Hope's grandparents, great uncles and aunts emigrated from China to Victoria, British Columbia in the 1880s as part of a wave of Chinese immigrants working on the railway and in mines. His father and uncle established "Wo Hope Tailoring" ("peace and unity" in Chinese). Though the family's surname was Low, it was assumed by the doctor delivering Hope's eldest brother that the family surname was Hope so it is that name that was put on all of his siblings birth certificates, and his.
He left Canada in 1946 to study engineering at the University of Washington, earned his degree, and settled in Toronto. He was elected to as a trustee to the Toronto Board of Education in 1964 and elected chair in 1968. He was elected an alderman on Toronto City Council in the 1969 municipal election representing Ward 5. He remained on council until he was defeated in the 1985 municipal election by Ron Kanter. He won a seat as a Metro Councillor representing Midtown Ward in a 1987 by-election but was defeated the next year, in the 1988 election, by Ila Bossons. He attempted to return to council again in the 1991 election but was defeated by John Adams in Ward 13 by a narrow margin of 747 votes.
Hope also ran for office at other levels. In the 1967 provincial election he was the Ontario Progressive Conservative candidate in Riverdale placing second to James Renwick of the Ontario New Democratic Party. Decades later he ran for a seat in the Canadian House of Commons in the 1984 federal election as a Progressive Conservative but placed third in the riding of Spadina which included the Ward 5 Toronto seat he represented on city council.
After leaving politics, Hope continued his activity with the Chinese community as an advocate for reparations for the Chinese head tax After leaving politics he worked as a consultant for Environment Canada's "green plan" in the early 1990s and pursued a career as a real estate agent.
Hope died at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto on November 12, 2007.
Hope was survived by his second wife Audrey and children Judy, Michael and Madeline, from his first marriage to Alice Hope.
Electoral record (partial)
|Candidate||Total votes||% of total votes||Notes|
|Total valid votes||26,779||100.00|
146 out of 148 polls reporting.
|Canadian federal election, 1984: Spadina|
|New Democratic||Dan Heap||13,241|
|Progressive Conservative||Ying Hope||8,061|
|Libertarian||William E. Burt||358|
|Rhinoceros||Mara Maria Proussaefs||289|
- "From the head tax to hope" by Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star, February 15, 2006, page H5
- The Chinese Community in Toronto page 148
- "Hope loses in upset to community activist Bossons" by Lorne Slotnick and John Allemang, Globe and Mail page A20, November 15, 1988
- "Metro Toronto election results", Toronto Star, November 13, 1991 (special section)
- "PM must keep Tory pledge to repay head tax" by Ying Hope, Toronto Star page A13, October 11, 1993.
- "The greening of Ying Hope", Globe and Mail, August 14, 1992
|Toronto Public School Trustee - Ward 5
|Toronto Public School Board Chair - Ward 5
|Toronto Alderman for Ward 5
|Metro Toronto Councillor - Mid-Town