The Last Chinese Laundry relates the story of the Chinese in Newfoundland since their first arrival in 1895. Forced to leave their wives and children behind in China, the men endured both loneliness and prejudice as they toiled for a meagre living in the hand laundries of St. John's. While capturing the drudgery and anguish, the film also reveals the humour and achievements of the Chinese as they struggled to gain full acceptance into Newfoundland and Canadian society. The story centres around William Ping, who arrived in Newfoundland from Canton in 1931, initially working as a laundry worker and then setting up his own business in the 1940's. By the 1980s, Willian and his countrymen were a vital part of the business and social life of St. John's; and at the time of filming in 1987, his was the last remaining Chinese laundry in Newfoundland.