Happy birthday to us! Twenty-three years ago, on March 10th 1997, Hong Shing opened its doors for the first time.
In an industry known for short-lived success, we’re delighted to still be in the game, serving up the best family-style Chinese food in Toronto.
Still, Hong Shing is so much more than General Tao Chicken or Honey Spicy Crispy Beef. For us, it’s all about bringing people together from all corners of the 6ix and beyond.
But how did Hong Shing become a Toronto staple? Take a walk down memory lane with us… Let’s rewind that mixtape to a time of more humble beginnings…
Learning to Cook Chinese-Canadian Style
Hong Shing’s origins may be familiar to many people in the diverse, culture-rich city of Toronto.
The way current owner Colin Li tells it, his parents immigrated to Canada in the late 1980’s. Faced with limited employment options, they turned to familiar territory: the kitchens of Toronto’s Chinese restaurants.
Mr. Li had trained professionally to be a chef in China. At first, he was shocked by the unconventional dishes he found being served in Chinatown, which had been adapted to local flavour preferences and ingredients.
However, he soon embraced this unique Chinese-Canadian cuisine, and began to create his own recipes for classics like Chop Suey and General Tao’s Chicken.
Eventually, Mr. Li became an accomplished chef at the popular—now closed—Garden restaurant. Having gained work experience in the business, he was hungry for more. He wanted to build something special for his family and the mosaic of a city that had embraced him and his wife.
Hong Shing Opens Its Doors
Mr. and Mrs. Li set their sights on opening their own restaurant—one that could serve both traditional Chinese cuisine and the new favourites they had mastered in Canada.
On March 10, 1997, they opened Hong Shing restaurant in Toronto’s original Chinatown, near the corner of Dundas and University. Even though Chinatown has since moved, Hong Shing stands tall in its original location.
They eventually passed ownership and operations completely over to their son Colin, who still runs the restaurant today.
He continues to build on his parent’s legacy of serving quality family-style Chinese cuisine to the people who made Hong Shing everything that it is.
Serving The Toronto Community
Since its opening, Hong Shing has become many things to the Toronto community: a favourite downtown lunch spot, a midnight snack provider, and a go-to place for take out.
The name Hong Shing means “strong and healthy” and “city fortress gate” in Cantonese.
It represents our vision for Toronto: a strong community, brought together by something that unites us all: great food with great people.
We’re humbled by the chance to continue building up the community and creating a sense of belonging in our city. It’s what we’ve been working towards for 23 years—and we’ll continue to do so and push boundaries for years to come.
Celebrate 23 Years Of Hong Shing With 50% Off General Tao Chicken
You’re invited to celebrate 23 years of Hong Shing with us!
Now, for a limited time only, you can get 50% off your order of Hong Shing General Tao Chicken, dish only.
Just use the code “Happy23” when you order Hong Shing online, or mention the code to your