Migration to Toronto

From The Chinese in Toronto from 1878: From Outside to Inside the Circle | Arlene Chan | 2011 (available in a public library)

Clan and District Associations

Surname and home territory were used as eligibility for membership in the clan and distriction assocaitons. The early immigrants, who came to Canada in the 1880s, were predominantly (87 percent) from Si Yi, meaning Four Counties or Districts, and San Yi, meaning Three Counties or Districts, all southwest of the capital city of Guangzhou in the Guangdong province ....

The four counties in Si Yi are Taishan, Kaiping, Xinhua and Enping, the homebase of 64 percent of the immigrants. Nearly one quarter of all Chinese immigrants came from the Taishan county alone, a mountainous coastal region where the agricultural output could only support its population of half a millsion people for four months out of the year .... [p. 52]


In 1910 there were 10 clan and two district associations in Toronto (see Table 8). The most prominent famly associaton halls were located around Dundas Street and Elizabeth Street, the centre of the Chinese community. [p. 54].

Table 8: Clan and District Associations in Toronto, 1910
Association Name Type
Lung Kong Kung So Multiple surname association (Liu, Kwan, Cheung, Chiu)
Soo Yuen Tong Multiple surname association (Liu, Fong, Kwong)
Lem She Kong So Single surname -- Lin (Lem)
Wong Wun Sun King So Single surname -- Li (Le3)
Mark Chee Hing tong Single surname -- Mai (Mark)
Low Kong Kung So Single surname -- Wu (Ng)
Wong Min Shing Kung So Single surname -- Huang (Wong)
Kwan Lung Si Tong Single surname -- Guan (Kwan)
Hong Tung Kong So Single surname -- Hong
Kwong Chow Hui Kuan District association -- Guangzhou (Kwong Chow)
Kwong Hoi Hui Kuan District association -- Kwong Hoi

Source: Adapted from Richard H. Thompson, Toronto's Chinatown (New York: AMS Press, 1989), 64.

More general information on Chinese-Canadian Geneaology is available online at the Vancouver Public Library.

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