I found myself strolling through Montreal’s Chinatown on a glorious Friday afternoon. I say ‘found’, but it was a conscious decision. Only a stone’s throw away from Downtown Old Montreal, it’s locality couldn’t be more convenient (Metro: Place-d’Armes). Only in Chinatown will you find shops where anything including dried black moss, duck tongue, tuna eyeball and dragon extracts are sold!
I came across a number of shops selling everything one could possibly desire when thinking of the Chinese culture and traditions. I was especially in awe at the variety of fine china (get it, fine China, no? okay!). Prices were as low as a couple of dollars up to a few hundred dollars for the more exquisite and detailed pieces.
As well as ornament shops, there were a number of shops stocking Chinese cheongsam dresses. These are one-piece figure hugging tops/dresses that were made famous by socialites and upper class women in the 1920s. They symbolise the women’s liberation movements and can be made of silk and pearls. I was able to try a few styles on, and I must say, they made me feel royal at the very least. I also came across a very large church, one of a few Chinese churches in Montreal.
I’m a sucker for unique pieces of jewellery – and as you can see, I FOUND SOME! A lovely lady from Taiwan was selling these bracelets and necklaces made of various types of stone on a market stall, one of the many stalls that had set up shop for passersby.
On my exit, I was confronted by another Paifang gate – it almost felt ‘official’ that I was leaving the area of Chinatown. Although Chinatown is located downtown, the surrounding area is very quiet and almost eerie but safe; something that I did find quite bizarre. On the whole, I enjoyed Montreal’s Chinatown but it was evident that the Chinese community in Montreal is not as large as that in London or even Melbourne!
I don’t know who or what this is meant to symbolise – it’s a bit random, no?
I didn’t get the chance to try any Chinese delicacies – so I shall be back for that!
See you again soon Chinatown!
– A Y –