Albanian Canadian

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Albanian Canadian
Shqiptarë Kanadeze
Total population
28,270 (by ancestry, 2011 Census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton
Albanian, Canadian English, Canadian French
Christian (Roman Catholic, Albanian Orthodox) and Muslim
Related ethnic groups
Albanian diaspora
Albanian American

Albanian Canadian (Albanian: Shqiptarë Kanadezë) is a Canadian of Albanian origin or an Albanian who holds Canadian citizenship. According to the 2011 Census there were 28,270 Canadians who claimed Albanian ancestry, having an increase compared to those 22,395 in the 2006 Census.[2]


The first Albanians who settled in Canada arrived in the early 20th century, due to internal uprisings that occurred in their country of origin. However, after World War II (1938–1943) very few Albanians came to Canada, and most arrived from the former Yugoslavia, due to a communist regime in Albania, which prohibited foreign travel. Most Albanians who emigrated to Canada country after the war decided to settle in Montreal or Toronto. There were also some Albanian workers who resided in Calgary and Ontario (e.g. Peterborough).[3] Despite of this migration, by 1986, the Albanians was recorded at just under 1,500. However, in 1991, these figures nearly doubled. The number of Albanians in Canada peaked in the late 1990s as they fled economic and political crisis in both Albania and Yugoslavia.[4]

Later, at the beginning of the 21st century, a new war prompted a second wave of immigration of Albanians in Canada. This armed conflict was a clash between Albanian and Serb military and police, which caused that many Albanians feel compelled to leave Kosovo as refugees, many of them emigrating to Canada. Thus, in 1999, the Government of Canada established a residency program to allow 7,000 refugees Kosovar Albanians.[3]

As with professionals from other countries, there has been a large influx of young Albanian professionals who immigrate to Canada for a better life.


According to the 2006 census, there were 22,395 Canadians of ethnic Albanians living in Canada, most of which 11,385 (51%), residing in Toronto.[3] Hamilton, Kitchener, London and Peterborough are areas on the outskirts of Toronto who also have Albanian communities.[4] Most socio-cultural activities and festivals representing local communities and family groups. The Albanians are very patriarchal and often live in extended family households. Currently, Albanian Canadians still appreciate their ethnicity, and national history of their country of origin, although their ancestors may have left Albania for centuries. The Albanians of Albania are working on their business and social organizations, often found in the food industry.[3] The Albanians do not come only from Albania and Kosovo, as they come, at least, also from others five different countries: Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Serbia and Montenegro. The Albanian-Canadians belong (as the Albanians) to five religious groups – Christian (Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical) and Muslim (Sunni and Bektashi).[4]


Over the years, Albanian Canadians established many organizations in Canada, to maintain their language, traditions and culture. These associations, however, have also helped other immigrants adapt to Canadian life. Many of these partnerships are in Toronto, a major city of Albanian population. In this city, the largest associations are better organized and they are: the Albanian Muslim Society of Toronto (founded in 1954) and the Albanian-Canadian Community Association of Toronto (founded in 1990).[4][5]

Notable Albanian Canadians[edit]

Author Ira Metani, Toronto resident, is of Albanian heritage. She is the author of Transforming Education: The Albanian Experience.[6]

Actress Ana Golja, Toronto resident, is of Albanian heritage (through both grandparents). She appears on Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Former hockey player Tie Domi is of Albanian descent.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d The Canadian Encyclopedia. Published by Vladislav A. Tomovic. Retrieved on November 29, 2011, 0:36 pm at.
  4. ^ a b c d The Albanians in Toronto. Retrieved on November 29, 2011, 0:36 pm at. Published by Krystyna Cap.
  5. ^ Albanian-Canadian community Association
  6. ^

External links[edit]