No matter where I travel, I always drop by Chinatown. It tells a lot about a city, because Chinatowns are not just about China — many other communities also find a home here. For instance, in Ottawa, Chinatown is also Little Saigon and in France, many traditional Asian shops sell Caribbean products.
Toronto’s Chinatown didn’t disappoint me. It was colorful, messy and it smelled of exotic and spicy food. I observed the people attending their daily business: biking around, shopping, cooking and chatting. Chinatowns are invariably little enclaves with local businesses, not franchises. It’s refreshing to walk more than a block without spotting a Tim Hortons or a Starbucks.
At noon, we stopped to have lunch in the tiniest restaurant ever. The woman at the front was making dumplings and boiling them in huge pots right past the restaurant’s door. We squeezed in and had a huge plate of boiled and fried 饺子 (chives and pork dumplings) with soya, vinegar and sesame sauce.