The Ukrainian diaspora in Canada is one of the largest, and Canada itself is the third largest country in the world for the number of Ukrainians. Most Ukrainians currently living in Canada are second or even third generation migrants, meaning they were born and raised in Canada and have citizenship. Historically, natives of Ukraine have settled in central and western Canada. This trend continues to this day.The Ukrainian Diaspora
Historical reasons for the emigration of Ukrainians to Canada
In 2021, there were more than 300,000 people in Canada with Ukrainian roots, and another million whose ancestry is partly Ukrainian. It is impossible to know exactly how many Ukrainians live in Canada today.
The first wave of emigration to Canada began at the end of the 19th century. First of all immigrants were attracted here by the absence of taxes. They were mostly farmers: they came here with their families and settled on the western prairies. In remote remote areas they formed their own cozy communities and lived without assimilating with the local population until the middle of the twentieth century. Rapid adaptation was facilitated by the ability to settle with their loved ones, retain their language, and organize their cultural communities.
After World War I, the rural way of life became unpopular among Ukrainian immigrants, so many of them began to move to large cities and industrial centers such as Toronto and Montreal.
Canadian provinces for emigration
Let's look at where Ukrainians live in Canada. The choice of a city for emigration always depends on the goals of migration. It should be noted that Canada has both federal and regional immigration programs.
Federal programs include refugee and other humanitarian programs, sponsorship and family reunion programs, as well as various business immigration and highly skilled worker programs.
Each Canadian province has its own customized immigration program. At the same time, all provinces operate within the framework of existing agreements on the division of powers concluded between them and the migration services.
All programs are designed to select those immigrants who best meet the needs of the province or territory. And of course, the employment market is a priority. Skilled workers are in high demand across Canada.
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Province of Alberta
Alberta is one of Canada's ten provinces. The province was named in honor of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, who in late 19th century became wife of Canadian Governor-General. The Ukrainian experience of migration to Canada historically began here. Currently, there are 332,000 Ukrainians living in Alberta, which is about 9% of the local population. Now Alberta is still of interest to modern emigrants. Many of them go to Calgary, which is the largest city of the province, a major trade and transport center.
The Province of British Columbia
British Columbia is a province located in western Canada. Ukrainians make up 4.4% of the population here (197,000 people). This province is well suited for those who choose labour migration. The economy of the province is based on natural resources. B.C. is the terminus of transcontinental highways and railroads. British Columbia is home to the largest ports in the Pacific, allowing the province to engage in vigorous international trade.
Province of Quebec
Quebec is the first province in Canada in terms of area. Unlike Alberta and British Columbia, the official language is French, not English. At the moment only 32 thousand Ukrainians live here. The economy of the region is based on the aerospace industry, biotechnology industry, pharmaceuticals, metallurgy, as well as the sphere of information technologies.
Province of Manitoba
Manitoba is a province located in the center of the country. There have always been many Ukrainians here, as well as in Alberta, as it was historically formed. Manitoba is generally considered one of the most important centers of Ukrainian culture outside Ukraine. Today there are 167 thousand natives of Ukraine. Here, as in other central provinces, the main branch of the economy is agriculture. In addition, Manitoba also has well developed transportation, mining and manufacturing industries, as well as forestry.
The province of Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is a province to the east, one of the so-called Seaside Provinces. This destination is still not particularly popular among Ukrainian emigrants, although the Bay of Fundy is considered one of the most popular natural tourist destinations in the world. The reason is that there are 42 reservations of 13 Indian communities, which the Ukrainians apparently did not want to be neighbors with.
Province of Nunavut
Nunavut is the largest and newest territory within Canada. It was formed in 1999 as a result of the separation from the Northwest Territories. Inuktitut is the main Eskimo language although English and French are considered the official languages. The territory is very sparsely populated, with Inuit indigenous settlements forming the basis. In contrast to the rest of Canada, Nunavut has almost no immigrants - only 150 people do not have Canadian citizenship.Ukrainians in Canada
Province of New Brunswick
The province of New Brunswick, like Nova Scotia, is located in the east of the country and is one of the three Maritime provinces of Canada. In the past, the province was inhabited by Indians. However, after the French colonization began, they gradually mixed with settlers from France - mostly peasants and fishermen. Now New Brunswick is the only confederate entity officially declared bilingual.
The province of Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is another curious province of Canada, and is the tenth in the confederation. It is the largest in size and the easternmost province in Canada. The climate here is harsh and maritime, the northern tip of the island generally belongs to the Subarctic zone. Newfoundland is sparsely populated and poorly industrialized, so there are few migrants here.
Province of Ontario
Ontario is located in the center of Canada and is the most populated province. It is home to Toronto, Canada's largest city, and Ottawa, Canada's capital. According to the latest data, there are 13 180 282 people living in Ontario, 336 000 of which are from Ukraine. Ontario is a major cultural, tourist, industrial and educational center in the country.
The province of Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island, a province with a beautiful name to the east, is the third of the country's Maritime Provinces. The island is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, east of New Brunswick and north of Nova Scotia. The main source of income here is tourism - many people choose Prince Edward Island for their resort vacations. There are also many food and industrial plants here, as the land is very fertile. And the local potatoes are generally famous throughout the country.
The Province of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a province located in the south central part. Ukrainians make up nearly 12% of the population - 129 thousand people. This area was first explored by Europeans back in 1690, but the first European settlements appeared only at the end of the XVIII century, crowding out the native tribes. The main branch of the economy here is agriculture. Nearly half of all Canadian wheat is grown here
Province of the Northwest Territories
The Northwest Territories are located in the very north, in the Circumpolar region. The current territory was created in 1870 when Rupert's Land and the Northwest Territories were transferred to the Government of Canada. At that time this huge area was practically the size of Canada itself. Only the Maritime provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador, the south of Quebec, a small part of Ontario to the east and British Columbia were not included. Since 1967 the capital of the province is a city with the hard-spelling name of Yellowknife. Ukrainians make up 3.4% of the local population here. They have their own community, school and even church.
The Yukon is an area in northwestern Canada named after the Yukon River. Mount Logan, the second largest mountain peak in North America, is located here. This territory became popular during the well-known gold rush. Rich in minerals such as lead, copper, asbestos, zinc, silver, and of course gold, the land attracted treasure hunters from all corners of the globe. If there are now emigrants from Ukraine living in this territory, there are very few.
Ukrainian Community and Mutual Aid
The Ukrainian diaspora in Canada lobbies actively for the interests of their historic homeland, including at the government level. They try to actively support and instill in the younger generation the love and respect for traditions. For example, not a single national holiday in Canada, where parades take place, is without a Ukrainian column, whose participants are dressed in trousers and embroidered shirts.
The Ukrainian diaspora can help with getting a letter of support, which is essentially a job offer, but the process is quite complicated and time-consuming. There are various associations in Canada to support Ukrainian entrepreneurs, and there are specialized communities dedicated to the development of trade relations between Canada and Ukraine, which, for example, can help with finding partners.
What are the prospects for Ukrainian emigrants in Canada
Last year, the United Nations Organization officially recognized Canada as the best country for emigration. The reason for this is the high standard of living, quality social security, which becomes available with a residence permit, and flexible immigration policy. Just three years after emigration, it is possible to obtain a second citizenship. Once you are granted residency, you have access to free education, unemployment benefits and quality health care.
Nowhere else in the world will you find such a multicultural and yet tolerant society, which is why Canada is rightly considered a country of immigrants.
It is easy enough to adapt in this country, but knowledge of English or French is obligatory.
Ukrainian diaspora in Canada on the Internet
Ukrainian diaspora in Canada has no official website, but there is a website of Ukrainian Canadian Congress (http://www.ucc.ca), where you can find contact information of organizations that help migrants by region. The website of Ukrainian embassy in Canada (http://canada.mfa.gov.ua) may also be useful for you.
There are many groups in social networks dedicated to Ukrainian diasporas in different cities and provinces. There you can find useful information or meet the right people, ask for advice or share experiences.
The Ukrainian community in Canada is divided into two parts: descendants of the first emigrants and those who moved here recently (in the last quarter century). The difference is that the descendants of the first emigrants are already fully integrated into the life of the country and are in general 100% Canadians. They have their own churches, schools, can be members of provincial parliaments and deputies. But newcomers are also welcomed into these churches and schools because Ukrainians are generally friendly and hospitable people.
Pros and cons of living in Canada
There are two sides to every coin, and everyone who is going to emigrate to Canada should understand that. On the one hand, a permanent residence permit makes you almost a full member of society in a country with a very high standard of living, low crime rate and clean environment. On the other hand, you must understand that the high standard of living involves high taxes and very expensive medicine. And what a shame - the climate in Canada is not the most pleasant.
Destinations for Ukrainians to emigrate to
Historically there have been significantly more Ukrainians on the Atlantic coast than the Pacific. Many Ukrainians try to move to the places where the diaspora is most extensive. This is because larger diasporas build schools, churches, and business communities in their area.
By far the three most popular and densely populated areas by Ukrainians are Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. There, the Ukrainian population makes up from 9 to 13% of the province's residents.
The choice of the province to which you are going to emigrate should be made responsibly. First of all, of course, you should take into account the reasons and goals of your emigration. If it is a question of educational emigration, Quebec and Toronto where there are various educational directions and scholarship programs will be perfect.
If your emigration is job-related, make sure you carefully study the provincial economy and the labor market situation - it is important to understand how you will be in demand. Do not forget about the climatic factor - for example, the climate in the east and north of Canada is very specific and will not suit everyone.
Canadian Visa for Ukrainian Citizens
When applying for a visa, regardless of the type of visa and purpose of stay, it is mandatory to provide:
-filled in information questionnaire and two photos taken not more than 6 months before going to the Consulate;
-Reference from workplace on the amount of salary for the last 6 months;
-proof of financial guarantees of the applicant;
-proof of being rooted in Ukraine: copy of children's birth certificate or copy of marriage certificate;
-Original document confirming the purpose of stay in Canada.