The Chinese community of Montreal settled in what is known as Chinatown Montreal, making it a favorite attraction of the city for both tourists and residents.
As you approach the area, you’ll find the paifangs, which are traditional Chinese gates, at each of the corners. Did you that Montreal has the most paifangs than any other Canadian Chinatown!
The Chinese gates are located on Saint-Laurent and René Lévesque to the north, Saint-Laurent and Viger to the south, Saint-Dominique and de la Gauchetière to the east, and Jeanne-Mance and de la Gauchetière to the west.
The History of Montreal’s Chinatown
Right in the heart of the city, the Chinese community started to settle in the area located between St. Laurent Blvd., René Lévesque, de la Gauchetière, and Jeanne Mance Street in the 1930s making it one of the oldest Asian districts in North America.[media-credit id=15560706 align=”aligncenter” width=”696″][/media-credit]
By the time the 1970s rolled around, Chinatown in Montreal had developed its own unique feel and character.
Montreal’s Chinatown is Canada’s third largest following Toronto’s and Vancouver’s. While its name refers to the first people to settle in the area – the Chinese, Chinatown is now home to many Korean, Vietnamese, and other Asian businesses.
When you’re there, you’ll find a collection of products from China and all around the Far East.
What to Do in Chinatown Montreal
It’s always a great time to explore Chinatown, but in the summer, try to catch the Chinatown Merchants Association annual sidewalk sale – it’s HUGE! You’re sure to find deals on traditional Chinese items along with some everyday stuff like cell phone cases and sunglasses.
While the quality of some of the bargain items may sometimes be questionable, you just cannot go wrong with the delicious food served in the area restaurants.
You’ll also find Japanese and Vietnamese restaurants on de la Gauchetière St. But, if you’re out late, check out La Maison VIP on Clark Street for a tasty and unforgettable meal. Just don’t expect stellar service!
Another reason to visit Chinatown is to pop in and out of all the shops selling different teas and herbs. There’s an herb and tea to help you with anything and everything, even weight loss!
You can find these stores on La Gauchetière, St. Laurent, Clark, and René Lévesque. Take your pick where you’d prefer to shop – there are big and small herb shops to explore.
If you’re a fan of Chinese-style duck, you can have one prepared for you on the spot at a shop on Saint-Laurent Blvd, north of de la Gauchetière.
You can also find typical Asian produce at the Supermarket Kien Vinh on St. Laurent Blvd., again north of La Gauchetière, so you can prepare and cook your own Asian food at home. You’ll find a vast variety of fruits and vegetables and plenty of meat and seafood.
For specialty seafood, head to Prosperity Seafood Store on Clark and de la Gauchetière.
Chinatown is full of things to do in general. Whether you visit this week or any another time, enjoy a walk and explore what’s available from the Far East.
How to Get to Chinatown in Montreal – Directions
You can always drive there, but there are more convenient ways with public transport, depending on where you’re coming from.
If you’re a tourist staying at one of the hotels near Chinatown Montreal, such as the Holiday Inn, Hotel Zéro 1, or even Hotel Place d’Armes, located in Old Montreal then you should walk over. Like this, you get to see all the sights along the way.
If you’re staying a bit further, take the subway. The metro stations closest to Chinatown in Montreal are Saint-Laurent, Champs-des-Mars, and Place d’Armes. Check out the map below to help you get around.