In the late 1960s, Jean helped in a campaign to save Toronto’s Chinatown. She was in charge of representatives from over 40 Chinese organizations who went to City Hall to save their Chinatown. Wealthy businessmen with their own ideas about improving the downtown area wanted to tear it down and build expensive high-rise apartments and offices. Jean and her group convinced the city politicians that Chinatown had to be saved. It was important to the Chinese community and to the people of the city. Led by the mayor of Toronto, David Crombie, the city limited the height of new buildings to four storeys. Chinatown was saved. Toronto’s Chinatown was not along it its fight against being demolished. Jean went to Vancouver and Calgary as the only woman representative to help save their Chinatowns too.
Excerpted from Spirit of the Dragon by Arlene Chan, published by Umbrella Press. Copyright © 1997 by Arlene Chan
Image Credit: Jean Lumb Collection