The Chinatown Tomorrow Planning Initiative Survey is now available on a new platform. Please share your thoughts and experience of Chinatown (West) and how you envision Chinatown in the future.

Chinatown is one of the most unique neighbourhoods in the city of Toronto with great cultural heritage significance. The purpose of the Chinatown Study is to gain an understanding of the unique characteristics of Chinatown, explore the tools to preserve these elements, review potential public realm opportunities and plan for new developments that will complement the existing neighbourhood

This area known as Chinatown in the city of Toronto is recognized for the clusters of Chinese-owned businesses, including bakeries, restaurants, grocery stores, and wholesalers, and service-providing organizations such as Chinese Clan Associations. Chinatown is also recognized by its colourful signage and bustling streets which contribute to the neighbourhood’s vibrancy and unique character. The area is home to diverse demographics, which include many non-English language speakers and elderly residents.

The Chinatown Planning Study comes at a time when the neighbourhood is under increased development pressure, due to recent development proposals within the study area and adjacent neighbourhoods. Additionally, there is a housing crisis and rising commercial rents, which threatens Chinatown’s well-established neighbourhood character.

The City is committed to working with the community throughout the process to understand the needs of the community and how to connect the area’s past to the future through the emerging new developments. In addition to this, the services of an external professional cultural facilitator was retained to reduce the barrier to community engagement, to promote inclusion, to improve the language accessibility and to foster an environment in which equity seeking groups are comfortable participating in. Notices, signs and webpages will be translated, interpreters will be provided at all meetings and alternative approaches to organizing meaningful community consultation will be utilized to reach a broader audience.

The study area is along Spadina Avenue between College Street and Queen Street West and along Dundas Street West from Beverley Street to Augusta Avenue.

The study area is along Spadina Avenue between College Street and Queen Street West and along Dundas Street West from Beverley Street to Cameron Street.

The study area boundaries may be subject to change as City staff obtains input from community engagement.

In February 2012, Toronto and East York Community Council requested the Director, Community Planning, Toronto and East York District to review the policy context for Spadina Avenue, generally from Front Street West to Bloor Street West and report back to Council on preliminary findings and recommendations for a community consultation process. Though there had been intensive work on this study, the study has not been completed at this time.

In December 2019, Council introduced a motion directing City Planning staff in Community Planning, Urban Design and Heritage Preservation Services to assess the existing planning policies and consider augmenting them with additional urban design and built form policies and guidelines, including an assessment of heritage resources, to be used to inform the review of current and future development proposals. The motion also requested City Planning staff to work with Transportation Services and Housing Secretariat staff to review potential streetscape improvements, public realm opportunities and complete streets initiatives and potential for protecting existing and creating new affordable housing and community services.

In 2021, Council introduced a motion requesting the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture consider Chinatown in their Cultural District Designation Study and determine whether this emerging designation would be appropriate for Chinatown to address the community’s concerns of protecting existing legacy businesses, community organizations and culturally-specific services; as during recent community consultation for development applications in Chinatown, the feedback received included comments and concerns beyond the scope of the 2019 motion.

Thank you for participating in our community engagement events! Your feedback is valuable, and we would like to share with you the summary of the events:

Chinatown Teahouse Launch Event – November 25, 2023

Chinese translated versions (simplified and traditional) available upon request.

Nominate yourself or somebody else to be a part of the Chinatown Advisory Roundtables (CTAR):

CTAR 1: Public & Gathering Spaces – January 25, 2024 (nominations closed on December 15, 2023)
CTAR 2: Housing and Livability – February 28, 2024* (nominations close on February 6, 2024)
CTAR 3: Chinatown’s Image (about safety, cleanliness and community image) – March 27, 2024* (nominations close on March 1, 2024)
CTAR 4: Making it in Chinatown (about economic development, intergenerational and newcomer issues) April 24, 2024* (nominations close on March 29, 2024).

*Tentative dates to be confirmed.

To nominate, fill out the nomination form.


The phases of the Chinatown Planning Study will generally consist of the following:

Phase 1: Conducting Background Research (Summer 2022 to Fall 2023)
Phase 2: Community Engagement* (Fall 2023 to Summer 2024)
Phase 3: Creating the Framework (Fall 2024)
Phase 4: Final Report to Council (Winter 2024 to 2025)

*Community engagement is strongly encouraged and will continue throughout the Study. Please feel free to send comments at any time to City Planning staff listed in the Contact Information section.

Stay Informed

Type (don’t copy and paste) your email address into the box below and then click “Subscribe” to receive updates related to the Chinatown Study, including project milestones and opportunities to participate in the process through meetings and events.

 

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City Planning collects your personal email address under the legal authority of the Planning Act, section 17(15), and Item 2021.MM34.22, City Council Decision 3, as confirmed by the City of Toronto By-law 523-2021. The information will be used for providing updates on the Chinatown Planning Study, led by City Planning in consultation with partner Divisions, including consultation materials and opportunities, project milestones, and Council and Committee decisions. Questions about this collection can be directed to the Acting Manager, Community Planning, City Planning, City Hall, 18th Floor, East Tower, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2 or by telephone at 416-392-9434