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Map of the province of Quebec, entitled 
Chinese Immigrants in Quebec Between 1910 - 1923. Map includes table showing this information: 
Arrivals in Q.C. - 2950
Montréal - 2866
Quebec - 47
Others - 37

Chinese Immigrants in Quebec Between 1910 - 1923

Arrivals in Q.C.

-  2950


-  2866


-  47


-  37

Students at the University of British Columbia used the Chinese General Registers to discover changing settlement patterns across Canada. This map shows where Chinese immigrants planned to settle in Quebec between 1910 and 1923.

Map produced by Edith Tam, Maria Ho, and Jeremy Alexander for Henry Yu, Department of History, UBC, and Sally Hermansen, Department of Geography, UBC.

Certificate with photograph of ten-year-old boy affixed to bottom right-hand corner

Head tax certificate for Chong Do Dang, 11 February, 1922

Page from studio photographer’s scrapbook which includes five small formal portraits of Chinese family

The Lu family, March 1913, Ottawa, Ont.

Click on each photo for an enlarged, printable version.

ARCHIVED - The Early Chinese Canadians

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

Head Tax Records

In this section

The General Registers of Chinese Immigration, 1885 to 1949 (the head tax records)

The General Registers (the head tax records) can now be searched online, using either the name of the individual, year of arrival, or certificate number.

In 1885, the Canadian government passed the first of a series of laws requiring most Chinese immigrants to pay an entry fee, or "head tax". To learn more about this legislation, see Racism in Law and Society in "The History" section of this website.

To administer this new law, the government started keeping detailed records of all immigrants from China. Information about head tax payment, date and place of birth, height and distinguishing characteristics, port of arrival, and intended destination in Canada, was handwritten into large ledger books called the General Registers of Chinese Immigration. The General Registers are stored under the care of Library and Archives Canada. They contain information about more than 95,000 people who arrived in Canada between 1885 and 1949.

Essay: Finding Ourselves in History

In this essay, Dr. Henry Yu of the University of British Columbia's Department of History, puts a personal face to the General Registers of Chinese Immigration. Dr. Yu's grandfather was a head tax payer whose arrival in Canada is recorded in the General Registers. In this excerpt from the book Finding Memories, Tracing Routes: Chinese Canadian Family Stories, Dr. Yu explores the relationship between family stories and the history revealed in official government documents.

Family Histories

Read memories from people who have looked for the names of their own family members in the online General Registers, found on this website.

If you have a family member whose name might have been recorded in the General Registers, tell us about them, using the Comments box to the left. What was the person's name? When did they arrive in Canada? Where did they settle? What kind of work did they do? What are your thoughts about their experiences?

Please note that some comments will be chosen for posting on this website, and become the property of Library and Archives Canada. Comments may be edited, and will be translated into French.