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Italian Canadians

Ethnic group / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Italian Canadians (Italian: italo-canadesi, French: italo-canadiens) comprise Canadians who have full or partial Italian heritage and Italians who migrated from Italy or reside in Canada. According to the 2021 Census of Canada, 1,546,390 Canadians (4.3% of the total population) claimed full or partial Italian ancestry.[1] They comprise a subgroup of Southern European Canadians which is a further subgroup of European Canadians. The census enumerates the entire Canadian population, which consists of Canadian citizens (by birth and by naturalization), landed immigrants and non-permanent residents and their families living with them in Canada.[2] Residing mainly in central urban industrial metropolitan areas, Italian Canadians are the seventh largest self-identified ethnic group in Canada behind French, English, Irish, Scottish, German and Chinese Canadians.

Quick facts: Italo-canadesi (Italian) Italo-canadiens...
Italian Canadians
Italo-canadesi (Italian)
Italo-canadiens (French)
Italian Canadians as percent of population by province/territory
Total population
1,546,390 (total population)
204,070 (by birth)
1,342,320 (by ancestry)
2021 Census[1]
4.3% of Canada's population.
Regions with significant populations
Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Niagara Region, London, Guelph, Windsor, Ottawa–Gatineau, Barrie, Sault Ste. Marie, Greater Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Greater Montreal, Greater Vancouver
Predominately Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Italians, Italian Americans, Italian Argentines, Italian Brazilians, Italian Uruguayans, Italian Chileans, Italian Mexicans, Italian South Africans, Italian Australians, British Italian, Sicilian Americans, Corsican Americans

Italian immigration to Canada started as early as the mid 19th century. A substantial influx of Italian immigration to Canada began in the early 20th century, primarily from rural southern Italy, with immigrants primarily settling in Toronto and Montreal. During the interwar period after World War I, new immigration laws in the 1920s limited Italian immigration. During World War II, approximately 600 to 700 Italian Canadian men were interned between 1940 and 1943 as potentially dangerous enemy aliens with alleged fascist connections.

A second wave of immigration occurred after the World War II, and between the early 1950s and the mid-1960s, approximately 20,000 to 30,000 Italians immigrated to Canada each year, many of the men working in the construction industry upon settling. Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia was an influential port of Italian immigration between 1928 until it ceased operations in 1971, where 471,940 individuals came to Canada from Italy, making them the third largest ethnic group to immigrate to Canada during that time period. In the late 1960s, the Italian economy experienced a period of growth and recovery, removing one of the primary incentives for emigration. The importance of the family unit of Italian Canadians has provided a central role in the adaptation of newer socioeconomic realities. In 2010, the Government of Ontario proclaimed the month of June as Italian Heritage Month, and in 2017, the Government of Canada also declared the month of June as Italian Heritage Month across Canada.