We did not intend to live in a Chinese enclave when we moved into our Scarborough, Canada home in Toronto. It seemed like when a white elderly couple would move out, a Chinese family would move in. As the years passed, this continued, until 50-60% of our street is now Chinese. It also was not our desire to live in a Chinese enclave. Our intention was to live in a multiculturally mixed neighbourhood.
I write this post after being prodded by this article on Markham Chinese enclaves. Markham is just north of the Scarborough and Toronto border, and can be considered an ethnic extension of Scarborough. In fact we often shop there.
Queer comes to mind when talking about the case of grocer David Chen. A known thief, Anthony Bennett, steals flowers from Chen’s store. This is caught on video. The thief returns less than an hour later. Chen and two workers hold the thief for police. Mr. Chen is charged with assault and forcible confinement. All charges for the thief are dropped. This is morally wrong and a perversion of the law. Thieves should not be able to steal and get away with it. How simple can this get? Explain this to a 4 year old and s/he would easily understand, yet Toronto police struggle with this issue. It is no wonder when people refuse to cooperate with police.
While the large big box grocery stores (Loblaws/No Frills, Price Chopper, Food for Less, Metro) duke it out with themselves, a large contingent ethnic Canadians continue to shop locally, shunning the local big boys. Why is this? There are many advantages to our local Chinese stores: Produce, of course, is specialized to Asian tastes, fruits and vegetables are so much fresher, grocers speak Chinese, checkout is usually extremely fast though a bit rough, and costs of goods is usually cheaper.