Toronto Through My Lens

The Toronto Chinese Archway

Opposite Bridgepoint Health Centre (now Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital) , near the intersection of Gerrard Street East and Broadview Avenue, there stands the Zhong Hua Men gate, aka Toronto Chinese Archway. The gate serves as an entrance-way to the Chinese community in this neighbourhood.

The Archway’s official construction began in late 2008 and opened to the public, with a ceremony by then-Mayor David Miller, on September 12, 2009. The creation of the Archway came about in large part due to the efforts of Valerie Mah, as a member of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of East Toronto, together with Councillor Paula Fletcher.

The two stone lions, each weighing 3 tons, sitting at the base of the Archway are a gift from the People’s Republic of China. The project cost roughly $900,000.00, of which the City of Toronto contributed $415,000.

Ten years in the making, the Archway was the brainchild of Dale Cheung, President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce (East Toronto) and Bernard Loh, the group’s Vice-President, as well as a small group of past and present members. The group dreamed up the project, back in the day, while having Dim Sum with the area’s former City Councillor, Jack Layton.

In keeping with the traditional Chinese Paifeng style of commemorating the great achievements of ones ancestors, the Zhong Hua Men Archway is engraved with messages of goodwill and wisdom.

The Archway and parking lot next to it has since won a prestigious international award in 2012 for Best Design/Implementation of a Surface Parking Lot.

The lions are lifted into place, 2009
This photo courtesy of The Toronto Star

1 Comment

  1. David

    Yup! See this many, many times. Mini Chinatown .

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