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The arch marking the entrance to Montreal's Chinatown

The Canadian Press

The City of Montreal announced Wednesday the designation of Chinatown as a historic site.

Municipal officials explained the benefits of this designation. By using the Cultural Heritage Act to define this historic site, the City ensures the registration of these elements in the Cultural Heritage Register and their dissemination in the Directory of Cultural Heritage of Quebec. p>

In a press release, the City of Montreal reports that the area steeped in history bore witness to the emergence of Faubourg Saint-Laurent, the first neighborhood to have welcomed diverse communities [from] Chinese immigration to Canada and Montreal.

This is the only significant historic Chinese quarter preserved in Quebec and eastern Canada, as well as as the only French-speaking Chinatown in America.

In spring 2021, a committee was formed to measure the impact of real estate pressure on the heritage character of the sector. The committee made five recommendations, including that of adopting a regulation to recognize Chinatown as a historic site.

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[It's a] first gesture of recognition for the implementation of a global strategy to recognize and highlight the history of Montreal's Chinatown and the contribution of Asian communities to this sector of the city , said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante in a press release.

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