On November 7, 1885, at Craigellachie near Eagle Pass, the final golden spike was struck by Donald A. Smith, a principal shareholder. The ceremony was attended by a crowd of formally dressed gentlemen, proud of the miracle that Canada had wrought: the construction of the longest railway in the world. And they had done it without having a sizeable population, sufficient funds or adequate resources to overcome the complexity of the task.

However, during such an important and meaningful moment, not a single Chinese laborer was present to celebrate. And even after their significant contribution to Canada’s development, these unheard heroes did not earn the right to live freely in this country. The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway represented the beginning of decades of struggle for the Chinese to be recognized as Canadians.