Kwong Yick & Company General Merchants

10130 97 Street, Edmonton

Also known through the years as Hong King Café, Kin MB Grocer, Wah On Chung, Kwong Yick Lung Grocery, Hop Sang Wing Company, Ming Sang Company, and Wing Hing Company

Since 1908, this building (old address was 44 and later changed to 144 Namayo Avenue) was the premise of several Chinese grocery stores or restaurants over the years. The building was typical of the mercantile development along Namayo Avenue at that time with commercial spaces on the ground level and residential occupancy on the upper level. The rectangular front façade that was originally clad with painted wood siding on the upper level was replace in later years with a stucco finish. Large glazed wood windows on the main floor facing the east offer the public a view of the merchant’s wares from the streets.

Based on C. E. Goad’s Fire Insurance Map 1907 (revised to 1911), this building was in existence in 1907, but no evidence of any Chinese occupancy until 1908. In 1908 it was Kwong Yick, a Chinese goods store, and Lee Puk was the proprietor. It was the Kwong Yick & Company Restaurant from 1909 to 1912; Hong King Café in 1913; Kwong Yick & Company - General Merchants, from 1914-1917; Kin MB Grocer between 1919-1921; Kwong Yick Sing and Kwong Yick Lung were listed as occupying the same address in 1922. It could have been that Kwong Yick Sing was the proprietor of Kwong Yick Lung Company; Wah On Chung in 1923; Lung Kung Zick in 1924; Kwong Yick Lung Grocery from 1925-1932; Kwong Yick Lung Grocery and Hop Sang Wing Company in 1933-1934; vacant in 1935; Hop Sang Wing Company from 1936-1946; vacant in 1947; Ming Sang Company occupied it from 1948-1952; Wing Hing Company in 1953 and before the building’s demolition in the late 1970s it was the Chung Hing Ltd. (Chinese general merchandise store).

The original address of the building was 44 Namayo Avenue and then 144 Namayo Avenue before 1915. When the city of Edmonton converted street names to street numbers in 1915 the building became 10130 97 Street.

The only business for which there is information is related to a Chinese man named Kin MB. The Edmonton Bulletin reported on March 1, 1921 that the Chinese proprietor of a Chinese store at 10130 97th Street was arrested at a Saturday midnight raid and charged with illegal possession of opium worth $3,500. His name was Mah B. Kim in one newspaper article and Mah Kin in another, so it is most likely Kin MB based on the store address, year of the newspaper and similarity of the two names, the proprietor of Kin MB grocers. He and his clerk, Mah On, were taken into police custody and they were to appear in court and fined. Police raids of Chinese premises along Namayo Avenue and Rice Street (101A Avenue) for gambling or possession of opium were well covered in the Edmonton Bulletin, Edmonton Journal and Strathcona newspapers.

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Era: Urban Growth
Themes: Trade & Industry
Cultural Groups: Chinese
Area: Central

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    • 53.542551 -113.485818