Dutch Canadians

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Dutch Canadians
Néerlandais Canadiens
Total population
1,067,245 (2011 Census)
Regions with significant populations
Ontario, Western Canada, Atlantic Canada, Quebec
Canadian English, Canadian French, Dutch, Frisian, Limburgish
Protestantism, Roman Catholicism
Related ethnic groups
Dutch people, Dutch Americans, Dutch Brazilians, Dutch Surinamese, Afrikaner, English Canadians, French Canadians, Flemish Canadians, Danish Canadians, Swedish Canadians, Norwegian Canadians

Dutch Canadians are any Canadian citizens of Dutch ancestry. According to the Canada 2006 Census, there are 1,035,965 Canadians of Dutch descent, including those of full or partial ancestry.


The first Dutch people to come to Canada were Dutch Americans among the United Empire Loyalists. The largest wave was in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when large numbers of Dutch helped settle the Canadian west. During this period significant numbers also settled in major cities like Toronto. While interrupted by the First World War this migration returned in the 1920s, but again halted during the Great Depression and Second World War. After World War II a large number of Dutch immigrants moved to Canada, including a number of war brides of the Canadian soldiers who liberated the Netherlands. There were officially 1,886 Dutch war brides to Canada, ranking second after British war brides.[1] During the war Canada had sheltered Crown Princess Juliana and her family. The annual Canadian Tulip Festival held in May commemorates her with a generous number of tulips coming from The Netherlands. Due to these close links Canada became a popular destination for Dutch immigrants. The Canadian government encouraged this, recruiting skilled workers. This post-war wave went mainly to urban centres such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver. With the economic recovery of the Netherlands in the post-war years immigration to Canada slowed.

While one of the largest minority groups in Canada, Dutch Canadians have tended to rapidly assimilate and there are relatively few Dutch Canadian organizations and media. One important institution is the Christian Reformed Church in North America, with most congregations found throughout Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. The Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, The King's University in Edmonton, and Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario are associated with this Dutch Reformed/Calvinist denomination. Christian Schools International, the Christian Labour Association of Canada, and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario are organizations with strong Dutch-Canadian roots.

Dutch Canadians, because of their shared cultural and religious heritage, tend to form tight-knit communities. This has led to an in-joke known as "Dutch bingo",[2] where it is said that a Dutch Canadian is able to figure out his/her connection to another Dutch Canadian by asking questions about the other's last name, town of birth, church and the college they attended.

Notable people[edit]


Arts and entertainment[edit]



Politics and civil service[edit]

  • Michael Chong, Conservative MP, Wellington-Halton Hills
  • Roméo Dallaire, former Liberal Senator, humanitarian, author, UN peacekeeper and Canadian Forces Lieutenant-General[4]
  • Harry de Jong, Abbotsford, British Columbia Social Credit MLA from 1986 to 1994
  • Mike de Jong, Abbotsford, British Columbia Liberal MLA since 1994
  • Simon De Jong, former federal Saskatchewan NDP MP
  • Jacob De Witt, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada
  • Rick Dykstra, Conservative MP St. Catharines from 2006 to 2015 and Parliamentary Secretary
  • Fred Eisenberger, former Ward Alderman and Mayor of Hamilton, Ontario
  • John Gerretsen, former Mayor of Kingston, Ontario, former Ontario MPP and provincial cabinet minister
  • Samuel Holland, Royal Engineer and first Surveyor General of British North America
  • David Mathews, American Loyalist and former Mayor of New York City during the American Revolution who settled in Nova Scotia and became a leading administrator.
  • John Oostrom, first Dutch-born MP, Progressive Conservative for Willowdale[5]
  • Case Ootes, former city councillor in Toronto; served as deputy mayor under Mayor Mel Lastman and represents one of the two Toronto—Danforth wards
  • Egerton Ryerson, Methodist minister, public education advocate, Chief Superintendent of Education for Upper Canada
  • Peter Stoffer, NDP MP Sackville-Eastern Shore from 1997 to 2015
  • Jacob Van Buskirk, Representative for Shelburne County in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1805 to 1818
  • John van Dongen Abbotsford, British Columbia Liberal MLA from 1995 to 2013
  • Anthony Van Egmond, Member of the Reform Movement in Upper Canada, a leader of the rebels in the Upper Canada Rebellion
  • Dave Van Kesteren, Conservative MP, Chatham-Kent--Leamington
  • Bill Vander Zalm, former Mayor of Surrey, BC Social Credit MLA and entrepreneur in British Columbia, Canada. He was the 28th Premier of British Columbia from 1986 to 1991[6]
  • Adam Swart Vedder, Westminster-Chilliwhack, British Columbia MLA from 1897 to 1898
  • Elizabeth Witmer, former Progressive Conservative MPP, Ontario cabinet minister and Chair of Workplace Safety & Insurance Board of Ontario


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ganzevoort, Herman (1983). Dutch immigration to North America. Toronto: Multicultural History Society of Ontario. p. 192. ISBN 0-919045-15-4. 
  2. ^ "Dutch Bingo - Everything2.com". everything2.com. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  3. ^ "Sidney van den Bergh Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Science: Canada's most respected astronomer". GCS Research Society. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Former UN commander Dallaire writes book on Rwanda massacre » The Windmill news articles » goDutch". Godutch.com. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "First Dutchman to be Elected to Canada's House of Commons". Collections.ic.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 8 April 2005. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  6. ^ "ABCBookWorld". Abcbookworld.com. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Robertson, Grant (15 February 2018). "Two countries, four years, 10,000 metres: How Ted-Jan Bloemen went from Dutch also-ran to Canadian gold". globeandmail.com. Retrieved 16 February 2018. 
  8. ^ "World Champion Figure Skater". collections.ic.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2 September 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2006. 
  9. ^ "Beorn Nijenhuis Fan Site". Skatelog.com. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 

External links[edit]