Taiwanese Canadians

Taiwanese Canadians are Canadian citizens who carry full or partial ancestry from the disputed East Asian island of Taiwan. This includes Canadian-born citizens who descend from migrants from Taiwan.

Taiwan currently functions as a de facto independent state, officially known as the "Republic of China" (not to be confused with the "People's Republic of China", a United Nations member state which claims Taiwan as its 23rd province). Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations and is only recognised by 17 de jure countries. Hence, Canada and most other countries of the world officially recognise Taiwan as a province of China, whilst still treating Taiwan as an independent country in many unofficial regards.

There are over one hundred thousand Taiwanese who have gained citizenship or permanent residency status in Canada.[3][4][5]

Taiwanese Canadians
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal
Canadian English, Canadian French (Quebec French), Hakka, Taiwanese Mandarin, Taiwanese Hokkien, Formosan languages
Buddhism, Christianity (Protestantism and Roman Catholicism), Chinese folk religion, Freethinking, Taoism


Taiwanese people have been present in Canada since the 1970s but many of those immigrants have since moved to the United States and have become part of the Taiwanese American and Chinese American communities. Starting from the late 1980s, many Taiwanese people immigrated to Canada, especially Vancouver, British Columbia, and to the adjacent cities of Burnaby, Richmond, and Coquitlam to form a permanent Taiwanese Canadian community. The Greater Vancouver metropolitan area now has the largest Taiwanese community in Canada. There is also an established Taiwanese community in Toronto, but more spread out than its counterpart in Vancouver. Unlike the Taiwanese American community with a longer history in North America, the majority of the younger Taiwanese Canadians are either first generation or 1.5 generation immigrants who have either grown up entirely in Taiwan or have completed at least some elementary or junior high school education in Taiwan prior to immigrating to Canada. This is because many Taiwanese Canadian households are made up of households where the providers are people retired from their businesses and occupations in Taiwan, and decided to move their families (many with adolescent or grown-up children) to Canada. There are also many Taiwanese Canadian households where the primary provider (usually the father) is not retired and still conducts business in Taiwan which requires frequent travel between Taiwan and Canada and maybe even require living away from their families for part of the year or longer (this situation is typical of many of the Hong Kong Chinese as well). There is a sizable Waisheng Taiwanese community as well in Vancouver that may rival the Bensheng community in size, but they tend to identify themselves more as Chinese Canadians.


First-generation or 1.5-generation Taiwanese Canadians (especially Bensheng Taiwanese) are often fluent in both Mandarin as well as Hokkien. To a lesser extent, Hakka is also spoken by those of Taiwanese Hakka heritage. Among the second generation, English often becomes their preferred language and linguistic fluency in the heritage language varies. Thus, many second-generation Taiwanese Canadians either speak Taiwanese as their heritage language and may not know any Mandarin or speak Mandarin as their heritage language and know little Taiwanese (the latter is particularly common among families from the Taipei Metropolitan Area). Maintaining their heritage language depends on the efforts of their parents and whether the individuals are exposed to Mandarin through Mandarin Chinese schools. Second-generation Taiwanese of Hakka descent tend to speak better Mandarin as their heritage language. According to the 2011 census, 9,635 reported to speak Taiwanese as their mother tongue.[6]

Settlement in Vancouver

Many Taiwanese immigrants have recently (as of 2011) settled in Vancouver, B.C., forming a growing and stable Taiwanese Canadian community; however, it is often overlooked due to the presence of a larger Hong Kong Chinese immigrant base. Many of these immigrants from Taiwan, especially those without family or relatives in United States, find it easier to immigrate to Canada. These Taiwanese immigrants are also relatively wealthy and like many of the Hong Kong Chinese can afford Vancouver's high cost of living. The Greater Vancouver metropolitan area offers comfortable living and the conveniences of modern Chinese shopping centers with a vast array of restaurants, eateries, and grocery stores that provide the foods and entertainment that reflect the modern trends that the Hong Kong Chinese and Taiwanese were accustomed to prior to arriving in Canada. Because Vancouver has more Hong Kong Chinese than Taiwanese, the fashions and products available largely reflect the modern trends of Hong Kong more so than Taiwan. This is in contrast to the Santa Clara Valley/Silicon Valley and San Gabriel Valley in California where there are concentrated communities with larger proportions of people of Taiwanese heritage and where many "Chinese" shopping centers, restaurants, supermarkets, and other retail businesses tend to reflect more of the modern Taiwanese trends. (Note: Both Taiwan and Hong Kong have long held powerful influences on the Chinese-speaking communities around the world regarding trends in food, popular culture, and fashions). There are T & T Supermarkets in Canada as opposed to 99 Ranch Markets in the United States.

Taiwanese American visitors, south of the Canada–United States border

Greater Vancouver also attracts Taiwanese American visitors from the Greater Seattle Area in the United States (approximately 200 km south of the Canada–US border). Vancouver is the only large Canadian city that is close in proximity to another large city just south of the Canada–US border and where both cities have well-established Chinese and Taiwanese communities.

The Greater Seattle Area overall has a larger and longer established Taiwanese population than Vancouver, but its Taiwanese residents are spread out over a vast area and not as highly concentrated in one area as those in Vancouver. The few "Chinese" shopping center complexes in Seattle's International District (Chinatown) may be owned by Taiwanese and/or Chinese people but cater mostly to other Asians such as first-generation Southeast Asians of Vietnamese and Cambodian heritage. Shops particularly in the heart of the International District are owned by older-established Cantonese/Toisan Chinese Americans (the descendants of the first Chinese who built up most of the Chinatowns in many American cities). Seattle is much closer to Vancouver than to San Francisco, San Jose, and Los Angeles (all located in California with large Chinese and Taiwanese communities).

The Greater Vancouver area has amenities for Taiwanese and Chinese communities quite similar to these large California metropolitan areas. Despite the long wait times at the Canada–United States border customs, it is still worth a road trip up to Vancouver for food and commercial products (i.e., music CDs, books, snack items) from Taiwan and Hong Kong. Many Taiwanese Americans from the Greater Seattle Area and other Asian American hubs also have business and social connections and family ties to the Taiwanese Canadian families in Vancouver. University and college students of Chinese and Taiwanese heritage (primarily from the University of Washington's Seattle campus) make frequent road trips to Vancouver.

Notable Taiwanese Canadians (including those currently not residing in Canada)

See also


  1. ^ "Overseas Chinese Affairs Council - Taiwan (ROC)".
  2. ^ Overseas Chinese Affairs Council - Taiwan (ROC) (PDF), OCA Council
  3. ^ "Statistical Yearbook of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Council, Republic of China (Taiwan)" (PDF) (in Chinese). ocac.gov.tw. 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  4. ^ "CIC Facts and Figures 2003" (PDF).
  5. ^ "CIC Facts and Figures 2009" (ASP).
  6. ^ "Census Profile".

External links

Anne Kang

Anne Kang (Chinese: 康安禮) is a Canadian politician serving in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia as the MLA for Burnaby-Deer Lake since 2017. Prior to her election, Kang served as a City Councillor in Burnaby for three terms.

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).

Canada–Taiwan relations

Canada and the Republic of China (also known as Taiwan) have maintained unofficial bilateral relations since 1970.

Relations between Canada and the ROC were established in 1942. Since Canada's recognition of the People's Republic of China as the sole representative of "China", there are no official relations between Canada and Taiwan due to its One-China policy. Officially, Canada "takes note" of China's claim to Taiwan without endorsing or challenging this position. Both entities maintain cultural and economic exchanges.

Chinese Canadians

Chinese Canadians are Canadians of full or partial Chinese ancestry which includes Canadian-born Chinese. They comprise a subgroup of East Asian Canadians which is a further subgroup of Asian Canadians. Demographic research tends to include immigrants from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau as well as overseas Chinese who have immigrated from South East Asia and South America into the broadly defined Chinese Canadian category. StatsCan refers to Taiwanese Canadians as a separate group apart from Chinese Canadians.Canadians of Chinese descent make up about five percent of the Canadian population, or about 1.76 million people as of 2016. The Chinese Canadian community is the largest ethnic group of Asian Canadians, consisting approximately 40% of the Asian Canadian population. Most Canadians of Chinese descent are concentrated within the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.

Dorothy Kostrzewa

Dorothy Nan Kostrzewa (née Chung; August 17, 1928 – January 11, 2013) was a Canadian politician. She is notable as the first Chinese-Canadian woman to hold political office in Canada when she was elected to Chilliwack City Council in 1970. She served on city council for 33 years making her the longest serving city councillor in British Columbia.

Hong Kong Canadians

Hong Kong Canadians or Canadians of Hong Kong origin (Chinese: 香港裔加拿大人 or 加拿大港人) are Canadian citizens who identify themselves to be of Hong Kong descent. The largest wave of immigration to Canada from Hong Kong occurred during the late 1980s and early 1990s, chiefly as the fear of uncertainties concerning the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997.

The vast majority of Canadians of Hong Kong origin are ethnically Chinese, though some choose to eschew their "Chinese" identity. They often trace their ancestry to Cantonese, Hakka, Hoklo, and Toisan cultural groups.

Many Hong Kong Canadians hold multiple citizenships, often possessing Canadian and HKSAR passports. Some Hong Kong Canadians have returned to Hong Kong from Canada since 1997 and have resettled in the territory permanently. As of 2014, Hong Kong has the highest concentration of Canadian citizens in Asia, with approximately 300,000 Canadian citizens of all ethnic backgrounds living in the city.In Canada, the majority of Hong Kong Canadians reside in the metropolitan areas of Toronto and Vancouver.

List of Canadians of Asian ancestry

This is a list of Canadians of Asian ancestry. Asian Canadians comprise the largest visible minority in Canada, at 11% of the Canadian population.

List of Presbyterian churches in Toronto

This is a list of Presbyterian Church in Canada churches in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Taiwanese Australians

Taiwanese Australians are Australian citizens or permanent residents whose ancestry lies in various ethnic groups which inhabit the East Asian island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan is disputed, with the island being claimed by two Chinese governments and various secessionist groups.

The term Taiwanese Australian officially refers to immigrants coming to Australia who possess citizenship of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and their descendants in Australia, according to the official Australian Census. Previously, the term referred to those Australians of Formosan (Japanese) descent, who were relatively very few in number.

Taiwanese Canadian Association of Toronto

Taiwanese Canadian Association of Toronto (TCAT), the largest general-purpose all-ages Taiwanese organization in the Greater Toronto Area, was established back in 1963 and later registered as a non-profit organization in the Province of Ontario in 1975.

The stated objectives of TCAT are: to promote the common interest and welfare of the members, to provide cultural and recreational activities for the Taiwanese community, and to better the inter-group relations within the context of Canadian multiculturalism.TCAT hosts cultural, social, and sport events throughout the year and also publishes three issues of TOGETHER magazines each year.

Two divisions, namely the Formosan Cup Division (tFCD) and the Public Affair Division (tPAD), were established in 1974 and 2009 respectively to focus on special events that promotes multiculturalism.

Taiwanese people

Taiwanese people (Chinese: 臺灣人) are people from Taiwan who share a common Taiwanese culture and speak Mandarin Chinese, Hokkien, Hakka, or Aboriginal languages as a mother tongue. Taiwanese people may also refer to individuals who either claim or are imputed cultural identity focused on Taiwan or areas under the control of the Government of the Republic of China since 1945, including Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu islands (see Taiwan Area). At least three competing (occasionally overlapping) paradigms are used to identify someone as a Taiwanese person: nationalist criteria, self-identification (including the concept of "New Taiwanese") criteria, and socio-cultural criteria. These standards are fluid, and result from evolving social and political issues. The complexity resulting from competing and evolving standards is compounded by a larger dispute regarding Taiwan's identity, the political status of Taiwan, and its potential de jure Taiwan independence or Cross-Strait Unification.

According to government figures, over 95% of Taiwan's population of 23.4 million consists of Han Chinese, while 2.3% are Austronesian Taiwanese aborigines. The category of Han Chinese consists of the three main groups: Hoklo, Hakka, and mainland Chinese. However, acculturation, intermarriage and assimilation have resulted in some degree of mixing of the Han and Taiwanese Aborigine blood lines. Although the concept of the "four great ethnic groups" was alleged to be the deliberate attempt by the Hoklo-dominated Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to defuse ethnic tensions, this conception has become a dominant frame of reference for dealing with Taiwanese ethnic and national issues.Despite the wide use of the "four great ethnic groups" in public discourse as essentialized identities, the relationships between the peoples of Taiwan have been in a constant state of convergence and negotiation for centuries. The continuing process of cross-ethnic mixing with ethnicities from within and outside Taiwan, combined with the disappearance of ethnic barriers due to a shared socio-political experience, has led to the emergence of "Taiwanese" as a larger ethnic group, except on the island of Kinmen whose populace consider themselves as Kinmenese or Chinese, and as well as inhabitant of Matsu Islands whereby they also consider themselves as Matsunese or Chinese.

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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