The Dragon Centre is the foundation of what became "Scarborough Chinatown." In 1984 Chinese-Canadian entrepreneurs Henry and Daniel Hung bought a former roller-skating rink, tucked away behind and existing strip mall, and transformed it into a new shopping space for the growing suburban chinese community. By the mid 80s, approximately 40.000 Chinese-Canadian lived in Scarborough, 25.000 of which in the Agincourt area. The early days of the Dragon Centre were marred in controversy, however, as xenophobic sentiment animated the majority of the existing white population. Tensions around the lack of parking parking space and the influx of shoppers on the weekend, resulted in episodes of racial hatred that drew the attention of national media. The Federation of Chinese Canadian in Scarborough was created in the aftermath to provide a united platform for the community. Representatives participated to the newly created Mayor's Task Force on Race Relations as well as the Multicultural and Race Relations Committee of the Human Services of Scarborough. Despite these effort, the tensions that arose around the creation of the Dragon Centre re-emerged with the establishment of other malls and plazas in the Midland and Sheppard area.
Tony Wong, "New Canadians with global connections; what is the legacy of immigration programs that drew many enterprising Chinese to Canada? Major Canadian Businesses with Links around the World," Toronto Star, May 10, 1999,
Gay Abbate, "Serious Racial Problems Predicted for Scarboro," The Globe and Mail, Jul 09, 1984.
Wing K. Yung, "Ethnicity and Public Policy The Chinese in Metropolitan Toronto" (PhD diss., University of Toronto, 1998), 270-73