Croatian Canadians

Croatian Canadians are Canadian citizens who are of Croatian descent. The community exists in major cities including the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Windsor, and Montreal.

Popular events celebrated in the Croatian-Canadian community include the Canadian-Croatian Folklore Festival (held in eastern and western Canada) and the Croatian-North American Soccer Tournament.

Croatian Canadians
Hrvati u Kanadi or Hrvatski Kanađani
Total population
133,965 (2016)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Toronto, Vancouver, Windsor, Montreal, Calgary
Canadian English, Canadian French, Croatian
Majority Christian
Related ethnic groups
Croatian Americans, European Canadians, Yugoslav Canadians


There were approximately 114,880 Canadians of Croatian ethnic origin as reported in the 2011 Census compiled by Statistics Canada,[2] rising to 133,965 by the 2016 Census.[1] Although predominantly found in Ontario, Croatian Canadians are present in most major Canadian cities throughout the country. The ten largest Croatian communities are found in the following cities:[3]

The town with the largest percentage of people of Croatian ethnic origin is Kenaston, Saskatchewan - 17.5% of its 285 inhabitants claim Croatian ethnic origin. Statistics Canada also designates Census Metropolitan Areas in the collection of its data. The ten Census Metropolitan Areas with the highest concentration of Croatian Canadians are:[4]

Religious affiliation

Most Croatian Canadians are Roman Catholic who follow the Latin Rite of their ancestors in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. A very small minority of Croatians are Byzantine Rite Roman Catholics. There is also a community of Croats who follow Islam, the descendants of those who converted after the 16th century, after the conquest of much of Croatia by the Ottomans. Communities of Protestants have historically been negligible in Croatia.

In Canada, the first ethnic Croatian parish was established in Windsor in 1950. Soon, parishes were established in Toronto (1951), Hamilton (1958), Vancouver (1967). Today there are ethnic Croatian parishes and missions in seventeen cities in Canada. In addition, previously unorganized Croats of the Muslim faith, with the arrival of eminent physician Asaf Duraković[5] founded the Croatian Islamic Centre[6] on June 23, 1973 in Etobicoke (75 Birmingham Street, Etobicoke, ON M8V 2C3),[7] helped by the Croatian Catholic community.[5][8] An old Catholic school was bought for 75,000 CAD and readjusted into masjid. There was also a community of Bosnian Muslims of Yugoslav option, but the Croat option of Bosnian Muslims never cooperated with them, since Muslim Croats considered all Yugoslavs and Communists as chetniks and as their worst enemies. Since the old building was in catastrophic condition, a new mosque was built on the site of the old one in 1983.[5] Today, given changing political affiliations and political pressures from 1990's, and influx of non-Croat option of Bosnian Muslims,the center is now known as the Bosnian Islamic Centre. Despite that, today 4 out of 64 Canadian mosques have the attribute "Croatian".[7] In Croatian Islamic Centre the children are taught the Croatian and Arabic languages, but there also Croatian Islamic newspapers, books, brochures, etc.[8][9][10] Croatian Islamic Center called on Muslim governments, organisations, and individuals to press the Yugoslav regime, to end the persecution of Islam and to grant genuin equality of Muslims in Yugoslavia. The director of Centre Kerim Reis wanted that Belgrade releases the Muslim prisoners of conscience and to end to restrictions on the building of mosques.[11] During Yugoslavia, this group often spoke accused Tito's Yugoslavia for practising discrimination both Muslim and Catholic Croats.[12] While an overwhelming percentage of Croatians in Canada remain Roman Catholic, there are significant non-Catholic populations, including Protestants (most of whom have been in Canada for more than one generation) and Eastern Orthodox (the majority of whom are of mixed ethnic background).

Notable Croatian Canadians



  • Eve Adams - Liberal MP, Missisauga-Brampton South; born Eve Horvat to Hungarian-Croats parents
  • Bob Bratina - former Mayor of Hamilton, 2010–2014; Liberal MP, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek 2015–Present
  • Jan Brown - former Reform/Independent MP Calgary Southeast, 1993-1997
  • Allan Kerpan - Saskatchewan Party MLA, Carrot River Valley, 2003–present; former Reform MP, Moose Jaw-Lake Centre, 1993-2000
  • Janko Peric - former Liberal MP, Cambridge, 1993-2004
  • Peter Sekulic former Alta Liberal MLA, Edmonton Manning, 1993-1997
  • Roseanne Skoke - former Liberal MP, Central Nova, 1993-1997
  • John Sola - former Liberal MPP, 1987–1995
  • Dave Stupich - former NDP MP, Nanaimo-Cowichan 1988-1993; former B.C. NDP MLA, 1963-1969; 1972-1988
  • Ruža Tomašić - police officer and politician, Member of the European Parliament
  • Lynne Yelich - Canadian Alliance/Conservative MP, Blackstrap, 2000–2015


  • Asaf Durakovic - physician and expert in nuclear medicine and depleted uranium; poet

Arts and entertainment


Political activists


See also


  1. ^ a b "Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity Highlight Tables".
  2. ^ Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Fikret Artuković: Toronto slavi 35 godina hrvatske džamije (picture)
  6. ^ Salatomatic - Croatian Islamic Centre
  7. ^ a b "Toronto: 'Hrvatska' džamija slavi 35 godina postojanja!" [Toronto: 'Croatian' mosque celbrates 35th anniversary!] (in Croatian). BH June 24, 2008. Archived from the original on April 22, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Vinko Grubisic: Croatians in Toronto, From: Polyphony Vol.6, 1984 pp. 88-91 Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Google Books Massacre of Croatians in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Sandžak, Croatian Islamic Centre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1978
  10. ^ Mushtak Parker: Muslims in Yugoslavia: The quest for justice, Croatian Islamic Center, 1986, ASIN: B0006EVF9U
  11. ^ Google Books The Light, Vol. 20-21, Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania, 1986
  12. ^ Google Books Paul R. Magocsi,Multicultural History Society of Ontario: Encyclopedia of Canada's peoples

External links

Borys Wrzesnewskyj

Borys Wrzesnewskyj ( BORR-iss fshiss-NEV-skee; born November 10, 1960) is a Canadian politician who represents the riding of Etobicoke Centre in the House of Commons of Canada. He held the riding from 2004 to 2011 and was elected again in the 2015 federal election. He is a member of the Liberal Party.

Croatian Americans

Croatian Americans or Croat Americans (Croatian: Američki Hrvati or Hrvati u Americi) are Americans who have full or partial Croatian ancestry. In 2012, there were 414,714 American citizens of Croat or Croatian descent living in the United States as per revised 2010 United States Census. The figure includes all people affiliated with United States who claim Croatian ancestry, both those born in the country and naturalized citizens, as well as those with dual citizenship who affiliate themselves with both countries or cultures.

Croatian Americans are closely related to other European American ethnic groups, especially Slavic Americans and are predominantly of Roman Catholic faith. Regions with significant Croatian American population include metropolitan areas of Chicago, Cleveland, New York City, Southern California and especially Pittsburgh, the seat of Croatian Fraternal Union, fraternal benefit society of the Croatian diaspora. Croatia's State Office for the Croats Abroad estimated that there are up to 1.2 million Croats and their descendants living in the United States.

Croatian diaspora

Croatian diaspora refers to the Croatian communities that have formed outside Croatia.

Estimates on its size are only approximate because of incomplete statistical records and naturalization, but (highest) estimates suggest that the Croatian diaspora numbers between a third and a half of the total number of Croats.

More than four million Croats live in Croatia. The largest community outside Croatia are the Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the constitutient nations of that country, amounting to about 750,000.

The Croatian diaspora outside Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina amounts to close to a million elsewhere in Europe, and to about 1.5 million overseas. The largest overseas community is reported from the United States and Chile, with about 400,000 members.In Western Europe, the largest group is found in Germany. The German census reports 228,000 Croats in Germany as of 2006, but estimates of the total number of people with direct Croatian ancestry (including naturalized German citizens) range as high as 450,000.

Franjo Tuđman

Franjo Tuđman, also written as Franjo Tudjman (Croatian: [frǎːɲo tûdʑman] (listen); 14 May 1922 – 10 December 1999), was a Croatian politician and historian. Following the country's independence from Yugoslavia he became the first President of Croatia and served as president from 1990 until his death in 1999. He was the 9th and last President of the Presidency of SR Croatia from May to July 1990.

Tuđman was born in Veliko Trgovišće, Croatia. In his youth he fought during World War II as a member of the 10th Zagreb Corps of the Yugoslav Partisans. After the war he took a post in the Ministry of Defence, later attaining the rank of major general of the Yugoslav Army in 1960. After his military career he dedicated himself to the study of geopolitics. In 1963 he became a professor on the Zagreb Faculty of Political Sciences. He received a doctorate in history in 1965 and worked as a historian until coming into conflict with the regime. Tuđman participated in the Croatian Spring movement that called for reforms in the country and was imprisoned for his activities in 1972. He lived relatively anonymously in the following years until the end of Communism, whereupon he began his political career by founding the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in 1989.

HDZ won the first Croatian parliamentary elections in 1990 and Tuđman became the President of the Presidency of SR Croatia. As president, Tuđman introduced constitutional changes and pressed for the creation of an independent Croatia. On 19 May 1991, an independence referendum was held, which was approved by 93 percent of voters. Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991. Areas with a Serb majority revolted, backed by the Yugoslav army, and Tuđman led Croatia during its War of Independence. A ceasefire was signed in 1992, but the war had spread into Bosnia and Herzegovina, where Croats fought in an alliance with Bosniaks. Their cooperation fell apart in late 1992 and Tuđman's government sided with Herzeg-Bosnia during the Croat-Bosniak War with the goal to reunite the Croatian people, a move that brought criticism from the international community. In March 1994, he signed the Washington Agreement with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegović that re-allied Croats and Bosniaks. In August 1995, he authorized a major offensive known as Operation Storm which effectively ended the war in Croatia. In the same year, he was one of the signatories of the Dayton Agreement that put an end to the Bosnian War. He was re-elected president in 1992 and 1997 and remained in power until his death in 1999. While supporters point out his role in achieving Croatian independence, critics have described his presidency as authoritarian. Surveys after Tuđman's death have generally shown a high favorability rating among the Croatian public.

Gojko Šušak

Gojko Šušak (Croatian pronunciation: [gȏːjko ʃûʃak]; 16 March 1945 – 3 May 1998) was a Croatian politician who held the post of Minister of Defence from 1991 to 1998 under President Franjo Tuđman. From 1990 to 1991 he was the Minister of Emigration and in 1991 the Deputy Minister of Defence.

Born in Široki Brijeg, he attended the University of Rijeka in 1963. In 1969 Šušak emigrated to Canada where he worked in the restaurant and construction business and rose to prominence within the Croatian diaspora in North America in the following decades. In the late 1980s he became a close friend and associate to Franjo Tuđman, leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party seeking Croatia's independence from Yugoslavia.

In 1990, he returned to Croatia. After Tuđman became president following the 1990 parliamentary election, Šušak was named Minister of Emigration and helped gather economic aid from Croatian emigrants. From early 1991 he was the Deputy Minister of Defence. In September 1991 he was appointed Minister of Defence, an office he held throughout the Croatian War of Independence. As minister, Šušak reorganized and modernized the Croatian Army, leading it to a status of a regional power. He contributed to the planning of key military operations, particularly Operation Storm in 1995 that effectively ended the war in Croatia. He supported the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia during the 1992–94 Croat–Bosniak War and later helped broker the 1995 Dayton Agreement. During his term in office he forged close contacts with the United States Department of Defense. Šušak's tenure as Defence Minister is the longest in Croatian history and lasted until his death in 1998.

List of electoral firsts in Canada

This article lists notable achievements of women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and gay/lesbian/bisexual and transgender people in Canadian politics and elections in Canada.

This list includes:

Members of Parliament—Members of the House of Commons of Canada;

Senators—Members of the Senate of Canada

Governor-General—Canadian Governors General and Lieutenant Governors

Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs);

Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs in Ontario);

Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) in Quebec; and

Members of the House of Assembly (MHAs) in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Toronto Croatia

C.N.S.C. Toronto Croatia (Croatian National Sports Club Toronto Croatia) is a Canadian soccer team based in Toronto, Ontario, that plays in the Supergroup Open Division in the Canadian Academy of Futbol. The team's colours are red, white and blue, similar to those of the Croatian national football team.

The club was founded in 1956 by the Croatian diaspora in Toronto. Initially the team played in various local amateur leagues before making the transition to the professional ranks by joining the Canadian National Soccer League (CNSL) in 1962. In 1972, after a period of dominance in the CNSL, the organization purchased the Toronto Metros of the North American Soccer League and retained their heritage by inserting Croatia into the team's name. Their greatest success occurred in the 1976 season, where Toronto captured the Soccer Bowl. The 1976 team was later inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.

In 1979 the club sold its share to Global Television Network and returned to the CNSL. Toronto Croatia became a founding member of the Canadian International Soccer League in 1994, returned to the CNSL in 1997, and the following year became a charter member of the Canadian Professional Soccer League (later the Canadian Soccer League [CSL]). They established themselves as an elite club with a league record of six championships. The team has been among the most-successful clubs in Canadian soccer history, and one of the most-successful Croatian diaspora clubs. Toronto Croatia has a noted historical rivalry with the Serbian White Eagles.

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