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Real City Matters

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Scene: Chinatown Festival

Thousands showed up to celebrate Chinese culture.

WHERE: Near Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue

WHEN: Saturday, July 19, to Sunday, July 20

WHAT: Despite two days of rain and streetcar-related construction 50 metres away, Toronto’s 14th annual Chinatown Festival carried on with a vast array of food and traditional Chinese performances. The crowd skewed older; they were delighted to see mid-century Chinese standards performed onstage by a woman in a 1960s-style dress. A walk through the vendors, meanwhile, plainly revealed that it was not Chinese culture alone that was being celebrated—Korean beauty supplies, Spanish churros, Canadian Beaver Tails, Japanese squid, and kettle-popped corn surpassed the small selection of Chinese smoothies and lamb skewers. And even though some booths closed early due to rainfall and low turnout on the first day, the festival still managed to draw tens of thousands of revellers.

Photos by Michael Fraiman.