Due to overpopulation and political and economic instability in their native country, a large number of Chinese emigrated from China in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The earliest immigration to Canada occurred on the west coast, in British Columbia, but there is evidence of Chinese businesses in Toronto as early as 1878. Following the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886, Toronto received an influx of Chinese from the west, and by 1912 the Chinese population in the city was 2100. Between 1911 and 1941, Toronto had the third largest Chinese population in Canada. As of 2006, over half a million people of Chinese ethnic origin were living in Toronto.
The official organ of the Shing Wah Association (Chinese Nationalist League or Kuomintang), the Shing Wah Yat Po (Shing Wah Daily News) was the primary daily Chinese language newspaper in Canada, and the largest Chinese newspaper in North America. Published in Toronto between 1922 and September 29, 1990, it was preceded by the weekly newspaper Hsing Jua Chou Pao (Shing Wah) (1916-1922). In its early days, the newspaper was published by Ernest C. Mark, who came to Toronto from China in 1916 and was involved in several social and political organizations. Due to its affiliation with the Chinese Nationalist League, the paper was known for its pro-Nationalist political views. It became a monthly publication in 1983 and in October 1990 it was superseded by a monthly magazine of the same name. Issues of the Shing Wah Yat Po dating from May 29, 1923 to September 29, 1990 have been digitized and are made available here.
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Contributed by Multicultural History Society of Ontario.