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Chinatown in Montreal (French: Le quartier chinois de Montréa is located in the area of De la Gauchetière Street in Montreal. The neighborhood contains many Asian restaurants, food markets, and convenience stores as well being home to many of Montreal's East Asian community centres, such as the Montreal Chinese Hospital and the Montreal Chinese Community and Cultural Center.
The area was once home to Montreal's Jewish community, with thousands of Yiddish speaking immigrants settling in the area from 1890 to 1920, as part of a Jewish quarter centred around Saint Laurent Boulevard.
The first Chinese that created Montreal's Chinatown belonged to the Chan, Hom (Tam), Lee, and Wong clan groups. Many Taishan Chinese settled (all following the Leung Family) in the area because they worked for the railways and it was convenient for these occupations. Over the years, Hong Kong Chinese and ethnic Chinese refugees from Vietnam also set up shops and restaurants in the area.
From the 1970s onwards Montreal's Chinatown was subject to many of the cities' redevelopment plans, reducing the size of Chinatown and its expansion. This saw to the expropriation and demolition of over 6 acres of private properties in the construction of the Complexe Guy-Favreau and a city block of Chinatown for the construction of Palais des congrès de Montréal, even as community consultation and negotiations were still on-going. Rezoning of areas to the East of Saint Laurent from Chinatown in the 1984's has further prevented the growth expansion of Chinatown businesses.
Montreal's Chinatown is a vibrant nightspot for locals and tourists alike thanks to a special regulation by Montreal's city officials which slates the sector as a tourist area, thus allowing it to continue operations well into the evening. Cantonese seafood, barbecue and dim sum restaurants and Vietnamese Ph? eateries are featured in Chinatown. Many local Asian-Canadians frequent the area since the shops offer products directly imported from Mainland China or Vietnam that are difficult to find elsewhere in town. During lobster season, restaurants there are so crowded that it can be difficult to get a seat without a reservation.
Aside from its economic importance in the sector, Montreal's Chinatown actively participate in numerous community activities. The offices of many Chinese newspapers, organizations and associations are located in the surrounding buildings. Moreover, the Chinatown houses the biggest Chinese school of Montreal (over 1500 students) as well as the Montreal Chinese Catholic Mission. Over the years, the Canadian government has continually sought to invest in the area by funding the construction of the Montreal Chinese Hospital and the Montreal Chinese Cultural and Community Center.
Like many other Chinatowns, Montreal also has the annual Miss Chinese Montreal Pageant, where the winner goes on to compete at the Miss Chinese International Pageant, which is usually held in Hong Kong or in mainland China.
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