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    Homes for Sale in Chinatown, Toronto, ON

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    Buying a home in Chinatown

    Naturally, Chinatown was named for the original community that settled in the area, however today the name is a little misleading: the neighbourhood is home to much more than just Chinese-run businesses. There’s a large number of Korean, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurants and shops in Chinatown as well, some of which spill over into Kensington Market.

    Regardless of the actual breakdown by country, Chinatown and the Toronto condos located in the neighbourhood are unquestionably home to an enormous community of individuals born outside of Canada. The 2016 census revealed that there’s an even split between those whose first language is and isn’t English; only 65 percent of Chinatown’s residents speak English at home, with the rest speaking languages like Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Portuguese.

    Chinatown was originally located along Elizabeth Street, near where City Hall now stands, and at the time the most common business there were hand laundry services. Sam Ching was the first Chinese Torontonian to open a laundry shop, and he did so in 1878. Because Chinese immigrants were limited in what occupations they were allowed to participate in, the food service industry became the other main line of work for this group.

    The Chinatown as we know it today, concentrated along Dundas and Spadina, was formerly a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood. It has since grown to become one of the biggest Chinatowns in North America, with the main language spoken by business owners being Cantonese. Despite being such a large attraction, there are very few Chinatown condos, with only a few buildings in the neighbourhood.

    Dundas and Spadina are bursting with shops hawking inexpensive kitchen gadgets and home goods, imported clothing, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Best of all, in Chinatown shoppers can find provisions that are hard to come by in other parts of the city, like fresh lemongrass or lychees.

    The prepared food is yet another reason Torontonians from all over the city visit Chinatown. From dim sum to Peking duck and the freshest of handmade dumplings, some restaurants in the neighbourhood are even open into the wee hours of the night. Whether late night diners have just left a party, finished a late shift at work, or simply having a craving, the restaurants in the neighbourhood ensure everyone is well fed at any time of day.

    Residents of Chinatown also have the chance to participate in the colourful, buoyant festivities put on by locals each year, including Chinese New Year and the Toronto Chinatown Festival. And funnily enough, one building at the corner of Beverley and Dundas is home to the Italian Consulate.

    Condo Life in Chinatown

    Largely a commercial district, Chinatown is home to a relatively small number of single- and semi-detached homes. Instead, the majority of the neighbourhood’s residents live in apartments and the modest collection of Chinatown condos, with both high-rise and mid-rise properties in the area.

    Affordable apartments in the neighbourhood have long drawn university students attending the Ontario College of Art and Design, Ryerson University, and The University of Toronto. In recent years, contemporary Chinatown condos like the Dragon Condos have popped up — offering a solution for the high demand to live in this bustling downtown neighbourhood.


    Thanks to its intimate size, anyone trying to get around within Chinatown itself can simply walk. Traveling to and from the neighbourhood, on the other hand, might require a ride north or south on the 510 Spadina Streetcar, or east or west on the 505 Dundas Streetcar.

    Drivers living in Chinatown can use major arterial roads like Dundas and Spadina in order to reach other areas of the city. A southbound trip down Spadina will also connect drivers to the Gardiner Expressway, from which they can reach the 427 or the Don Valley Parkway in no time.

    Chinatown Overview

    The Locals: Predominantly residents born outside of Canada and their children.

    Code of Conduct: Residents understand it’s impossible — and unnecessary — to test every dim sum joint in the neighbourhood before settling on their favourite one.

    What You’ll Find: Inexpensive shops selling imported goods.

    What You Won’t Find: Posh clubs with rooftop swimming pools.

    The Homes: Apartments priced for students and modern Toronto condos for sale for professionals just getting wind of how cool the neighbourhood is.

    Sealing the Deal: Hands down: the food.