Chinese Immigration Act, C.I. 5 Certificate #88549

“Head tax certificates were required for all Chinese immigrants as proof of their payment for entry into Canada.  Officially called C.I. 5 certificates, “C.I.” an abbreviation for Chinese Immigration, these were issued by the federal authorities to show the amount of the head tax and the port and date of arrival.  An official stamp was required on the certificate for those who wished to return to Canada following a visit to China.  Because copies were not kept by the government, the certificates were all the more carefully guarded from damage and loss.”

Excerpted from The Chinese in Toronto from 1878: From Outside to Inside the Circle by Arlene Chan, published by Dundurn Press. Copyright © 2011 by Arlene Chan

Image Credit: Mavis Chu Lew Garland Collection