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10.04.19 – Erica Allen-Kim and Morris Lum help commemorate North America's first Chinese mall

Scarborough's Dragon Centre mall, located near Sheppard Avenue East and Midland Avenue, was the first indoor mall in North America to cater specifically to Chinese merchants and shoppers. When it opened in 1984, it instantly became a hub of activity for Chinese newcomers to the Greater Toronto Area—many of them ex-Hong Kongers who had relocated ahead of that city's return to Chinese rule in 1997.

Dragon Centre's shops and food stalls have faithfully served Toronto's Chinese-Canadian community for 35 years. Now, with the mall on the verge of being demolished to make way for condos, a group of local urbanists, artists, and curators is commemorating the building with an exhibition, which will take place at Dragon Centre on October 5, starting at 1:30 p.m.

Daniels Faculty assistant professor Erica Allen-Kim helped analyze the mall's history and its place in Scarborough's urban fabric, with assistance from Daniels Faculty MArch students Phat Le and Marienka Bishop Kovacs. Daniels Faculty lecturer Morris Lum shot photographs. The exhibition is presented by ThinkFresh Group, with support from Camille Begin, ERA Architects, Myseum of Toronto, Shiu Pong Group, and the Daniels Faculty.

Photograph from the Multicultural Historical Society of Ontario.

The event will include tours of the mall and the sharing of stories from people who had meaningful experiences there over the years. For more information, visit dragoncentrestories.ca.