by Phoebe Ho
TORONTO, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Canada's biggest city of Toronto became the third city in the country to have its very own Chinatown documented in a booklet released on Monday, as part of a nation-wide project.
An eight-page insert featuring the chronological history of Toronto's Chinatown from its inception in 1878 right up to 2012 was launched as part of Canada Chinatown Series, companions to a project spearheaded by the Chinese Canadian History Project Council, called A Brief Chronology of Chinese Canadian History: From Segregation to Integration.
University of Toronto representatives, chancellors and many others involved in the project gathered to mark the release of the booklet. So far, the project has profiled Chinatowns in both Victoria, the capital city of the Province of British Columbia, and Vancouver, a seaport city roughly 100 kilometers from Victoria.
Released in English, French and Chinese, the insert is a way for Chinese-Canadians to understand their heritage, retrace the footsteps of their ancestors and learn about all their contributions and sacrifices they've made for the country, said David Choi, co-chair of the Chinese Canadian History Project Council.
Choi, who was the first to initiate the project, said it's a way to bridge the gap and make up for the lack of information there is out there for Chinese-Canadians. He believes it's vital for younger generations to understand their heritage and the accomplishments of their ancestors.
"My original idea was to celebrate the achievement of new Canadians in Canada, as I got going I find out the celebration of new Canadians would not be possible without understanding the history of Chinese-Canadians, so that took me into the history of Chinese-Canadians," said Choi.
The project's author, David Chuenyan Lai, a professor emeritus at the University of Victoria, is hoping his work reaches out to the younger generations and makes a difference for Chinese- Canadians today.
"What I hope to achieve is that I would every young people, or new immigrant who do not know about Chinatown, they will know about Chinatown better," said Lai. "For example, I know many Chinese new immigrant coming to Toronto, I'm sure many of them haven't been to Chinatown and don't know where it is, therefore I hope this will spread out the information so that hoping to boom the business in Chinatown as well."
The inserts will be distributed not only at schools and libraries, but will soon be available to the rest of the world.
"People around the world can, starting next May, is going to be able to access this information 24/7, 365," said Choi. " Literally anytime at their leisure that's convenient to them, that they want to access this information. So for the first time, there 's one country that can share its Chinese history, is Canada, with the rest of the world."
Now with the Toronto edition of the project completed, they will be moving on to profile the rest of the eight Chinatowns in the country.