(by ancestry, 2011 Census)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Ontario, Western Canada, Atlantic Canada, Quebec|
|Polish · Canadian English · Canadian French|
|Christianity (Roman Catholicism · Protestantism · Orthodox Christian) · Judaism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Polonia · Western Slavs · Polish Americans|
Polish Canadians are Citizens of Canada with Polish ancestry, and Poles who immigrated to Canada from abroad. According to the 2011 Census by Statistics Canada, there were 1,010,705 Canadians who claimed full or partial Polish ancestry, having an increase compared to those 984,585 recorded in 2001.
- 1 History
- 2 Group-settlers
- 3 Religious services
- 4 Largest Polish Canadian communities
- 5 The Victoria Cross
- 6 Polish Canadian recipients of the Order of Canada
- 7 Polish Canadian Queen’s Counsels and lawyers appointed as judges
- 8 Notable Polish Canadians
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The first Polish immigrant on record, Dominik Barcz, is known to have come to Canada in 1752. He was a fur merchant from Gdańsk who settled in Montreal. He was followed in 1757 by Charles Blaskowicz, who worked as deputy surveyor-general of lands. In 1776 arrived army surgeon, August Franz Globensky. His grandson, Charles Auguste Maximilien Globensky was elected to the House of Commons in Ottawa in 1875.
Among the earliest Polish immigrants to Canada were members of the Watt and De Meuron military regiments from Saxony and Switzerland sent overseas to help the British Army in North America. Several were émigrés from Poland who took part in the November Uprising of 1830 and the 1863 insurrection against the Russian occupation of their own homeland.
In 1841, Casimir Stanislaus Gzowski arrived in Canada from the partitioned Poland via U.S.A. and for 50 years worked in engineering, military and community sectors in Toronto and Southern Ontario, for which he was knighted by Queen Victoria. His great-grandson, Peter Gzowski, became one of Canada's famous radio personalities.
Charles Horecki immigrated in 1872. He was an engineer with the cross-Canada railway construction from Edmonton to the Pacific Ocean through the Peace River Valley. Today, a mountain and a body of water in British Columbia are named after him.
Polish immigration stopped during World War I and between the wars, over 100,000 Polish immigrants arrived in Canada.
See also Kashubians#Diaspora
The first significant group of Polish group-settlers were Kashubians from Northern Poland, who were escaping Prussian oppression resulting from the occupation. They arrived in Renfrew County of Ontario in 1858, where they founded the settlements of Wilno, Barry’s Bay, and Round Lake (Ontario). By 1890 there were about 270 Kashubian families working in the Madawaska Valley of Renfrew County, mostly in the lumber industry of the Ottawa Valley.
The consecutive waves of Polish immigrants in periods from 1890–1914, 1920–1939, and 1941 to this day, settled across Canada from Cape Breton to Vancouver, and made numerous and significant contributions to the agricultural, manufacturing, engineering, teaching, publishing, religious, mining, cultural, professional, sports, military, research, business, governmental and political life in Canada.
All Polish Canadians including their descendants are encouraged by organizations such as the Congress, to preserve their background and retain some ties with Poland and its people. In the past, the most significant role in the preservation of various aspects of Polish traditions and customs among the Polish communities in Canada fell for the Polish urban parishes, which retain the use of Polish language during services.
The first Polish Catholic priest visited Polish immigrants in 1862 in Kitchener. The first church serving Polish immigrants was built in 1875 in Wilno, Ontario. In Winnipeg, the Holy Ghost Church was built in 1899 with the church in Winnipeg publishing the first Polish newspaper in Canada, Gazeta Katolicka in 1908. In Sydney, Nova Scotia, St. Mary's Polish Parish was established in 1913 by immigrant steelworkers and coal miners, many of whom had previously formed the St. Michael's Polish Benefit Society (est. 1909). The parish remains the only Polish parish in Atlantic Canada, although there is a Polish mission (St. Faustina) in Halifax.
The first Polish-Canadian Roman Catholic bishop is Reverend Mathew Ustrzycki, consecrated in June 1985, auxiliary bishop of the Hamilton Diocese. There are Polish-Canadian priests in many congregations and orders, such as the Franciscans, Jesuits, Redemptorists, Saletinians, Resurrectionists, Oblates, Michaelites, and the Society of Christ. In addition, 80 priests are serving in 120 parishes.
Largest Polish Canadian communities
The Victoria Cross
Numerous Polish-Canadians have been recognized with awards and appointments by the Queen and the Canadian governments as well as universities and various organizations. One of the most notable recipients was Andrew Mynarski, pilot-gunner from Winnipeg, awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for extreme valor in World War II.
Polish Canadian recipients of the Order of Canada
Polish Canadian Queen’s Counsels and lawyers appointed as judges
- Their Honors 
- Judge Paul Staniszewski, of Toronto, Montreal and the County Court of Windsor
- Judge P. Swiecicki, of the Superior Court of BC in Vancouver
- Judge Allan H. J. Wachowich, of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton
- Judge E.F. Wrzeszczinski-Wren, of the County Court of Toronto.
Notable Polish Canadians
Science and Engineering
- Casimir Gzowski, engineer who worked on Welland Canal, New York & Erie Railway (first Commissioner of the Niagara Parks Commission)
- Leon Katz (physicist) (1909–2004), FRSC, Officer of the Order of Canada, Professor University of Saskatchewan
- Karol Józef Krótki FRSC, demography professor, statistician
- Witold Rybczynski, architect, professor and writer
- Adam Skorek, professor of electrical and computer engineering
- Lucas Skoczkowski, founder and CEO of Redknee
- Nicole Tomczak-Jaegermann FRSC, mathematics professor
- Janusz Żurakowski, Battle of Britain fighter pilot
- Leon David Crestohl – Liberal MP Cartier 1950–1963
- Bonnie Crombie – mayor of Mississauga, Ontario (2014-present)
- Jan Dukszta – former Ontario NDP MPP
- Gary Filmon – former Premier of Manitoba
- Jesse Flis – Liberal MP Parkdale—High Park 1979–1984; 1988–1997
- Casimir Gzowski – Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
- Wladyslaw Lizon – Conservative MP for Mississauga East-Cooksville (2011–present) and former president of the Canadian Polish Congress
- Ted Opitz – Conservative MP for Etobicoke Centre (2011–present)
- Stanley Haidasz – Liberal MP: for Trinity: 1957–1958, for Parkdale: 1962–1978, Minister of State, Senator
- Andrew Kania – former Liberal Member of Parliament for Brampton West (2008–2011)
- Stan Kazmierczak Keyes – former national chair of Liberal Party of Canada; Liberal MP Hamilton West 1988–2004
- Alexandre Edouard Kierzkowski – Liberal MP St. Hyacinthe 1867–1870, First MP of Polish Descent
- Chris Korwin-Kuczynski – former Toronto city councillor (1981–2003)
- Ken Kowalski, former Deputy Premier of Alberta, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
- Don Mazankowski – Deputy Prime Minister for Brian Mulroney, Progressive Conservative MP Vegreville 1968–1993
- Gary Malkowski – former Ontario NDP MPP, Canada's first deaf parliamentarian
- Peter Milczyn – Member of Toronto City Council 2000–present
- Fred Rose – Labour Progressive (Communist) MP Cartier 1943–1947; his capture as a Soviet spy helped to start the Cold War
- Paul Yakabuski – former Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP
- Elaine Ziemba – former Ontario NDP MPP
- Thomas Lukaszuk - Alberta Government Minister and MLA For Edmonton-Castle downs
- Jacob Kuba Rybicki – music producer, born in Toronto
- Dan Bryk – singer-songwriter
- Basia Bulat – singer-songwriter
- Anna Cyzon – singer-songwriter
- Captain G.Q. – singer-songwriter
- Janina Fialkowska – renown pianist, born in Montreal 
- Marek Jablonski – pianist-virtuoso, born in Cracow 
- Steve Jocz – drummer for Sum 41
- Ben Kowalewicz – lead singer for Billy Talent
- Geddy Lee – bassist, keyboardist and lead vocalist for Rush
- Jan Lisiecki – pianist-virtuoso, born in Calgary
- Margaret Maye – singer and actress
- Daniel Wnukowski – pianist
- Walter Buczynski – composer
- Kinga Mitrowska – singer
- Kornel Wolak – clarinet virtuoso
Culture and Media
- Andrzej Busza – poet
- Bogdan Czaykowski – poet, translator, essayist
- Alex Debogorski – veteran ice road trucker on the series Ice Road truckers.
- Peter Gzowski – broadcaster, writer and reporter
- Wacław Iwaniuk – poet in Polish, literary critic and essayist 
- Jacqueline Milczarek – journalist, news anchor
- Anne Mroczkowski – journalist, news anchor
- Bogumil Pacak-Gamalski – poet, essayist, editor-in-chief of 'Strumien' art annual 
- Estanislao (Stan) Oziewicz - journalist, The Globe and Mail
- George Radwanski – editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star
- Chava Rosenfarb – novelist, poet in Yiddish, wife of Henry Morgentaler
- Adam Smoluk – director, screenwriter and actor
- Mark Starowicz – head of CBC Television Documentary Programming unit, journalist and TV producer
- Alexandra Szacka – CBC/Radio-Canada correspondent
- Magda Apanowicz – actress
- Lara Jean Chorostecki - actress
- Henry Czerny – actor
- Paloma Kwiatkowski – actress
- Lisa Ray – actress
- Devon Sawa – actor
- Andrew Charles Mynarski VC, Second World War airman
- Stefan Sznuk – Major General.
- Walter J. Natynczyk – Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces
- Turk Broda – ice hockey goalie
- Peter Czerwinski - Competitive eater and Bodybuilder
- Gabriela Dabrowski - professional tennis player
- Wayne Gretzky – hockey legend
- Michael Klukowski – soccer player for Club Brugge
- Walter "Killer" Kowalski – professional wrestler
- Tomasz Kucharzewski – martial artist
- Jim Peplinski – Calgary Flames NHL
- Chris Pozniak – soccer player who currently plays for San Jose Earthquakes.
- Tomasz Radzinski – soccer player
- Krzysztof Soszynski – mixed martial artist
- Larry Trader – played for Detroit, St. Louis, Montreal, 1982–1988
- Wojtek Wolski – player NHL
- John Tavares – ice hockey player for the New York Islanders
- Aleksandra Wozniak – professional tennis player
- Stan Mikawos – Winnipeg Blue Bombers player CFL
- Dave Stala – Hamilton Tiger-Cats player CFL
- Shane Churla - player NHL
- Great Emigration
- Canadian-Polish Congress
- Polish Culture Society of Edmonton
- Polish Americans
- Polish Cathedral style of North American church architecture
- Polish British
- Polish Australians
- Polish Brazilians
- Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Sheldon Kirshner (Sep 15, 2004). "Database" (PDF file, direct download 351 KB). The Polish-Jewish Heritage Foundation of Canada. The Canadian Jewish News, Toronto. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
- Statistics Canada, , 2001 Census, last modified: 2005-01-25. Accessed 2008-01-03.
- Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2002, Archival Sources for the Study of Polish Canadians. Accessed 2008-01-03
- Reczynska, Anna (1996). For bread and a better future : emigration from Poland to Canada, 1918-1939. Toronto: Multicultural History Society of Ontario. p. 8. ISBN 0-919045-70-7.
- Henry Radecki, Ethnic organizational dynamics: the Polish group in Canada. Page 102 Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press, 1979 – 275 pages
- Heydenkorn, Benedykt (Spring–Summer 1982). "Polish press in Canada". Polyphony: The Bulletin of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario 4 (1): 35. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- CPC. "In the legal profession". Contribution of Poles to the Canadian Society. Canadian Polish Congress. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
- Archival Sources for the Study of Polish Canadians
- Storrow, Holly (March 23, 2013). "An interview with ‘Hannibal’ star Lara Jean Chorostecki". The Daily Quirk.
- Schaefer, Glen (June 3, 2012). "Teen actor's career catapults into Hollywood overnight". The Province. Archived from the original on June 15, 2012.
- Polonia Edmonton Community Page
- Canadian Polish Congress
- History of Ours: the Polish Community in Brantford
- Polish: Polonijne parafie rzymskokatolickie w Kanadzie
- Multicultural Canada website digitized issues of Toronto newspaper Zwiazkowiec (Alliancer), 1935–1978