« Stories » define Chinatown in Quebec City

« Some could argue that stories are more important than statistics in defining a sense of place. »

-Taken from an excellent article by Patrick Donovan on the Urbanphoto.net blog. Thanks to Cedric Sam for the tip!

Donovan debunks a lot of myths surrounding Quebec’s Chinatown and corroborates what Michel Parent told us today during his guided tour of what remains of the neighbourhood. For example, the Dufferin-Montmorency expressway, a supposed « death knell » to the Chinatown when it was built along its eastern fringe, might not have had the effect that many people believe:

« …only six Chinese residences were expropriated during the massive demolitions that took place at the time. Whereas cities like Montreal and New York defined clear legal boundaries for their Chinatowns, this was never the case in Quebec City. The idea of a Chinatown with an important Chinese presence in the lower city seems to be largely a mental construct. »

The article also offers more information on the Foyer Catholique Chinois, which was located where the now-defunct Cineplex Odeon cinema now lies on du Pont, and the aforementioned notorious Rue de Xi’an.

Recommended reading. And a perfect segue to our meeting tomorrow with Napoleon & Jaime K. Woo at Wok’n’Roll.