Located moments from Parliament Hill and Downtown, Chinatown is a charming neighbourhood where east meets west in the heart of Canada's multicultural capital. Home to the award-winning Chinese imperial style arch. Ottawa's Chinatown welcomes visitors 365 days a year.
Ottawa's first Asian residents arrived over 100 years ago and by the 1930s, there were over 300 people in what was to become "Chinatown." Subsequent waves of immigrants came to the area from all over Asia, bringing their culture and strong work ethic and setting up many of Ottawa's early businesses and organizations.
This strong nucleus of Asian residents attracted many more to the area and by the early 1970s, there were over 3,000 Chinese residents in Ottawa. Ottawa also welcomed thousands of "Boat People" from Vietnam in the late 1970s which saw private citizens and social organizations sponsor almost 4,000 refugees, some of whom have become proud and successful business owners in Chinatown today.
In April 1989, the Corporation of the City of Ottawa designated Somerset Street West between Rochester Street and Bay Street as an improvement area called the Somerset Heights Business Improvement Area. In 2005, the City approved that the name be changed to the Somerset Street Chinatown Business Improvement Area. In 2008, the City approved the BIA boundary expansion from Rochester Street to Preston Street.
The Ottawa Chinatown BIA is a membership-based not-for-profit organization joined by local businesses and commercial property owners to improve, promote, and undertake projects that will result in a stronger and more competitive commercial district- known as the Ottawa Chinatown. The range of activities that the BIA undertakes are marketing, business recruitment, streetscape improvement & beautification, seasonal decorations, and special event organization. While representing the interests of businesses in our area, the Ottawa Chinatown BIA is committed to being socially responsible. Through working with the businesses and residents, we strive to make the Ottawa Chinatown a multicultural village, a nice place to work, do business, live, and stay!
Strategically located in the centre of the Ottawa-Gatineau capital region, Chinatown is attracting young families and professionals who want the convenience of a downtown location, but also want a village atmosphere. This family-friendly area offers a variety of community centres for families and youth, and has a full-service health centre. Its central location, affordable property values, and easy access to local services make Chinatown an ideal place for your home or business!