Vietnamese boat people arrive

March 18, 2017

Vietnamese refugees

Vietnamese refugees, PH2 Phil Eggman, 1984. National Archives and Records Administration, Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files, 1982—2007


The fall of South Vietnam to Communist forces in 1975 left many Vietnamese in a highly vulnerable position, after a generation as American allies. Hundreds of thousands fled, often by boat, seeking refuge in other Southeast Asian countries, especially Hong Kong (then still a British colony). Many eventually made their way to Canada. By 1985, 110,000 Vietnamese had been successfully settled, mainly in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver.

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.