South Asian Canadians

South Asian Canadians are Canadians who were either born in or can trace their ancestry to South Asia, which includes nations such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives. The term South Asian Canadian is a subgroup of Asian Canadian and, according to Statistics Canada, can further be divided by nationality, such as Indo-Canadian, Bangladeshi Canadian and Pakistani Canadian.[2] South Asians are the second largest pan-ethnic group in Canada after European-Canadians.

As of 2016, 1,963,330 Canadians had South Asian geographical origins, constituting 5.6% of the Canadian population and 32% of Canada's Asian Canadian population. This makes them the largest visible minority group in Canada comprising 25.6% of the visible minority population, followed by East Asian and Black Canadians respectively.[3] The largest communities from South Asia are found in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. Metropolitan areas with large communities from South Asia include Toronto (995,125), Vancouver (291,005), Calgary (122,515), Montréal (90,815) and Edmonton (91,595).[4]

67% percent of South Asian-Canadians in Canada live in Metro Vancouver and Greater Toronto as of 2016; together they make up nearly 30% of the combined populations of the cities.[5][6][7]

South Asian Canadians
Total population
5.6% of the total Canadian population (2016)
Regions with significant populations
Southern Ontario, Southwestern BC, Central Alberta, Montreal, Most urban areas
Canadian English · Canadian French · South Asian languages
Sikhism · Hinduism · Islam · Christianity · Jainism · Buddhism
Related ethnic groups
Asian Canadians · British Asians · South Asian people


The term 'Asian' in Canadian English generally refers to people from East and Southeast Asia. This differs from the British English definition of Asian, which includes South Asia but excludes East and Southeast Asians terming them as Oriental or East Asian instead. Thus, the term South Asian has come into common usage referring to Asians hailing from the Indian subcontinent.[8] This includes countries such as India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives. It does not include nations such as Afghanistan or Myanmar, which have been considered South Asian in some other connotations of the term.

Canadians from South Asia may also be identified by their country of origin such as Indian or Pakistani. They may also be identified by their specific cultural backgrounds, for example Punjabi or Tamil. The term "East Indian" is a term used widely in Canada to refer to people hailing from India as opposed to Aboriginal peoples who are also sometimes referred to as "Indian." This term has been made less common after the introduction of the general term "South Asian" in areas with significant Indian Canadian populations like Toronto. Desi are also sometimes used to refer to Canadians from India. However, these terms are avoided in more formal contexts due to their ambiguity and the possibility of being seen as derogatory.

Census Canada lists both cultural backgrounds like Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil and Goan in addition to cultures like East Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Pakistani.


Early 20th century

Streetcars passing at the 400 Block of Granville Street, Vancouver, in 1908
Punjabi Sikhs in Vancouver, 1908

The first known record of Canadians from South Asia dates back to 1903, when Punjabi Sikhs arrived in British Columbia after hearing stories about the high wages being paid there from British Indian soldiers stationed in Hong Kong. Attracted by these wages, more Sikh men began immigrating into British Columbia, working mainly in industries such as mining, logging and railroads. Many of these men, who arrived without their families, settled in Vancouver, Victoria, northern BC, and what is now Abbotsford, British Columbia. By the end of 1908, 5,209 Canadians were from South Asia, nearly all of whom were Sikhs settled across British Columbia. Soon the Sikh community in Canada began to face the ignorance of the Europeans by discrimination and xenophobia similar to what Japanese and Chinese were enduring then. European settlers viewed Asian migrants, and included the Sikhs, as a threat to the European nature of Canada, not considering their own impact on the Aboriginal population by immigration. In addition, many Asian have small migrants had to work for lower wages, which threatened the job security of the European majority at the time. In 1907 the government in British Columbia committed atrocities such as enacting laws limiting the rights and privileges of Canadians from South Asian countries, which prevented them from voting and denied them access to holding political office, public sector jobs and other professions. On January 8, 1908 Continuous journey regulation was enacted in an effort to prevent Sikhs from immigrated to Canada. The law required that people arriving from South Asia in Canada must "come from the country of their birth or citizenship by a continuous journey and or through tickets purchased before leaving their country of their birth or nationality." This prevented Sikh soldiers stationed in Hong Kong and Japan from immigrating to Canada.

Komogata Maru LAC a034014 1914
Sikh settlers on board the Komagata Maru in Vancouver

A notable example of early anti-South Asian sentiments as a result of Continuous journey regulation in Canada was the Komagata Maru incident. A successful Sikh fisherman living in British Columbia attempting to circumnavigate the Continuous journey regulation chartered a Japanese steamship known as the Komagata Maru to travel from Kolkata, India to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The ship made stops in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Yokohama, where it picked up more Eastern-Caucasian settlers. In total the ship carried 376 passengers, of whom 300 were Sikh, 24 were Muslim and 12 were Hindu. All passengers were registered as British subjects. Upon arriving in Vancouver though the ship was not permitted to dock with several British Columbian politicians such as Conservative MP H.H. Stevens campaigning against their right to dock. Some Canadians already settled in Canada began launching 'shore committees' led by Hassam Rashim and Sohan Lal Pathak. These were to protest against the decision not to allow the settlers on the Komagata Maru no to enter Canada. Passengers threatened to start a rebellion, or ghadar, if they were forced back to India. The shore committee raised $22,000 and launched a test case legal battle in the British Columbia Court of Appeal. Only July 6, the court disgracefully and unanimously decided they had no authority to interfere with the Department of Immigration and Colonization and had ordered the harbor tug Sea Lion to pull the ship out to sea in July 19. This resulted in rioting between the settlers on board and police officers. The ship was ultimately forced back to India on July 23, with only 20 of the settlers being allowed to stay in Canada.

The continuous journey regulation provision remained in effect until 1947, as did most other anti-South Asian laws. However pressure from the Eastern-Caucasian community resulted in the Canadian government allowing the wife and children of their Canadian husband/father to immigrate. Despite this by the mid-1920s this population in Canada had dropped to 1300. Despite their declining numbers Canadians from South Asia which was still primarily Sikh grew wealthier. They began to acquire their own lumber mills which they used to produce wood and sawdust for consumer purchase. During the Great Depression the tight-knit nature of the East-Indian community mitigated many of the economic effects the depression had on other communities. As a result of the recent independence of several South Asian nations such as India, Pakistan and Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka, the Canadian government created annual immigration quotas which were to allow 150 Indians, 100 Pakistanis and 50 Sri Lankans the right to immigrate to Canada each year.

Late 20th century

Beginning in the 1960s racial and national restrictions were removed from Canada's immigration policies resulting in the explosive growth of South Asian community. The South Asian Canadian community grew from just 6,774 in 1961 to 67,925 just ten years later in 1971. Many of the South Asians arriving during the 60s, 70s were not directly from South Asia but instead from Southeast Africa. Discrimination in many African Great Lakes nations like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania against Indians was growing as a result of their status as a market-dominant minority. This is when a minority group controls a disproportionately large segment of the economy due to their over representation in business and above average education. One notable incident of this was Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's expulsion of 80,000 Ugandan Indians as part of his economic war to allow indigenous Ugandans to regain control of the countries economy. As a result, nearly 20,000 Indians fled to Canada, some directly others after temperately settling in other nations in Africa. They eventually grew to be the first sizable non-Sikh South Asian community in Canada. Shenaaz Nanji's Governor General's Award-nominated novel Child of Dandelions deals with the expulsion of Indians from Uganda and their immigration to Canada.

Around this time the Caribbean, mainly from Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, and Indo-Fijians began immigrating to Canada as well, settling mainly in Toronto, Ontario. Many of these South Asians were the descendants of indentured laborers were brought by the colonial British government to replace the slaves on plantations. After completing their work terms the majority remained in these countries. Many of the immigrants who arrived from the Caribbean, the African Great Lakes and Fiji were educated professionals who upon arriving in Canada worked in the service sector or began their own businesses. As opposed to the industrial sector which mainly early Sikhs worked in.

Starting in the 1980s South Asians arriving directly from the Indian subcontinent began to increase noticeably as well. In 1985 around 15,000 immigrants arrived from South Asia annually in 2012 that number was at 46,000 annually. In addition to the South Asians still arriving from other parts of the world like the Gulf of Arabia[disambiguation needed], Caribbean, the African Great Lakes and Fiji. As a result, the South Asian community began forming growing enclaves particularly in the Vancouver and Toronto area. Some notable areas are Gerrard Street, Brampton and several neighborhoods in Mississauga, Scarborough, Markham and Etobicoke in the Greater Toronto Area. In British Columbia notable South Asian districts include South Vancouver, Surrey, Delta and Abbotsford.

The rise of the Khalistan movement, the secessionist movement that sought to make the Indian state of Punjab a separate nation for Sikhs. As a result, during the 1980s many Sikhs living in Canada began to involve themselves in the Khalistan movement by organizing protests in Canada and sending money to fund separatist groups back in India. These protests reached their peak in 1984 when the Indian army raided the Golden Temple which were followed by the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards and finally anti-Sikh riots throughout North India. Several major anti-Indian protests occurred in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto with angry protesters forcing their way into the Indian embassy in Toronto carrying knives and smashing photos of Indira Gandhi. On June 23, 1985, several Canadian Sikhs led by Talwinder Singh Parmar were arrested for the Air India Flight 182 bombing, which killed 329 people. It is considered the worst terrorist attack to ever be carried out by Canadians.

With the outbreak of the Sri Lankan civil war in 1983 many Sri Lankan Tamils were forced to flee persecution and violence and see refuge in Canada. This made Sri Lankan Canadians the fifth largest source of immigrants during the 1990s. It also made Canada home to the largest Tamil population in the Western World with 140,000 Tamils living in Canada, primarily Toronto and Montreal. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or Tamil Tigers, though officially recognized as terrorist group in Canada still receives widespread support among the Sri Lankan Tamil Canadian community.

21st century

Beginning in the 21st century the makeup of Canadians from South Asia had changed greatly. Sikhs had gone from making up nearly 90% of Canadians from South Asia during much of the early 20th century to just 28% in 2001. This is as a result of a more diverse background of South Asians immigrating to Canada as opposed to the primarily Sikh and Punjabi immigrants of the early 20th century. In 2006 total South Asian Canadians outnumbered the specific numbers of Chinese Canadians as the largest visible minority group in Canada with 25% of visible minorities. On February 24, 2000 Ujjal Dosanjh became the first Canadian from South Asia premier of British Columbia, representing the New Democratic Party.

During the first decade of the 21 century India remained the second largest source of invited immigrants behind China but ahead of the Philippines. Pakistan was also among the top ten sources of invited immigrants to Canada. In addition, India is also the second largest source of foreign students in Canada with 28,939 invited Indian students studying in Canada in 2012 compared with 1,747 in 2000. In 2007, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto opened in Toronto, making it the largest Hindu temple in Canada. The Aga Khan Museum is also currently under construction by Ismaili Muslims hailing from Pakistan. Several other notable places of worship have been built by Canadians from South Asia including the Khalsa Darbar Gurdwara and Baitul Islam mosque.

South Asian Canadian culture also began to move into the Canadian mainstream in the 21st century. Bhangra music, a genre of music from India that combines traditional Punjabi music with pop and hip hop and other Western musical styles has grown increasingly popular throughout Canada. Canadians of all backgrounds enjoy and are also familiar with Bollywood. In 2011 the 12th International Indian Film Academy Awards were hosted in Toronto, which was home to nearly 832,000 Canadians from a South Asian country, one of the largest in the Western World. How to Be Indie, a Canadian children's television program produced by YTV, revolves around the daughter of Hindu Indian immigrants living in Toronto, and has since been syndicated in the United States, United Kingdom, Israel, Latin America and elsewhere. The Indian Canadian comedian Russell Peters has used his heritage as material for many of his jokes as well.

In the 2015 Canadian federal election, 16 South Asian Members of Parliament (MPs) were elected from Ontario alone, which is the most in Canadian history.[9] Four South Asian ministers have been appointed to the Canadian cabinet, which includes the Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan.[10]



Historical population

The first confirmed reports on the Canadians from India were in 1908 which put the East-Indian Canadian population at 5,209. The overwhelming majority of whom were Sikh, male, and settled in British Columbia. However, as a result of laws which restricted the immigration the community had declined to only 1,300 by the mid 1920s. By 1961, right before racial restriction were respectfully removed from Canada's immigration policy, Canadians from South Asian countries rose to 6,774. With racial quotas being removed (invitations extended) during the 1960s the number of Canadians from South Asia created the diverse population we see into the present day.

Brampton Square
Brampton, Ontario is home to the highest percentage of Canadians from South Asia with 261,705 or 44.3% of the population.
Surrey center library
Surrey, British Columbia is home to the second-highest percentage of South Asian Canadians with 168,040 or 32.4% of the population.

According to the 2016 National Household Survey 1,963,330 Canadians had South Asian origins and 1,924,635 other Canadians were classified as belonging to the visible minority group, generally termed, South Asian. The growth of the population is attributed to sustained invitations of immigration from South Asian nations. According to a 2011 study conducted by Statistics Canada Canadians from South Asia will grow to between 3.2 and 4.1 million by 2036 or 8.7% to 9.1% of the Canadian population overall.[11][12]

Ontario and British Columbia have the largest population of Canadians from South Asia with Alberta and Quebec being home to significant communities as well. Metropolitan areas with large communities include the Toronto (973,225), Vancouver (291,005), Calgary (122,900), Edmonton (91,420), Montréal (85,925), Ottawa (39,980) and Winnipeg (38,100).

Municipalities with large communities include Brampton, Ontario (44.3%), Surrey, British Columbia (32.8%), Abbotsford, British Columbia (25.5%), Mississauga, Ontario (23.2%), Milton, Ontario (21.0%), Ajax, Ontario (20.9%) and Delta, British Columbia (20.3%). From 2001 to 2006 Milton, Ontario saw the greatest increase in its population growing by 1378.6% with many other towns seeing their population double or triple.

Canadian provinces and territories by their ethnic South Asian population in 2011 and 2016:

Province South Asians 2011 % 2011 South Asians 2016 % 2016
Flag of Ontario.svg Ontario 1,003,180 7.9% 1,150,415 8.7%
Flag of British Columbia.svg British Columbia 311,265 7.2% 365,705 8.0%
Flag of Alberta.svg Alberta 159,055 4.4% 230,930 5.8%
Flag of Quebec.svg Quebec 91,400 1.2% 90,335 1.1%
Flag of Manitoba.svg Manitoba 26,220 2.2% 42,060 3.4%
Flag of Saskatchewan.svg Saskatchewan 12,620 1.3% 29,960 2.8%
Flag of Nova Scotia.svg Nova Scotia 5,935 0.7% 7,910 0.9%
Flag of New Brunswick.svg New Brunswick 3,090 0.4% 2,535 0.3%
Flag of Newfoundland and Labrador.svg Newfoundland and Labrador 2,005 0.4% 2,645 0.5%
Flag of Prince Edward Island.svg Prince Edward Island 500 0.4% 920 0.7%
Flag of Yukon.svg Yukon 340 1.0% 500 1.4%
Flag of the Northwest Territories.svg Northwest Territories 200 0.5% 300 1.5%
Flag of Nunavut.svg Nunavut 115 0.4% 115 0.3%
Flag of Canada.svg Canada 1,615,145 4.9% 1,924,635 5.6%

Canadian metropolitan areas with large populations of Canadians from South Asia:

City Province South Asians Percentage
Toronto Ontario 973,225 16.6%
Vancouver British Columbia 291,005 12.0%
Calgary Alberta 115,795 9.5%
Montreal Quebec 53,000 2.1%
Edmonton Alberta 91,420 7.0%
Ottawa Ontario 39,980 3.1%
Abbotsford British Columbia 38,250 21.7%
Hamilton Ontario 31,155 4.2%
Winnipeg Manitoba 38,100 5.0%

Subdivisions with notable South Asian Canadians

Source: Canada 2016 Census

National average: 5.6%


British Columbia






Canadians from South Asian tend to be significantly more religious than Canadians as a whole, with only 4% claiming to have no religion compared in 17% of Canadians in 2001. In addition 28% of Canadians from South Asia were Sikh, 28% Hindu, 22% Muslim and 16% Christian. Religious affiliation can vary greatly based on nationality as well. The majority of Pakistani Canadians and Bangladeshi Canadians profess to follow Islam, while the majority of Sri Lankan Canadians are Hindu with a significant minority following Christianity. Indian Canadians are split between Sikhs and Hindus with large minorities being Christian and Muslim as well. Nepalese Canadians tend to mostly follow Hindu with few of them following Buddhism.There are also a sizeable community of Canadians from South Asia adhering to religions such as Jainism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism.

Religion is found to play an important part in the lives of many Canadians from South Asia and serves as defining point in their identity, as with many people. Religious institutions such as gurdwaras, mosques, mandirs and churchs have often serve as points for the community. Religion can also play an important role in the marriage of some young Canadians from South Asia (who were born in Canada or in a country from South Asia). Some families believe that the couple must share the same religious heritage, which may also include caste, although this is becoming outdated. In recent years, Canadians from South Asia have opened private schools in order to preserve their religious heritage (as with Catholic schools), though the greatest majority attend government run schools.

In 1990 Baltej Singh Dhillon, a Canadian Sikh challenged the traditional dress code of the RCMP in order to accommodate his turban, a mandatory article of clothing worn by many Sikh men. The caused controversy with opponents arguing that the uniform of the RCMP was a national icon to be preserved, while proponents pointed out that Sikh soldiers served in the British army during World War I and World War II and also served in many Canadian police forces. On March 16, 1990 the policy was amended to include Sikhs to serve while wearing a turban. More recently in 2013 the Quebec Soccer Federation had banned Sikh players in turbans from participating in matches, citing that turbans were a health hazard, though it is practised in India. This move created controversy among the Sikh community in Canada and condemned by FIFA.


For much of the early 20th century restrictions such as the continuous journey regulation and quotas were placed on people immigrating from the countries of South Asia to prevent them from immigrating to Canada. When these restrictions were removed in the 1960s immigration from the Indian subcontinent and other places like the African Great Lakes, the Caribbean and Fiji gradually increased. As of 2012, India was the third largest source of immigrants for Canada behind the Philippines and China respectively. Pakistan was the fourth, Sri Lanka the seventeenth, Bangladesh the nineteenth and Nepal the thirty-eighth. In addition immigrants to Canada arrive from regions such as the Arab States of the Persian Gulf, the Caribbean and the African Great Lakes (as well as European countries). Historically, British Columbia was the traditional destination for Punjabi immigrants. Beginning in the 1970s, however, Ontario grew to become the top destination due to its job availability. In recent years migration to Alberta has also increased due to its comparatively stronger economy and better job market.

Year Indians admitted Pakistanis admitted Sri Lankans admitted Bangladeshis admitted Nepalis admitted
2000 26,122 14,201 5,849 2,715 247
2001 27,901 15,353 5,520 3,393 273
2002 28,838 14,173 4,968 2,615 418
2003 24,595 12,351 4,448 1,896 440
2004 25,573 12,793 4,134 3,374 594
2005 22,141 13,575 4,690 3,940 714
2006 30,746 12,329 4,490 3,838 640
2007 26,047 9,545 3,934 2,735 564
2008 24,548 8,051 4,508 2,716 639
2009 26,117 6,213 4,270 4,270 627
2010 30,252 4,986 4,181 4,364 1,502
2011 24,965 6,073 3,104 2,449 1,249
2012 28,943 9,931 3,152 2,449 1,311
2013 33,078 12,611 3,792 2,394 1,308
2014 38,330 9,113 2,233 2,604 1,219
2015 39,530 11,330 1,705 3,304 1,500
2016 39,789 11,337 1,545 3,230 750
Total 497,515 183,965 66,523 52,286 13,995

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Lindsay, Colin (2001). "The South Asian Community" (PDF). Profiles of Ethnic Communities in Canada. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2014. ()
  3. ^ "NHS Profile, Canada, 2011 ." Statistics Canada.
  4. ^ "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables." Statistics Canada.
  5. ^ Census Profile, 2016 Census: Greater Vancouver, Regional district. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  6. ^ Focus on Geography Series, 2016 Census; Toronto, (CMA) - Ontario
  7. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. October 4, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  8. ^ Anirban (July 6, 2010). "Are Indians Asians?". Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 21, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "5 turbaned Sikh MPs, 5 South Asian women enter Canadian Parliament". October 20, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  11. ^ "Population (in thousands) by visible minority group, Canada, 2011 (estimated) and 2036". Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "Projections of the Aboriginal Population and Households in Canada 2011 to 2036" (PDF). Retrieved October 19, 2018.

Further reading

Asian Canadians

Asian Canadians are Canadians who can trace their ancestry back to the continent of Asia or Asian people. Canadians with Asian ancestry comprise the largest and fastest growing visible minority group in Canada, with roughly 17.7% of the Canadian population. Most Asian Canadians are concentrated in the urban areas of Southern Ontario, the Greater Vancouver area, Calgary, and other large Canadian cities.

Asian Canadians considered visible minorities may be classified as East Asian Canadian (e.g. Chinese Canadians, Korean Canadians, Japanese Canadians); South Asian Canadians (e.g. Bangladeshi Canadians, Indian Canadians, Pakistani Canadians, Sri Lankan Canadians); Southeast Asian Canadian (e.g. Filipino Canadians, Vietnamese Canadians); or West Asian Canadians (e.g. Iranian Canadians, Iraqi Canadians, Lebanese Canadians).

Bangladeshi Canadians

Bangladeshi Canadians are Canadian citizens of Bangladeshi descent or a Bangladesh-born permanent resident who resides in Canada.

Canadian diaspora

The Canadian diaspora is the group of Canadians living outside the borders of Canada. As of a 2010 report by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and The Canadian Expat Association, there were 2.8 million Canadian citizens abroad (plus an unknown number of former citizens and descendents of citizens). For comparison, that is a larger population than six of the ten Canadian provinces. More than 9% of all Canadian citizens live outside of Canada. That compares to 1.7% of Americans, 2.6% of Chinese citizens, 3.3% of French citizens, 4.3% of Australians, 9% of British citizens, and 21.9% of New Zealanders.In past decades, most Canadians leaving the country have moved to the United States. In the 1980s, Los Angeles had the fourth largest Canadian population of any city in North America, with New York close behind. Other countries and cities have emerged as major sites of Canadian settlement, notably Hong Kong, London, Beirut, Sydney, Paris, and Dubai. The population in New York experienced continued growth in the 2000s, doubling between 2000 and 2008 to 21,000, representing the eighth largest foreign-born group in the Borough of Manhattan.Many Canadians in the United States are there without legal permission; a 2008 report by the Urban Institute estimated that "65,000 and 75,000 undocumented Canadians currently live in the United States".The largest Canadian populations abroad by country are:

Citizens born in Canada make up about 58% of the diaspora, the other 42% being people born outside Canada who became naturalized as Canadian citizens and then moved out again, often back to their country of origin, or sometimes to a third country. Native-born Canadians had an exit rate of about 1.33% over ten years from 1996 to 2006, compared to 4.5% for naturalized Canadians. Most Canadians in the United States are native-born, while most Canadians in Hong Kong are naturalized Canadians who were born in Hong Kong.For native-born Canadians, the United States is the primary destination, and the emigration rate varies substantially by ethnicity. It is especially high among Middle Eastern, Eastern European, and South Asian Canadians, indicating that the English-speaking and well-educated children of immigrants are often highly mobile. French Canadians have the highest rate of return to Canada at 29%. Among naturalized Canadians, exit rates vary by country of origin, being highest among Canadians from typically highly developed countries (Hong Kong, United States, Taiwan, France). Exit rates among Canada's two largest immigrant populations, Mainland Chinese and Indians, were very low during 1996 to 2006 but have risen.

British Columbians are particularly likely to go overseas, more than twice as likely as an Ontarian, and five times more likely as a Quebecer, according to a 2007 survey by The Vancouver Sun. Many of these are Hong Kong returnees; the so-called "astronauts" or "yacht people" who moved to Vancouver from Hong Kong in the 1980s and 90s, but later returned. However, two-thirds of Canadians overseas (in 2007) were Canadian-born, outnumbering returning immigrants.

Canadian online media

Canadian online media is content aimed at a Canadian audience through the medium of the Internet. Presently, online media can be accessed by computers, smart-phones, gaming consoles, Smart TVs, MP3 players, and tablets. The characteristics of Canadian online media are strongly shaped by the Canadian communications industry, even though their statistics and findings are more often than not associated with American research. Large media companies are increasingly on the move to start up online platforms for news and television content. The exponential growth of Canadians' dependency on online content for entertainment and information has been evident in the recent decades. However, it has proven slow for Canadian online media to catch up with the constant increase of American online media. Regardless of medium, entertainment and information hubs are not solely focusing on satisfying the audience they have, but are also heavily expanding their reach to new global audiences.

Continuous journey regulation

The Canadian government's first attempt to restrict immigration was to pass an order-in-council on January 8, 1908, that prohibited immigration of persons who "in the opinion of the Minister of the Interior" did not "come from the country of their birth or citizenship by a continuous journey and or through tickets purchased before leaving their country of their birth or nationality." In practice this applied only to ships that began their voyage in India, as the great distance usually necessitated a stopover in Japan or Hawaii. These regulations came at a time when Canada was accepting massive numbers of immigrants (over 400,000 in 1913 alone – a figure that remains unsurpassed to this day), almost all of whom came from Europe.


Andrew Gunadie (better known as gunnarolla on YouTube; born February 7) is a Canadian internet personality, musician, and video producer. He is best known for "Canadian, Please", a music video in which he co-starred and co-produced with Julia Bentley. Collectively, his YouTube videos have surpassed 10 million views. In 2013, he won the Digi Award for Online Personality of the Year.

Indian community of London

British Indians form the largest ethno-national group in London with a population of around 542,857 or 6.6% of the population. The majority are concentrated in West London, home to London's Hindu community, though populations can be found throughout London.


Indian Canadians or Indo-Canadians are Canadian citizens whose heritage belongs to any of the many ethnic groups of Republic of India. The term East Indian is sometimes used to distinguish people of ancestral origin from India in order to avoid confusion with the First Nations of Canada. Statistics Canada specifically uses the term Asian Indian to refer to people who trace their origins from the modern day Republic of India.

According to Statistics Canada, Indian-Canadians are one of the fastest growing communities in Canada, making up the second largest non-European ethnic group in the country after Chinese Canadians.Behind several communities, Canada contains the world's tenth largest Indian diaspora. The largest group of Indo Canadians are those of Punjabi origin, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the Indo Canadian population. The highest concentrations of Indo-Canadians are found in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, followed by growing communities in Alberta and Quebec as well, with the majority of them being foreign-born.

Indo-Canadians in British Columbia

The Indo-Canadian community in British Columbia was first established in 1897. The first immigrants originated from Punjab, British India, a region and state in modern-day India and Pakistan. Most Punjabis originally settled in rural British Columbia at the turn of the twentieth century, working in sawmills and the agricultural sector.

As their numbers grew anti-"Hindu" sentiment increased among the Whites living in the province and they were prevented from voting beginning in 1908. Originally Indo-Canadian settlement was predominately male; large numbers of women and children began arriving in the 1940s. Around that time the Indo-Canadians were given the right to vote, and therefore they began to enter British Columbia political life.

In the later half of the 20th Century many Indo-Canadians transitioned into living in urban areas as the economic vitality of the sawmill industry, and therefore the vitality of their rural British Columbia communities, declined.

Interracial marriage

Interracial marriage is a form of marriage outside a specific social group (exogamy) involving spouses who belong to different socially-defined races or racialized ethnicities.

In the past, it was outlawed in the United States of America and in South Africa as miscegenation. It became legal in the entire United States in 1967 when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case Loving v. Virginia that race-based restrictions on marriages violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

Malvern, Toronto

Malvern is a neighbourhood in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a population of 44,315. It is located in the northeast corner of the city.

There are over 60 different cultures represented in Malvern, with the most dominant ethnic groups being Caribbean Canadians (mostly Jamaican, Trinidadian, and Guyanese) and South Asian Canadians (mostly Sri Lankan Tamil, Indian and Pakistani). The neighbourhood has the highest concentration of young people in Canada.

Romani people in Canada

The Romani people in Canada are citizens of Canada who are of Romani descent. According to the 2011 Census there were 5,255 Canadians who claimed Romani (Gypsy) ancestry.

Sathya Sai Baba movement

The Sathya Sai Baba movement is inspired by South Indian Hindu guru Sathya Sai Baba who taught the unity of all religions. Some of his followers have faith in his claim to be a purna Avatar (full divine incarnation) of Shiva and Shakti, who is believed to have been predicted in the Bhagavad Gita. This means that some of his followers see him as a God. Devotees engage in singing devotional songs called "bhajans" and selfless service (seva). Its official organization is the Sathya Sai Organization. However the Sathya Sai Baba movement extends beyond the organization. An important aspect of the faith of adherents is the miracles attributed to Sathya Sai Baba. The number of adherents is estimated between 6 and 100 million.

South Asian Americans

South Asian Americans are often considered to include people who themselves or their ancestors migrated from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Following is the list of South Asian diasporas living in the USA arranged according to their 2017 population estimated by United States Census Bureau.

Indian Americans (4,402,362)

Indo-Caribbean Americans (232,817)

Indo-Fijian Americans (30,890)

Pakistani Americans (544,640)

Bangladeshi Americans (185,622)

Nepalese Americans (182,385)

Sri Lankan Americans (52,448)

Bhutanese Americans (26,845)

Maldivian American

South Asian Canadians in Greater Vancouver

South Asian Canadians in Metro Vancouver form the third-largest ethnic group in the region, comprising 291,005 or 12% of the total population. Sizable South Asian communities exist within the city of Vancouver along with the adjoining city of Surrey, which houses one of the world's largest South Asian enclaves.Most South Asian-Canadians in Greater Vancouver and cities adjacent to it are Punjabi Sikhs. This differs from the overall composition of South Asians in Canada; the 2007 data from Stats Can states "Canadians of South Asian origin are almost equally divided among the Sikh, Hindu and Muslim faith groups"67% percent of South Asian-Canadians in Canada live in the Toronto and Vancouver areas as of 2016, together making up nearly 30% of the combined populations of the cities.Canadian-raised Punjabi Sikhs living in the Vancouver area, which comprises the western half of the Lower Mainland region, perceive "Punjabi" and "Sikh" as being the same thing, and therefore they use the two words interchangeably. Hugh Johnston, the author of "The Development of the Punjabi Community in Vancouver since 1961," wrote that "Sikhs are exclusively Punjabi".

South Asian Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area

As of 2006 there were 684,000 South Asian Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area, making them the largest visible minority group there. As of 2011 Toronto is the destination of over half of the immigrants coming from India to Canada, and India is the single largest source of immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area. As of 2016, there were 995,125 South Asian Canadians in the GTA.

Springdale, Brampton

Springdale is a suburban middle-class unincorporated community of Brampton, Ontario, Canada covering 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) with several schools, shopping centres, retirement homes, a fitness centre, a community recreation centre, and a hospital.

Springdale is home to one of the largest communities of South Asian Canadians in the country, who make up the majority of its population.

Sri Lankan Canadians

Sri Lankan Canadians refers to people from Sri Lanka who have arrived and settled in Canada. Among these immigrants include members from the Tamil, Sinhalese, Moor, Malay and Burgher ethnicities. As of 2006 there are 103,625 Sri Lankans in Canada.

Visible minority

A visible minority (French: minorité visible) is defined by the Government of Canada as "persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour". The term is used primarily as a demographic category by Statistics Canada, in connection with that country's Employment Equity policies. The qualifier "visible" was chosen by the Canadian authorities as a way to single out newer immigrant minorities from both Aboriginal Canadians and other "older" minorities distinguishable by language (French vs. English) and religion (Catholics vs. Protestants), which are "invisible" traits (cf. the categories "WASP" and "white ethnic" in a US context).

The term visible minority is sometimes used as a euphemism for "non-white". This is incorrect, in that the government definitions differ: Aboriginal people are not considered to be visible minorities, but are not necessarily white either. Also, some groups that are defined as "white" in the United States census, such as Middle Eastern Americans, are defined as "visible minorities" in the official Canadian definition. In some cases, members of "visible minorities" may be visually indistinguishable from the majority population and/or may form a majority minority population locally (as is the case in some parts of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal).

Since the reform of Canada's immigration laws in the 1960s, immigration has been primarily of peoples from areas other than Europe, many of whom are visible minorities within Canada. Legally, members of visible minorities are defined by the Canadian Employment Equity Act as "persons, other than Aboriginal people, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour". The United States' equivalent classification—"people of color"—is similar, but also includes Indigenous Americans. Historically, it specifically referred to persons of mixed race, particularly of African and European ancestry.

Canadian people
and society
List of
Canadians of Asian descent by area of origin
Central Asia
East Asia
Southeast Asia
South Asia
West Asia

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