Adventures in moving from Toronto to PEI : Starting Over without Chinese Food

It’s been 19 days since we moved to Stratford, PE!!!

It could have been 6 months ago and I wouldn’t have known the difference. Over the last 19 days, we’ve done nothing that would be considered noteworthy from a travel blog perspective. Our days have no formal structure aside from the development of a free form mandatory construct known as “nap time”.

The fact that my days are now complete overrun by a toddler’s nap schedule is preposterous and ridiculous. In 19 days, aside from shuffling boxes between rental properties, trying to unpack aforementioned boxes and trying to renovate another house within a reasonable budget … nothing constructive in terms of mental or physical progress has happened.

The lack of true predictability of nap time also has completely fucked my productivity. Actually, nap time does have some predictability … Nap time happens to me when anyone of the following things is occuring

  • When I have a constructive frame of mind
  • Thinking about a rest or conversation with anyone other than D*
  • Having a personal, individual moment

Starting over in Prince Edward Island is going to take a lot of transition and we’re prepared to try this experiment for 1-2 years. There are a lot of positives to be being here

  • Clean, fresh air with a waterview from our home
  • Tons of space to develop and grow herbs for cooking
  • Tons of potential with respect to tourism/rental opportunities
  • Many parks for Mitchell to roam and play in
  • Beautiful drives to see and beaches to relax on

That being said … I had a mini meltdown moment last night and it all happened when we ordered a pick up meal from Canton Cafe. My obsession with food and authenticity is well documented on this blog and I thought I was prepared for the stunning lack of food diversity here on the island. I’ve been cooking a lot over the last 18 days and things have been good, but there are times that you will have a craving for something you didn’t cook and last night was the night, where I wanted Chinese food.

My previous experiences with Chinese food on the “island” have been horrific to say the least. My most infamous experience was ordering food from “Beijing Restaurant“. I found out recently that they were cited for a health violation … see link here, but I could care less about sanitary conditions, if the food was great. NEVER ORDER from this place … it’s an affront to an entire culture of food. Basically, we ordered three dishes including a very simple fried rice … what came out was a boiled mess of rice, peas, carrots and ham. It was completely inedible, but I’m getting distracted from my crying session about Canton Cafe.

So we ordered from Canton Cafe … it’s a veritable institution here in Charlottetown and probably the only place you could have found food at 3am on the weekend. To give some context, D* and I avoided going to Mandarin in Toronto … because of my objections to their food. In fact, our conversations went like this

  • <D> I feel like Chinese food and chicken balls for dinner
  • <R> There is no such thing in Chinese cuisine. It’s some made up shit for white people
  • <D> I still feel like having it
  • <R> You want to pay $40 for three entrees and your Chicken Balls …. seriously it’s fucking garbage
  • <D> Fine … you’re right (this is the only time she ever says this by the way) … let’s order something decent

I can no longer deflect from the shitty Chinese food in PEI, because it is the only choice I’ve seen so far. It makes me cry inside and last night I cried for the traffic, lights and overpopulation of Toronto because of what we got at Canton Cafe.

BTW the order

  • Combo D : Egg Roll, Honey Garlic Spareribs, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Chicken Fried Rice
  • Combo E : Egg Roll, Chicken Chow Mein, Chicken Fried Rice
  • Chow Mein “Chinese Style” : Picture below


I’ll be on a quest to find good Chinese food in PEI. It must exist, because there is a growing Chinese population on the Island. That being said … this might be wishful thinking, since the market might not actually allow authentic Chinese food to exist. Of course, putting a post up like this where the island is a small place might not make me a lot of friends, but friends don’t let friends eat shity Chinese food. It’s an affront to the entire country and culture.

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

Check Also

What to do in PEI #12 : Cape Jourimain, New Brunswick

Every since my parents decided that they would visit us in PEI, visiting and crossing …

What to do in PEI #11 : Cape Bear Lighthouse

From my original PEI lighthouse tour blog post, I’ve gotten requests to write a bit …