Joseph Yu Kai Wong

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Joseph Yu Kai Wong, CM is a noted Canadian physician and philanthropist, particularly in the Chinese Canadian community in the Greater Toronto Area. He founded the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in 1987.[1] He served as the chairman for the United Way of Greater Toronto from 1990 to 1992[2] and has been honorary chair since 1994.[3]

He was named Man of the Year in 1986 by the Toronto Star, and one of Toronto's most influential people in 1991 and 1992 by Toronto Life magazine.[4] He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1993.[5] Wong was the winner of the 2005 Power of Humanity award, presented to him by former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.[6] Most recently, he was named one of the 180 most influential people in Toronto's history by the Toronto Star for the city's 180th birthday, under the Community Builders category.[7]

Early life[edit]

Wong came to Canada to study medicine at McGill University, but he studied electrical engineering due to restrictions to foreign students. He later studied medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York City and returned to Canada after graduation.

Social activism[edit]

Wong became a social activist after condemning the "Campus Giveaway" report by CTV's W5 for its inaccurate portrayal of Canadian university students of Chinese descent as undeserving foreign students.[8] As a result of this campaign to correct a racially-based injustice, he helped to found the Chinese Canadian National Council, served as its first president, and later campaigned for redress of the discriminatory Head Tax applied to Chinese labourers entering Canada from the late 19th century to 1947.[9]

As a board member of the United Way of Greater Toronto, Wong helped to change the organization's stodgy image by enlisting the city's Chinese community to hold their first-ever fundraising Walkathon in 1983.[10] He later served as chair of the board and remains an honorary chair.

Wong is the founder and chair of the Association for Learning and Preserving the History of World War II in Asia in Toronto (Toronto ALPHA).[11] His tireless work with Toronto ALPHA has led to the province of Ontario to become the first jurisdiction in the western world to include the history of the Second World War in Asia in the high school curriculum.[12]

Personal life[edit]

A practicing family doctor in Toronto,[13] Wong is a married father of two sons.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Story". Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  2. ^ "" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  3. ^ "/" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  4. ^ "Chan, Arlene. The Chinese in Toronto from 1878: From Outside to Inside the Circle". Dundern, 2011. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  5. ^ Order of Canada citation
  6. ^ "Governor General to attend Power of Humanity Awards dinner in Toronto". News Release, Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  7. ^ "It’s Toronto’s 180th birthday: Here are 180 people who made a difference". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  8. ^ "Thirty years ago one documentary awoke a silent community". The Globe And Mail. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  9. ^ "Canadians For Redress". Chinese Canadian National Council. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  10. ^ "A 50-year history of United Way and Toronto-the-giving". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  11. ^ "Toronto ALPHA Board of Directors". Toronto ALPHA. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  12. ^ "Joseph Wong on Rape of Nanking (Hr. 3)". CBC Radio, The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  13. ^ "Wong Joseph Y K Dr - Details". Retrieved 2014-04-08.