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· Vanishing Natural Habitat
· First Nations in the City
· Seeking a New Home
This is a link to a map of the cities of British Columbia with an optional close-up map of Vancouver and Victoria.

FOCUS  Vancouver and Victoria

Seeking a New Home
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This is a black and white photograph of the first graduation class of the Victoria Chinese Public School, taken outside on the front steps.
First graduation class, Victoria Chinese Public School, ca. 1900. BC Archives D-08821.
Chinese immigrants worked in coalmines and fish canneries, served as cooks and houseboys, and supplied vegetables to many people in Victoria and Vancouver. Benevolent associations were established, shops built, and thriving but separate communities were created in Victoria and Vancouver. In the 1890s Victoria's Chinatown was known for its maze of alleyways and courtyards, containing everything from theatres and restaurants to gambling dens. By the 1920s Vancouver's Chinese community had its own hospital, six schools and two Chinese theatres.
Sitting room in a Vancouver rooming house, 1902. BC Archives D-00336.
This is a black and white photograph of seven men in a sitting room in a Vancouver rooming house, in 1902.
Food containers from Chinatown. RBCM 973.152.4, 965.6021.1a,967.51.3.
This is an image of three food containers from Chinatown.
These newcomers were often unwelcome. They faced racism, were discriminated against at work, made to pay head taxes, and sometimes were abused and reviled.
In 1907 an anti-Chinese riot in Vancouver caused much damage to Vancouver's Chinatown. The provincial government on several occasions tried to prohibit persons of Chinese origin from entering the province, but the federal government disallowed this legislation. But in 1923 the federal government passed legislation that prohibited most Chinese people from entering Canada, a law not repealed until 1947.
When British Columbia's efforts to exclude Chinese people failed, a head tax was introduced to limit the number entering Canada. Initially $50, the tax was raised in 1903 to $500 – a heavy burden for a poor Chinese labourer.RBCM 982.134.378.
This is an image of a Dominion of Canada head tax receipt from a Chinese labourer.
Seeking a New Home -