Monument, between Skydome (Rogers Centre) and Spadina Ave., south of Front St., beside the railyards, Toronto
This striking monument is a dramatic portrayal of a railway trestle under construction by Chinese railroad workers. Artist Eldon Garnett visualizes in this powerful sculpture the thousands of Chinese workers who helped build the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Rocky Mountains

They had come to Canada from Kwantung Province, far from their families and to a hostile environment. At least one worker died for each mile of track laid. More than 4,000 of the 17,000 who came lost their lives and remain nameless. Many were killed in blasting routes through the Fraser Canyon, while others were buried in mudslides or died from disease. These workers were brought to Canada because of the demand for cheap construction labour. Once the line was completed, a head tax was imposed to stop further Chinese immigration, a tax which rose to $500 by 1903. On 1 July 1923 all immigration from China was stopped, except for diplomats, rich merchants or students. This legislation was repealed in 1947, when Chinese Canadians gained full citizenship rights.

The memorial was unveiled September 1989. A wreath placed by the Ontario Federation of Labour on Workers’ Memorial Day read “In memory of our fellow workers killed at the work site”.

Photo Credit: Toronto Star