Chinese Mill

A stone relic recalls Quebec City’s once-thriving Chinatown.

Written by Anne-Gaëlle Weber

Posted February 14, 2023

This Chinese grain mill from Hong Kong was found at the intersection of Saint-Vallier Est and La Chapelle streets, in the Saint-Roch district of Quebec City. It was used to grind soybeans, rice, beans, wheat, and corn for the Chinese restaurant Le Canton, which operated between 1968 and 1978.

Between 1960 and 1990, economic activities declined in this sector of the city and shopkeepers migrated to the suburbs. In addition, in the early 1970s, the construction of the Dufferin-Montmorency Highway led to the massive expropriation of properties in the district, including the homes of more than a hundred Chinese-Canadian families. Contrary to Montreal, Quebec City no longer has a Chinatown district.

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This object resides at Archaeological collections of the City of Quebec.

This article originally appeared in Cinquante Merveilles de nos musées: les plus beaux trésors de la Francophonie Canadienne. The special interest publication was part of Projet Portage, a five-year initiative to connect history lovers in French and English Canada, generously supported by the Molson Foundation.

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