The Chinese in Early 20th Century Toronto: 263 Queen Street East

Based on a July 1900 letter from Thomas Humphries to Rev. MacKay, Sam Wing was one of 95 Chinese Establishment owners in Toronto. Goad’s Fire Insurance Plan indicates that Wing resided at 263 Queen Street East between 1899 to 1900 in a wooden building.


Goads Fire Insurance Plan shows unit 263 located beside unit 265 on Queen Street East.

Sam Wing lived at 263 Queen Street East when he was 32 years old. Based on the assessments he lived alone and was a Christian. His total taxable income was $1,645 and this income stayed the same for the two years that he lived at 263 Queen Street East.

For the 2 years that he lived on the property Sam Wing operated it as a Chinese Laundry mat. After Sam Wing left 263 Queen Street East, the property continued to operate as a Chinese Laundry, run by another Chinese owner, for many years.

Queen St. and Sherbourne

A picture of Queen St. East and Sherbourne St.

While there were some vacancies between 1902 and throughout the 1960’s a City of Toronto heritage report notes that during the 1950s and 1960s the unit was continually operated as a Chinese Laundry.


The arrow is pointing to 263 Queen St. East during the early 1960’s.

The landlord for Sam Wing’s property was Christina Lauder, who owned a large portion of real estate on Queen Street East between Sherbourne St. and Ontario St. Currently, there is no longer a laundry mat at 263 Queen Street East. It is now a Planet of Sound store that sells headphones and speakers.

The 263 Queen Street East building was designed in 1875 by Christina Lauder and everything on the exterior remains the same as it was originally designed. The 263 Queen Street East commercial unit along with any other units designed by Christina Lauder are City of Toronto heritage properties.


There is no longer a laundromat at 263 Queen St. East. It is now a Planet of Sound.



Assessment Roll: Ward 2 Division 1 1901

Assessment Roll: Ward 2 Division 1 1900

City of Toronto Archives: Goads Fire Insurance Plan (1899)

City of Toronto Staff Report: