As May draws to a close, so too does Asian Heritage Month – a month dedicated to recognizing the contributions Asian-Canadians have made and continue to make. The News reflects on one such individual, Loo Quong Sang, who contributed significantly to southern Alberta’s historic economy and culture. While Loo was not the only Asian-Canadian within this region, his is among the few whose presence can be found in historical records.
LOO QUONG SANG
Originally from China, Loo Quong Sang arrived in Canada in approximately 1905. In approximately 1909, Loo settled in Lethbridge and established a small grocery and tobacco store, which also served warm meals. Loo became a well-known and active member of Lethbridge’s commerce industry, fostering healthy competition among fellow store and restaurant owners. He was known for being friendly and accommodating.
In the early 1920s, Loo’s store burned down. He then moved to Burdett to join his son Ying, who owned a cafe there. Under Loo’s guidance, the cafe was soon transformed into Chong Ying Co. restaurant and grocery store. Loo and Ying worked at the business until Ying’s death in the early 1940s.
Loo, who was known as a skilled baker – specifically for pies and Christmas cake, passed away shortly after his son. His legacy continued however, when several of his family members and employees took over the business, eventually selling it and moving back to Lethbridge, where they opened a cafe and confectionery.
KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News