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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Memorial to Commemorate the Chinese Railroad Workers in Canada

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The “Memorial to Commemorate the Chinese Railroad Workers in Canada” was created by Eldon Garnet and Franicis LeBouthillier. It is located at the intersection of Blue Jays Way and Navy Warf Ct. It is made primarily of wood and metals and was erected in 1989. It is not uncommon to find new wreaths laying at the foot of this memorial, as many Chinese associations continue to pay their respects.

The inscription on one side of the monument reads:

“Dedicated to the Chinese railroad workers who helped construct the Canadian Pacific railway through the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and British Columbia thus uniting Canada geographically and politically.”

“From 1880 to 1885 seventeen thousand men from the province of Kwangtung (Guangdong), China, came to work on the Western section of the railway through the treacherous terrain of the Canadian Rockies. Far from their families, amid hostile sentiments, these men labour long hours and made the completion of the railway physically and economically possible.”

“More than four thousand Chinese workers lost their lives during construction. With no means of going back to China when their labour was no longer needed, thousands drifted in near destitution along the completed track. All of them remained nameless in the history of Canada.”

“We erect this monument to remember them.” September 1989

photos by Shaun Merritt.



  1. I really like this monument.
    I had never seen or heard of it before now, but as soon as I get back to Toronto, I’ll be sure to visit it so as to pay my respects.