The Exclusion Period: 1923–1946
Poem by Susan Chew, published in the Victorian Daily Colonist, c. 1939–1945. Courtesy of Susan Chew.
The Exclusion Period: 1923–1946

In 1923, the federal government passed a policy of strict exclusion for Chinese immigrants. During this time, called the ‘Exclusion Period’, the Chinese population in Canada dropped by 25 percent. Chinese Canadians also faced the same pressures as other Canadians, notably the economic crisis of the Great Depression (1929–1939), and the political crisis of World War Two (1939–1945). Despite these hardships, Chinese Canadian women achieved some important firsts. In 1923, Agnes Chan and Dr. Victoria Chung became the first Chinese Canadian women to graduate from nursing school and medical school, respectively. In 1946, Gretta Wong Grant was the first Chinese Canadian woman called to the bar. Please select from the links below to explore key moments in this period.

Early Chinese Migration and Head Tax:
18581881-18851885May 188519071922
The Exclusion Period:
Family Reunifications and Illegal Immigration:
Growth and Recognition: