Yip Quong, Nellie National Historic Person

Vancouver, British Columbia
Nellie Yip Quong with her husband, Charles Yip Quong (© Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, 1988)
Nellie Yip Quong with her husband
(© Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, 1988)
Address : Vancouver, British Columbia

Recognition Statute: Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Designation Date: 2008-08-26
Life Date: 1882 to 1949

Other Name(s):
  • Yip Quong, Nellie  (Designation Name)
Research Report Number: 2007-070

Importance: Bold and outspoken advocate for her adopted community, she served as an intermediary between the Euro-Canadian and Chinese Canadian societies


In Vancouver’s Chinatown—home to about 30 percent of Canada’s Chinese community by the 1930s—Nellie Yip Quong was a trusted midwife to some 500 women, an adoption broker, and an interpreter. A white woman who challenged convention by marrying a Chinese-Canadian man, she mastered five Chinese dialects and became an outspoken intermediary between immigrants and Canadian officials. Like other midwives in ethnocultural communities across the country, where maternity services were often constrained by poverty and prejudice, “Granny Yip” quietly but effectively provided mothers with birthing services in their own language.

No plaque in place, recommended location:  51 Pender Street, British Columbia