Toronto is getting its first-ever all-Chinese development sign at the site of a proposed residential building in the city’s Chinatown neighbourhood.
Located in the at 315-325 Spadina just north of College, the street sign pertains to a proposed 13-storey mixed-use development, which will feature retail space at ground level, 239 rental residential units, and underground parking, according to a report from the city.
The Chinese sign will be posted at the site later this month.
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Mike Layton, the MP for the neighbourhood said this is the first sign of its kind in Toronto.
On Tuesday, Layton tweeted: “I’m told this is a first for Toronto — a development application sign in a language other than English. This is going up on Spadina. Thanks @chinatownFOCT for challenging city to do better.”
He was referring to the community and advocacy group Friends of Chinatown, which has been pushing for the all-Chinese sign.
I’m told this is a first for Toronto – a development application sign in a language other than English. This is going up on Spadina. Thanks @chinatownFOCT for challenging city to do better. pic.twitter.com/QLh9kb3WxB
— Mike Layton (@m_layton) December 10, 2019
In November, Friends of Chinatown put up a parody sign at the corner of D’Arcy and Spadina, which is just steps away from the proposed development site, calling out the city for only putting up an English sign in the primarily Chinese-speaking neighbourhood.
The #FOCT parody sign is now up at the corner of D’Arcy and Spadina, just a few steps down from the official @cityoftoronto development sign. Ours looks a little different tho ~ #flyingbokchoy #KeepChinatownTO pic.twitter.com/xkoFPAGsrp
— Friends of Chinatown TO (@chinatownFOCT) November 14, 2019
Friends of Chinatown said its “incredibly proud” to have helped influence the city’s first-ever non-English development sign.
“We look fwd to seeing how this will be implemented for outreach in other racialized communities,” tweeted the group.
This is a great first step forward. Thank you @m_layton. FOCT is incredibly proud to have helped influence Toronto’s first ever non-English development sign, & we look fwd to seeing how this will be implemented for outreach in other racialized communities. https://t.co/z2m6JDE2iM
— Friends of Chinatown TO (@chinatownFOCT) December 10, 2019
And while the all-Chinese sign is a step toward the city being more inclusive, some people on Twitter pointed out there are no French signs for the proposed building, despite French and English being Canada’s official languages.
“Nothing to brag about. We’re supposed to be in a country where BOTH official languages are English and French. This is just proving that something isn’t right in Canada,” tweeted Alex Rupert.
Layton replied on Twitter that the proposed development is in the middle of a century-old Chinatown and “still home to many seniors whose first language isn’t English — like a lot of Toronto and Canada. So we strive to be inclusive.”
This development is in the middle of a century old Chinatown and still home to many seniors whose first language isn’t English – like a lot of Toronto and Canada. So we strive to be inclusive.
— Mike Layton (@m_layton) December 11, 2019
According to the city, the proposal for the building includes 54 studio apartments, 118 double studios, 11 one-bedrooms, 31 two-bedrooms, and 25 three-bedrooms.