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The Last Spike

The murals located through Chinatown provide expression and celebration of the heritage and journey of Chinese in Canada, from the early days of the railroad through to today. The Last Spike is dedicated to those Chinese forefathers who endured hardship, trials, and considerable challenges in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway

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Hardship

Between 1881 and 1884, as many as 17,000 Chinese men came to British Columbia to work as labourers on the Canadian Pacific Railway. They took jobs no one else dared to do for a fraction of the wages of others.

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Lifestyle The Chinese railway workers lived in camps, sleeping in tents or box cars. They mainly ate a diet of rice and dried salmon washed down with tea. When it was time to move, the Chinese workers would take down their tents, pack their belongings and move to the next camp, often hiking over 40 kilometres.

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