Plum Blossom from the Bitter Cold: Selections from the Chinese Canadian Archive

Image credit: Mavis and Dennis Chu on a tricycle
Unknown photographer
No date
Courtesy of Mavis Garland

About the Exhibit

Toronto Public Library's award-winning Chinese Canadian Archive provides a home for materials that capture the fascinating history of Chinese Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area. Through photos, correspondence, diaries, memorabilia and other donated records, the Archive documents Chinese Canadians' daily life, community spirit and contributions to our city and to Canada.

We welcome you to join us for this look at an ambitious work in progress. It is our hope to inspire you to consider your own family's records: they are valuable documents, whether they remain cared for within the family or are donated to an Archive such as this one. The story of Toronto and our country is told not only by official documents like statutes and treaties, but also by the kinds of documents that you will see in this exhibition.

Arlene Chan performs a ribbon dance at the Opera Ball
Ray McFadden

Hien Tong Vuong's son Sing at Queen's Park
Unknown photographer
July 1, 1980

Related Programming

Launch for Plum Blossom from the Bitter Cold Exhibit

Join us for a reception celebrating this exhibit. Mix and mingle with the TD Gallery team. Refreshments provided.

RSVP by August 20 at

Monday August 26, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
TD Gallery at the Toronto Reference Library

Mid-Autumn Festival

Referred to in China as zhongqiujie (中秋节), the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the largest festivals in Mainland China and East Asia. Join award-winning Professor Chef Leo Chan and Ann Hui, author of Chop Suey Nation, for stories on the foods and etiquettes that are traditionally appreciated during this classical and harmonious celebration.

Thursday September 12, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Atrium

Guided Tours

Please join a Special Collections staff member on a free guided tour. Meet inside the TD Gallery at the Toronto Reference Library. Drop in. No registration required.

Tuesdays at 2 pm

Reading List

Picked by the exhibit's curator, these works by Chinese Canadian writers tell stories of the community and its ties with the homeland and Canada. Some manuscripts of these books are part of the Chinese Canadian Archive.