With our first project “Long Time No See” we asked folks to submit photos of themselves in places in Chinatown that meant something to them and to share why. We received many heartfelt stories and were moved by how much Chinatown inhabits our minds and hearts. For some of us, we need Chinatown for work, to find affordable food or for a sense of belonging, for some of us, Chinatown is a place we rarely visit but has deep meaning for us, in our family and collective memories.
For the project “Tong Yan Gai, Jeui Ho!” (Chinatown, the best), we have shifted our focus to seniors in the Chinatown area, asking:
对于“唐人街，最好的！”这个项目, 我们转向唐人街地区的老年人, 来问:
Close your eyes ... What do you see? Who is there? What are they doing? What can you smell in your Chinatown? What do you hear?
Chinatowns across North America are struggling to survive. In Montreal Chinatown, the loss of heritage buildings leaves gaping holes in the street fabric. An article titled, “Investigation: Is Vancouver’s Chinatown Dying?“ cites,
“Vacancy rates in Chinatown increased 23.7 per cent since the pandemic, … you get to a point where vacant stores overshadow the active storefronts of retail…and then you get into a position where it’s hard to recover back into a lively street front, and bring people into Chinatown, bring the seniors back into Chinatown.”
How will we bring people back into Toronto Chinatown, keep the streets safe and inviting for seniors?
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