Join the National Trust for Canada during Historic Places Days in Calgary! We are pleased to be collaborating with Calgary writer and Chinatown advocate Dale Lee Kwong to bring you this free walking tour of Chinatown. Participants will learn how to navigate the area so they can return again and again. In addition to history, learn about Chinese culture, architecture style, and food. Route will include: the Chinese Cultural Centre, Sien Lok Park, Wai Kwan Manor, Chinese United Church, the Canton Block, food street, the Chinese National League/Ho Lem Block, mural alley, and more.
The tour begins at the Chinese United Church at 124 2 Ave SW. For a fuller understanding of Chinese-Canadian history, arrive early to visit the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum at 197 1 St SW. It is free to individuals or $5/person for pre-booked tours. Be sure to spend time in the ‘Our Chosen Land’ exhibit which focuses on the history of Calgary’s Chinatown. Allow half-hour minimum. https://www.culturalcentre.ca/
For an additional fee:
Following the walking tour, enjoy a 10-course Chinese dinner with representatives from a variety of Chinatown-related organizations in the award-winning Silver Dragon Restaurant west wing, part of the historic Canton Block. Try new foods and learn what’s happening in Calgary’s Chinatown both now and in the future. The menu includes Peking Duck, a selection of dim sum, and honeymoon fried rice. (Note: no substitutions, not suitable for vegetarians)
Both walk participants and dinner attendees are encouraged to listen to the free podcast, “Master Oogam’s Blessing” before the July 22nd walk. It is a fictionalized story of twins from China which follows the history of Calgary’s Chinatown. Written by Dale Lee Kwong and produced by Jupiter Theatre, this production may be used as a self-guided walking tour or listened to for entertainment (and history).
Can’t book a walking tour spot?
Reserve early! Attendance on the walking tour is limited to 40 for safety purposes. If you wanted to join the walk but can’t get a reservation, follow “Master Oogam’s Blessing” (see above) OR purchase the “Discovering (YYC) Chinatown” booklet from the Information Desk at the Chinese Cultural Centre. Allow yourself at least one hour (preferably more) to discover the treasures of Chinatown!
For more information about Chinatown and Chinese-Canadian history:
Great links at this listing for Calgary’s Canton Block:
廣東樓區 Canton Block – Historic Places Days
There are two parking lots which offer a $4 flat fee to park after 4pm. Both are located on the north side of 2nd Avenue on either side of the Centre Street Bridge. Lot 9888 on the east side is operated by the city, and the other is privately owned. Both require a credit card. The 4:15pm start time is to accommodate parking in these suggested lots.
Dale Lee Kwong is a Calgary writer and advocate for Calgary’s Chinatown. She has unique perspectives as a native Calgarian, property owner in Chinatown since 2016, and Advisory Group member of the City of Calgary’s Tomorrow’s Chinatown for the past two years. She frequently leads walking tours of Chinatown, and each one offers something different.