Chinatown Gates on new Canadian stamps

May 2nd, 2013

These 8 domestic-rate PERMANENT stamps are part of Canada Post's creative new series dedicated to gates of Chinatown.

Victoria's Gate of Harmonious Interest, built in 1981, stands in the heart of Canada's first Chinatown. The gate blends traditional and symbolic elements and features hand-carved stone lions from Victoria's sister city, Suzhou. One pillar commemorates Chinese Canadians who fought and died in World War II.

Vancouver's Millennium Gate, built in 2002, was inspired by the Inner City Gates of 19th-century and 20th-century Beijing. It combines Eastern and Western designs to represent the past and future of the community.

The Chinatown Gate in Edmonton benefited from the expertise of Chinese architects and craftsmanship from the sister city of Harbin. Built in 1987, the gate features traditional Chinese motifs, colours, decorative tiles and ornate lighting.

Founded in 1909, Winnipeg's Chinatown is one of Canada's older Chinese communities. The gate, built in 1987, is a pedestrian overpass that connects and complements the Dynasty and Mandarin buildings.

Located at the entrance to the Mississauga Chinese Centre, this city's timber gate was constructed solely with traditional wooden studs. Cooperation between China and Canada is demonstrated in the government support and construction expertise that made this gate possible.

Toronto's Zhong Hua Men Archway, standing at Gerrard East and Hamilton Streets in Toronto's Chinatown East, was built thanks to many Canadian and Chinese partners. The gate honours Chinese Canadian settlers, particularly those who laboured on the transcontinental railway.

Built in 2010, the Ottawa Chinatown Gateway, featuring nine roofs, is a royal Chinese arch that can only be built in capital cities. The gate has good-luck symbols embedded within, including five Chinese coins, one of which is at least 1,000 years old!

Montreal's Chinatown actually has four gates—North, South, East and West. The North and South gates span St. Laurent Boulevard, while the smaller East and West gates mark pedestrian walkways. The North Gate on the stamp was donated by the city of Shanghai in 1999.

For this series of stamps, 8 illustrators across the country took to their communities to create watercolour paintings of the gates. Stamp designer Helene L'Heureux of Interaction/design then used these renderings to create unique stamps that work together as a set.

The artists highlighted the most important angle for the gate in their community, and gave each stamp a truly local feel.

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