Canadian Pacific Railway

Chinese Canadians and the Canadian Pacific Railway are tied together in the myth and lore of Canada. Chinese workers built the difficult western portion of the trans-continental railroad, suffering injury and death in numbers far beyond those of other labourers. In helping build the CPR, Chinese Canadians helped create not only the ribbon of steel that tied together the new nation of Canada from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, but also became an integral part of a global system of transportation. Canadian Pacific’s famous Empress ocean liners crossed the Pacific with Chinese passengers and crew members. Connecting Hong Kong to London in a integrated route of trans-oceanic ships and trans-continental trains, the Canadian Pacific depended upon the Chinese passengers who generated a significant portion of its trans-Pacific revenues.