After years of planning — and some government help — Ottawa’s Chinatown will finally be getting a gateway on Somerset Street.

The federal and provincial governments are both contributing $125,000 to the project, while the city donated the land the gateway will sit on when it is completed next summer.

Even China’s capital city of Beijing will have a role in setting up the gateway by designing the gate and providing special construction material, said Lan Lijun, the Chinese ambassador to Canada.

“The gateway will be a unique landmark in Ottawa and a popular tourist attraction that not only symbolizes the friendship between our two countries, our friendly co-operation, and the position and the pride of Canadian-Chinese, but also adds to Canada’s cultural diversity,” Lijun said.

Larry Lee, co-chair of the Ottawa Chinatown Gateway, said the landmark will put on display Ottawa’s Chinese heritage, which will enrich the heritage of the entire city.

While the gateway is being organized by the Chinese community, Peter So, chair of the Somerset Street Chinatown BIA, said it is proof that all newcomers to Canada are welcome.

The city’s Chinatown plays an important role in ensuring tourists have a great place to visit, and this gateway should add to the attractions in Ottawa, said Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi.

“I know this project has been talked about for a long, long time,” said Naqvi. “I look forward to this gateway finally being built and adding another landmark to this great city of ours.”

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