After years of community mobilization, we were delighted to hear the news that Chinatown received heritage status from the provincial government and the city, aiming to keep the soul of Chinatown, guard against overdevelopment, and protect its historic character. The City of Montréal’s historical research also led to the recognition of the territory’s expansion to the East and West, as far as Sainte-Élisabeth and De Bleury streets.
This was a huge win for CWG! All of us worked really hard with community stakeholders to protect Chinatown and its heritage. We’ve been involved in various consultations since 2019 that led to the Chinatown Action Plan 2021-2026 in June 2021. Specifically, we participated in the Comité de travail sur la protection du patrimoine du quartier chinois montréalais juin 2021.
However, there is still a lot of work to ensure Chinatown and its intangible assets are preserved and promoted. As Donny Seto, a key member of CWG and lecturer in urban planning and environment at Concordia University, said: “Protecting a neighbourhood is more than just the buildings.” Protecting Chinatown is ongoing work as we should never take for granted a neighbourhood and its community.