TORONTO, Sept. 12 /CNW/ - Mayor David Miller was joined by Councillor
Paula Fletcher (Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth); Madame Zhu Taoying, Consul General
of China; Dale Cheung, President Chinese Chamber of Commerce (Toronto East);
Mr. Ron Tsin, Board Chair, Toronto Parking Authority; members of the Zhong Hua
Men Archway Organizing Committee, 13 lion dancers and a dragon dancer to
officially open the Zhong Hua Men Archway, a gateway to the East China Town
The arch itself stands almost 13 metres high and is covered with engraved
messages of goodwill and wisdom is consistent with Paifang, the tradition of
constructing arches to commemorate the great achievements of one's ancestors.
In this case the archway pays tribute to the collective ancestors, the Chinese
workers who were instrumental in building the railways that brought Canada
together as a country. Zhong Hua Men, literally translated as China Arch, also
symbolizes the importance of Chinese history, culture and business success in
Toronto and Canada.
The Zhong Hua Men Archway is based on the traditional "gateway"
structures in China and is also a structure that is one of the fundamental
building blocks of Western architecture. Arches are used in the construction
of bridges, including the railway bridges that connected one side of the
country with the other and made it possible for many immigrants to find their
way to Toronto. The Bloor viaduct is a series of arches that connect the area
east of the Don with the Downtown.
"I congratulate the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for choosing an arch as
their gift to Torontonians," said Mayor Miller. "This arch welcomes people to
the East China Town commercial area, honours the Chinese Canadians who worked
so valiantly to help build our country and our city and symbolizes a
connection with Chinese people in other parts of the world. There is no other
architectural element that is so intrinsic to both cultures or more aptly
symbolizes the blending of Chinese and Canadian, traditions."
The Zhong Hua Men Archway is a joint project of the City of Toronto and
the Chinese Chamber of Commerce (Toronto East). The Toronto Parking Authority
provided the land and construction management of the archway. The Sheppard
Group, Concord Adex, Shenglin Finance, St. Mary's Cement, Scotiabank,
Bridgepoint Health, the Goldman Group, Mr. Frank Chau, the Canadian Chinese
General Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Milikin Realty and the City's Clean
and Beautiful Initiative all made generous contributions to the project. The
people of China, through the Chinese Consulate in Toronto, contributed the two
lion statues at the entrance to the archway.
"As the City Councillor for Ward 30 it has been a great honour to work
side by side and support the many dedicated community members who have come
together to make this project a success," said Councillor Fletcher.
Following the official remarks and ribbon cutting, a celebratory event
was held in Riverdale Park. Chinese food vendors serving various tasty treats,
lion dances, students singing and dancing, Chinese opera, a Kung Fu show and a
lucky draw were all part of the festivities.
Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine
of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America.
Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in
delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's
incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity,
opportunity and liveability for all its residents.
Visit our website at www.toronto.ca
For further information:
For further information: Media contacts: Bernard Loh, Vice-President of
the Chinese Chamber of Commerce (Toronto East), (416) 989-1555 or
firstname.lastname@example.org; Stuart Green, Deputy Director of Communications,
Mayor's Office, (416) 338-7119 or email@example.com; City Councillor Paula
Fletcher, Ward 30 Toronto Danforth, (416) 995-5764 or
firstname.lastname@example.org; Eva Pyatt, Director, Economic Development,
Business Services, (416) 392-7183 or email@example.com