Montréal has four páilou 牌樓 'ceremonial gateways' — two small ones on Rue de la Gauchetière and two big ones on Boulévard Saint-Laurent. The small ones are older; their writing (Mǎndìkě Huábù 滿地可華埠 'Montréal Chinatown') runs right to left and they were already erected when we last visited this city, in 1998. The new ones date from 1999 and bear heavy metal plaques listing many dignitaries involved in their erection, including the Mayor of Shanghai at the time, Xú Kuāngdí 徐匡迪. Now 75 years old, Xú has had a long career as a professor of engineering but remains active in Chinese political life.
Both of the large gateways read Tángrénjiē 唐人街 'Chinatown' on the outside. Inside the northwestern one it says zhǒngshì zēnghuá 踵事增華 'to inherit a [great] task and increase the level of talent [applied to it]' and inside the southeastern one it says zhōnglíng yùxiù 鍾靈毓秀 'for concentrated spiritual power to cultivate excellence'.
Resounding phrases are cheap; I would have preferred to find better cooking in this Chinatown. Only Mai Xiang Yuan was actually good enough to recommend (as I have done in a separate post). Mai Xiang Yuan's sister establishment Délicieux Xiang (满城飘湘) was memorably dreadful and we wondered if the normal cook was off duty, or perhaps the menu was directed at tourists who don't actually like Chinese cooking.
May the values of sound engineering be applied to all branches of human endeavor!