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.