Japanese Goods’ was located at 370 Yonge Street. According to the Assessment role in 1899, the resident at this occupation was selling “Fancy Goods”. The landlord, identified as Rufus Skinnerd, resided at Walton Street. Throughout 1900 and 1901, Ying Chong Tai Co. still existed but the landlord moved from his previous address to live at the apartment building above the store on 370 Yonge Street.

The Toronto City Directory from 1899 – 1901 reveals that above the Japanese Goods store, two people named Park Mark and Sing Mark resided here during 1899. The landlord occupied the building in 1901.

Yonge Street has been the most historical street name in Toronto and has not undergone a street name change for the last century. According to Goads Fire Insurance Plans, 370 Yonge Street was located on “Plan: D4 ; PT: Lots 2 & 3” intersecting on Yonge Street and Walton Street. After checking with the Toronto Archives computer directory, I found out that 370 Yonge Street back in 1899 has changed to 368 Yonge Street today. The street number 370 Yonge Street does not exist anymore.

Yonge Street during 1954

Yonge Street during 1954

 

370 Yonge Street on April. 14th 2014

370 Yonge Street on April. 14th 2014

20140414_192123

370 Yonge Street on April. 14th 2014.
Entrance indicating street number.

 

Work Cited

Assessment Roll:  Ward 3, Division 2 1899

Assessment Roll:  Ward 3, Division 2 1900

Assessment Roll:  Ward 3, Division 2 1901

Toronto: Might’s Directory Co. 1899. Microform. The Toronto city directory for 1899

Toronto: Might’s Directory Co. 1900. Microform. The Toronto city directory for 1900

Toronto: Might’s Directory Co. 1901. Microform. The Toronto city directory for 1901

Goads Fire Insurance Plans: Central Toronto 1899; Toronto Archives Website

The Chinese in Early 20th Century Toronto: 215 1/2 Queen Street East

A July 1900 letter to Rev. MacKay from Thomas Humphries, indicated that there was 95 Chinese owned establishments in Toronto.  In this letter, Hong Lee was listed as the resident at 215 ½ Queen St. East. The assessment rolls list confirm that Lee lived at this address from 1898-1902. Lee first moved into 215 ½ Queen St. East when he was 34-years old before moving sometime in 1902, as he is no longer listed in the assessments from the year 1903 on wards.

An image of 1923 Queen Street East at Sherbourne St.

An image of 1923 Queen Street East at Sherbourne St.

It is difficult to imagine that the now vacant store below was once Hong Lee’s Laundromat. In fact, there is no longer a 215 ½ Queen St. East. Instead it is just 215 Queen St. East. During Lee’s time at the address the main intersection was Queen St. East and Sherbourne St. This has not changed, with the exception of the next street west being Jarvis St. instead of Fredrick St.

215 queen street east

215 Queen Street East is now a vacant piece of land and is one unit.

The Goads Fire Insurance Plans from 1899 does not list the house number 215 ½ on Queen St. East. However, it is listed later on in the 1924 Goads Fire Insurance Plan. The 1924 map indicates that the building was made out of brick. Furthermore, while the assessment role for year 1900 lists Lee as living alone, in the year 1902 it is noted that he lived there with another resident.

ASSESSMENT98

Goads Fire Insurance Plan for the year 1899 does not show 215 1/2 Queen Street East.

ASSESSMENT24

Goads Fire Insurance Plan for the year 1924 shows 215 1/2 Queen Street East.

 

From the assessments it can also be noted that Lee was Christian and that his taxes went towards the Public School system. His landlord was Phillip Jameson and his property was 11 x 120 Square Feet.

Sources:

Ward 2 Division 1 1903 Assessment Roll

Ward 2 Division 1 1902 Assessment Roll

Ward 2 Division 1 B1901 Assessment Roll

Ward 2 Division 1B 1900 Assessment Roll

Ward 2 Division 1B 1899 Assessment Roll

City of Toronto Website: Goads Fire Insurance Plan(1899 and 1924)

 http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=98da757ae6b31410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=7cb4ba2ae8b1e310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

Google Map 215 Queen Street East :  https://www.google.com/maps/place/215+Queen+St+E/@43.6542929,-79.3702463,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x89d4cb376c73e579:0xb6fbcb2c54e1a129

The Chinese in Early 20th Century Toronto: 1120 1/2 Queen Street West

A man named Chu Foo is listed as living at 1120 1/2 Queen Street West, with one other person living there as well. This address is found on plate 21 in Goads Fire Insurance Plans, in lot 531. This establishment is located close to the corner of a block, just like 465 College Street, and the intersection here is Queen Street West and Lisgar Street. The concentration of Chinese shops on Queen Street West seems to be the deepest around the year 1915 (37). According to Valerie Mah, the types of establishments at this location seemed to cater more to white people than Chinese people (37). The picture shows Queen Street West in the present day from the addresses 1122 to 1116, which means that 1120 1/2 would be in this cluster of buildings.

Works Cited

Assessment Roll: Ward 5, Division 1 1900.

Assessment Roll: Ward 5, Division 2 1900.

Mah, Valerie. The bachelor society: a look at Toronto’s early Chinese community from 1878-1924. MA Thesis. 1978. Print.

The Chinese in Early 20th Century Toronto: 465 College Street

In Valerie Mah’s research paper The ‘Bachelor Society, a man named Wong Foo is listed as living at 465 College Street. According to Goads Fire Insurance Plans, 465 College Street is found on plate 23, in lot 192. The address is located close to the intersection of College and Markham Street. The building is listed as a laundry establishment. The size of the lot was 15×120, and the value of the land was $570. The establishment was also built on as opposed to being vacant land. There are three other people listed as living there with Wong Foo, which are most likely family members, since laundries were generally operated by close relatives or friends from a neighbouring village in the same district (Mah 23). Chinese laundries at this time were hand laundries, meaning that all the work except washing was done by hand (23). Additionally, “Chinese were noted for the fine hand finish” (23). Wong Foo’s establishment was likely quite successful, and would have been up and running f
or many years in the early 1900s.

 

Works Cited

Assessment Roll: Ward 5, Division 1 1900.

Assessment Roll: Ward 5, Division 2 1900.

Mah, Valerie. The bachelor society: a look at Toronto’s early Chinese community from 1878-1924. MA Thesis. 1978. Print.

The Chinese In Early 20th Century Toronto: 79 Queen Street West

This is a photo that was taken around the area of Bay and Queen, roughly around 65-80 Queen Street West

This is a photo that was taken around the area of Bay and Queen, roughly around 65-80 Queen Street West

After: Pre-occupied by the Sheraton hotel as well as small businesses, this is what the space looks like today. Photo taken: 2014
After: Pre-occupied by the Sheraton hotel as well as small businesses, this is what the space looks like today.
Photo taken: 2014

In 1900 during the month of July, Thomas Humphries wrote a letter to Rev. MacKay regarding the Chinese occupancy being held within Toronto. One of the addresses associated with the Chinese in this letter was 79 Queen Street West. It has been recorded within the Toronto Archives that early settler Frank Lee migrated into Canada and became the tenant of 79 Queen Street West within the year 1899 (1). However, he was not the owner of the place — the property was owned by Toronto’s General Hospital (2). Although he was the resident along with three other residents (although it was not recorded the age nor the gender of any of the residents), his occupation was undisclosed (3). He continued to live there for an additional two years up until 1901 when it was documented that there was a new owner named Arthur Stevenson (4). Throughout the years, Toronto became a prevailing city that was in a high-demand for modernistic expansion. With the building of the New City Hall and the formulation of the subway lines, residential homes within the area were being torn down to make room for the developing city. 79 Queen Street west is no longer existent as an independent space. Currently, it is now pre-occupied by the Sheraton Hotel.

It was difficult to find the before picture since it was not a business but rather just a home for Chinese residents.

Work Cited

Assessment Roll: Division 1 1901, Reel 167.

Assessment Roll: Division 1 1899, Reel 132.

Letter from Humprhies to Rev. MacKay, July 25, 1900, File 33, Box 1, United Church Archives, as noted in Mah 19.

Toronto: Might’s Directory Co. 1899. Microform. the Toronto city directory for 1899: Vol. XIV.     Location no. 2643730-46, Reel 44.

Toronto: Might’s Directory Co. 1901. Microform. the Toronto city directory for 1901: Vol. XXV.     Location no. 2643730-47, Reel 47.

 

The Chinese in Early 20th Century Toronto: 85 Church Street

A laundry mat owned built in wood near the public library. It was presumably owned by Sun Long and called Sun Long Laundry.

Fire Insurance Plan 1903

Fire Insurance Plan 1903

 

Current location

Current location

Fire Insurance 1903 close upFire Insurance 1903 close up

Name of owner and type of business 1901 microfilm

Name of owner and type of business 1901 microfilm