Canadian Pacific Railway is completed

April 7, 2017

The driving of the ceremonial “Last Spike”, Craigellachie, B.C

Alexander Ross, 1885. Library and Archives Canada, c003693


On November 7, 1885, the driving of the ceremonial “Last Spike” at Craigellachie, British Columbia marked the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Despite rising costs, a political scandal that toppled Sir John A. Macdonald’s government and the death of at least 600 Chinese railway workers, the CPR — linking Eastern and Western Canada — was completed 5 years ahead of schedule.

Each day for 150 days leading up to the opening of the Canadian History Hall, we’re presenting one moment among the many that have shaped our country. Discover more of Canada’s significant historical events in the new Canadian History Hall, opening July 1, 2017.