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September 23, 2004
Official opening of three-tonne white Chinese lions
Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11:30 a.m.

Gerrard East and Hamilton (near Broadview)

Two, three-tonne marble lions will be unveiled to the community this Saturday
in their permanent home at the entrance to the East Chinatown commercial
district. Donated by the People's Republic of China to the City of Toronto,
they represent Phase I of the Zhong Hua Men Chinese Archway Project.

"These two white lions are breathtaking and are another significant tourist
draw to the area," said Councillor Paula Fletcher. "Upon seeing these
impressive sculptures, you know that you are entering East Chinatown -- a
distinctive and vibrant part of the city. The City of Toronto is sincerely
grateful to the government of China for this generous donation."

"Economic Development is proud to have partnered with the Chinese Chamber, East
Toronto in the construction of this setting for the beautiful stone lions,"
said Karen Thorne-Stone, Acting Executive Director, Economic Development. "The
lions are a tribute to Chinese art, culture, and the contributions of the
Chinese community to the
vitality of this neighbourhood and the city of Toronto. We look forward to
continuing work with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce on this exciting gateway

The stylized lions -- symbolically one male and one female -- celebrate Chinese
culture and the diverse make-up of the neighbourhood. The corner and pedestals
where they are situated have been built and landscaped by the City of Toronto
to encourage people to gather and take photos without having to position
themselves directly on the street. Two of the City of Toronto's departments --
Economic Development Culture and Tourism, and Works and Emergency Services --
have contributed resources towards the project.

Councillor Paula Fletcher, and other City of Toronto Councillors and Officials
will be joined by the following guests for the 11:30 a.m. public ceremony:
· Jack Layton, MP
· Marilyn Churley, MPP Toronto-Danforth
· Madame Chen, Consulate General of People's Republic of China
· Dale Cheung, President, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, East Toronto
· Leslieville Public School students
· Rick Telfer, School Trustee

Media contacts:
Cathy Guo: Councillor Paula Fletcher's office, 416-392-4060,
cell: 416-427-1826
Eva Pyatt: Acting Director, Small Business and Local Partnerships, Economic
Development, 416-392-7183



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