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Pierre Berton and the National Dream - Part 9 of 10

This is the ninth in a series of ten posts from an article prepared by Derek Boles, our TRHA historian on the occasion of the 35th Anniversary of the Groundbreaking TV "National Dream" Series - Russ Milland

The books and TV series made Canadians aware of the contribution of the Chinese railway workers in building the CPR. In the picture at left from the movie, Chines workers are portrayed at one of the work sites. Click on the picture for a closer look!

The previously obscure contribution of the Chinese railway workers became common knowledge to every school-age child and even generated its own mythology, enhanced by a frequently broadcast television Heritage Minute. "They say there is one dead Chinese man for each mile of track, that's what they say," intones the old man to his granddaughters. Click here to read more.

While the heroic sacrifices of the Chinese railway workers are undisputed, they did not build all or even most of the CPR across Canada. They were employed to help build a 200 mile section in British Columbia only, albeit one of the most difficult and dangerous sections of the 3,000 mile transcontinental railway. The Chinese Railway Workers Memorial commemorating this contribution was dedicated here in Toronto near Skydome in 1989.

In the picture at left, we see the Chinese Railway Workers Memorial on Blue Jays Way south of Front Street . Click on the picture for a closer look! (Photo by Derek Boles)

By Derek Boles, TRHA Historian

Click here to read Part 10.
Click here to return to Part 8.

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