"But Women Did Come":
Chinese Women in Canada


The Global Gathering Place Education Series


"But Women Did Come" is an historical photo exhibit that was originally titled "But Women Did Come": 150 Years of Chinese Women in North America. The exhibit premiered at the Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library in 1987, bringing together two complimentary shows, one on Chinese American Women and the other on the history of Chinese women in Canada. Shown together, the photographs told compelling and rich stories of the lives of Chinese women in North America from the pioneer days (approximately 1830s) to the 1980s.

The exhibit was unique because the lives of Chinese women are scarcely covered in history books. If referred to at all, women are cited in footnotes or as passing statistics. In reality, women were instrumental in the growth and development of the Chinese communities across Canada.

The following historical panels are part of the "But Women Did Come": 150 Years of Chinese Women in North America exhibit and have been prepared for use in the classroom. They reflect the view that ordinary people are the makers of Canadian history. Most photographs are from family albums and capture moments as the people saw their world around them.



MRS. Wong, Toronto, Onario, 1931. (courtesy Agnes Lor collection)
New World, New Changes

Growing up Canadian
Women at Work
Community Life
Making a Difference