The centerpiece of the Chartwell Plaza has been, since opening in 1986, a food court showcasing a variety of East Asian style cuisines. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the area was designated as a commercial zone destined to host the first Chinese Movie Theater in Scarborough, seating 440 patrons and a 130-seat Chinese restaurant. The project was a joint venture of the Monarch Construction group, who owned the land, and Chinese Canadian Businessmen. Yet, this addition to the expanding Scarborough Chinatown was delayed and ultimately altered by a resurgence of the racial tensions that had emerged during the creation of the first Chinese Mall in Scarborough, the Dragon Centre. Once again, tensions crystallized around the amount of parking space needed for the project. However, the community lacked unity on the issue, the Federation of Chinese Canadian in Scarborough for instance recommended that more consultation be undergo to avoid that Chinese customers be blamed for the increased traffic congestion in the area. The project was downscaled and the movie theater development abandoned and the mall opened its door in November 1988. None of the original stands exist anymore in the food courts and the Aromaz Cake and Pastry stands in place of the Saint Anna Bakery.
Marianne Steeves, “Residents Block Chinese Theatre Planned for Mall," Toronto Star, Mar 04, 1986
Wing K. Yung, "Ethnicity and Public Policy The Chinese in Metropolitan Toronto" (PhD diss., University of Toronto, 1998), 273-303