Food, festivals and fun
Chinatown’s main strip in Ottawa is located along Somerset Street downtown, and signs for Somerset have Chinese subscript. The neighbourhood runs from Bay Street in the east to Rochester Street in the west.
While officially designated "Chinatown", the area is home to businesses from many Asian and other cultures. Merchants hail from all over the world including China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Spain, France, and Middle Eastern countries, each contributing their unique foods and wares.
Older homes, and apartments in triplexes, make up most of Chinatown, and renters can choose to rent a room in a house, or a whole floor. This area is in high demand because of its proximity to Little Italy and Centretown, and the rents reflect that. Many students of Carleton University and the University of Ottawa choose to share rental accommodations with roommates. Looking for rentals in the Chinatown area? Rentals.ca has plenty of apartments for rent, condos for rent, and houses for rent! We make it easy to find rentals in Chinatown.
Life & Style
Chinatown is a vibrant business and residential area offering a great variety of options for dining, shopping, and entertainment.
Shops and galleries to check out include Purple Urchin (natural soap and skincare products), Oriental Charm (an eclectic mix of kitchen items, garden decorations, and clothing), Kim Thanh Jewelry (gold, silver and jade), Possible Worlds (an artist-run shop, gallery and project space), and Art Flow Gallery (specializing in Asian and international art.)
Popular restaurants such as Yangtze, Mekong, Saigon Boy Noodle House, Royal Treasure, Korean Palace, Phuket Royal, Ginza Ramen, and Sushi 88 draw diners from all over Ottawa.
Well-attended festivals are held periodically in the neighbourhood, including the Chinatown Night Market, street art festival, and lion dances. Of course, Chinese New Year also draws both residents and visitors to take part in the annual celebrations. Windows and doors are decorated with red color paper-cut-outs with popular themes of good fortune, happiness, wealth, and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes, and eating dumplings and traditional foods.
A multicolour, striking archway accented in gold was constructed in 2010 at the entrance to the western section of Chinatown over Somerset Street, west of Bronson Avenue. The centre blue panel on the arch is Chinese characters that read "Ottawa Chinatown". The dragon on the left represents the Emperor, or government. The figure to the right is a civil servant or messenger riding a phoenix. Three mythical monsters follow him. When the arch was unveiled, Ottawa’s mayor at the time painted the lion’s eyes with water, washing them, and symbolically awakening the lions to guard and protect the community.
Dundonald Park is a nice green space at the Eastern edge of Chinatown, with trees, benches, and a play structure.