Nights at Canton
This project is a personal reflection on Canton Chilli, a Chinese restaurant beloved by many for their cheap and generous portions of greasy Chinese food. Whether it’s after a late-night out drinking with friends or a late-night in studying at the library, I could always count on Canton on my trip home in the early hours of the night.
I captured the storefront of Canton Chilli—they have recently renovated their interior so it now looks much more polished and sleek. Peeking inside the windows, I can still remember the many times spent here eating, chatting, and laughing. In my mind, the mint green walls are tiled with drawings and messages on printer paper, each expressing their adoration for the restaurant. We’d point out ones that we found funny between bites of chow mein and chilli chicken. I also documented a recent meal I ordered for takeout to walk through how you can make your own memory at Canton Chilli. In the background, you can hear a recording of the ambient noise heard on a Spadina evening.
Thank you to Lilian Leung for her support and guidance during this project. Also thank you to the other participants in the workshop for sharing conversations, stories, and knowledge.
Sources: Images of the old interior of the restaurant are taken by Calin Alexander (May 2018) and Shamim Imtiaz (April 2017) from the Google Maps profile of Canton Chilli.