I was born, raised and educated in Toronto, Canada. After obtaining an undergraduate degree in English and Psychology at the University of Toronto, I graduated with a master’s degree in library sciences. My career as a librarian started at the North York Board of Education and ended at the Toronto Public Library where I spent 30 years in progressively advanced positions.
My seven books about the history, culture, and traditions of the Chinese in Canada have been published over the last twenty years. When I'm not researching, writing, speaking to groups, or leading tours, I can be found searching for the best food in Chinatown.
I am currently serving as the President of the Jean Lumb Foundation, member of the Ontario Infrastructure Heritage Interpretation Working Group, advisory member of the Toronto Public Library's Chinese Canadian Archive, and member of Myseum of Toronto's Programming Committee. Most recently, I was a cultural consultant for the Disney Pixar feature film, Turning Red.
I am honoured to be the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award (2013), Heritage Toronto Special Achievement Award (2017), Woman of Achievement Award, Tri Delta Convention, Dallas, Texas (2018), Chinese Canadian Legend Award (2022), and Queen Elizabeth II Platinuum Jubilee Award (2022).