An elaborate gateway designed by a master architect from China welcomes visitors to where Edmonton’s small Chinatown used to be. The gate spans 102nd Avenue at 97th Street; eight steel columns, painted the traditional Chinese color of red, support it. Stretched across the center of the arch’s roof is a row of ornamental tiles featuring two dragons, the symbol of power in China. The 11,000 tiles used in the gate were each handcrafted and glazed in China.
In the last few years, Chinatown has moved up the road a few blocks. The archway now leads into an area of cheap boardinghouses and deserted parking lots but forms a colorful break from the pawnshops of 97th Street.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition