Asian heritage in Canada

People of Asian descent have contributed in many ways to history in Canada. Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) are pleased to highlight a sample of national historic persons, places and events related to Asian Heritage in Canada.

Do you know of a person, place, or event related to Asian heritage that should be recognized?
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Featured designations

Black and white photo of a few men standing near the corner of a building

Exclusion of Chinese Immigrants National Historic Event (1923-1947)

The efforts of Chinese Canadians to dismantle racist immigration restrictions led to the successful repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1947.

Location : Commemorative plaque: Vancouver, British Columba

More information about this designation

Black and white photo of a baseball team with Asahi written on each person's shirt

Asahi Baseball Team National Historic Event

Between 1914 and 1941, amidst open racism, Vancouver’s Asahi Baseball team thrilled fans by winning championships in senior amateur leagues, becoming a symbol of the Japanese-Canadian struggle for equality and respect.

Location : Commemorative plaque: 400 Powell Street, Vancouver, British Columbia

More information about this designation

Vietnamese refugees boarding second Airlift from Hong Kong to Canada

Arrival of Vietnamese Refugees in Canada National Historic Event

After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, Canada accepted nearly 200,000 Vietnamese refugees who fled persecution and difficult living conditions, and braved significant dangers.

More information about this designation

May is Asian Heritage Month

Every May, the Government of Canada commemorates Asian Heritage to honour the many achievements and contributions of people of Asian origin. The theme for 2024 is Preserving the past, embracing the future: amplifying Asian Canadian legacy.

More Asian Heritage

An alter in a temple

Abbotsford Sikh Temple

In 1911, Sikh pioneers from India built a temple in Abbotsford, British Columbia, as a place of worship and centre for the social and political life of South Asian immigrants in Canada.

Black and white portrait of a hockey player in jersey

Breaking Racial Barriers in the National Hockey League

Despite the exclusion and segregation in the early years of the National Hockey League, some racialized players, like Chinese Canadian Larry Kwong, were able to fight prejudice and play in hockey’s greatest league.

Black and white photo of workers at their camp site

Chinese Construction Workers on Pacific Railway

In the early 1880s, thousands of labourers from China came to British Columbia to help build the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Rocky Mountains. Those remaining in Canada after the railway work was completed established the basis of British Columbia’s Chinese community.

Black and white portrait of a man

Cunningham vs. Tomey Homma

This legal battle provided pre-Charter human rights activists with a compelling illustration of the need for measures that would protect basic rights of Canadians, particularly concerning equality regarding race.

Black and white photo of a group of people on a boat

The Komagata Maru Incident of 1914

In May 1914, the S.S. Komagata Maru, carrying 376 Punjabi prospective immigrants, was stalled in Vancouver. Travellers were forced to remain on board for two months, with many passengers sent back to India.

A building on a street in Vancouver

Vancouver Japanese Language School

The Vancouver Japanese Language School is a rare surviving example of an interwar foreign language school in one of British Columbia’s oldest immigrant neighbourhoods.

A building with distinctive Asian structures and decorations

Victoria’s Chinatown

Victoria’s Chinatown, is the oldest and most intact Chinatown in Canada, representing the architectural, residential, and social aspects of early Chinese settlement in British Columbia.

Man smiling and holding a document

Wong Foon Sien (1901-1971)

Wong Foon Sien was an ardent activist for the recognition of the rights of the Chinese-Canadian community, and instrumental in the campaign to lift immigration restrictions.

Search through over 3,600 designations listed in the Directory of Federal Heritage Designations (DFHD)

The Directory of Federal Heritage Designations offers a complete list of federal designations stemming from various programs. It includes information on districts, buildings, events, railway stations, lighthouses and people who are of historic value or interest.

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