Latin American Canadians

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Latin American Canadians
Total population
(all, 2016 Census)[1]
2.1% of the total Canadian population (2016)
Regions with significant populations
Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Leamington, London, Kitchener, Winnipeg, Brandon, Laval, Burnaby, Sherbrooke, Red Deer
Canadian English, Canadian French, Spanish, Portuguese
Predominantly Christianity (Roman Catholicism; minority Protestantism)
Related ethnic groups
Latin Americans, Spanish Canadians, Portuguese Canadians, Hispanic and Latino Americans

Latin American Canadians (French: Canadiens d'Amérique latine) are Canadians who are descendants of people from countries of Latin America. The majority of Latin American Canadians are multilingual, primarily speaking Spanish or Portuguese. Most are fluent in one or both of Canada's two official languages, English and French. Spanish, Portuguese and French are Romance languages and share some similarities in morphology and syntax.

Latin American Canadians have made distinguished contributions to Canada in all major fields, including politics, the military, music, philosophy, sports, business and economy, and science.

The largest Latin American immigrant groups in Canada are Mexican Canadians, Colombian Canadians and Salvadoran Canadians.

Latin Americans comprise a heterogeneous variation of ancestral and racial origins that span from South and North America to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Therefore, a Latin American can be of any race, but the most frequent races found in the region are Mestizos, Whites, Indigenous Americans, Blacks, and Asians


The majority of Latin American Canadians are recent immigrants who arrived in the late 20th century from El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, and Guatemala, with smaller communities from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and elsewhere, with nearly all Latin American countries represented.[2] Reasons for immigrating include Canada's better economic opportunities and politics or civil war and political repression in their native countries, as in the case of Cubans fleeing from the Fidel Castro revolution, Chileans escaping from Augusto Pinochet's rule, Salvadorans fleeing from the Salvadoran Civil War, Peruvians escaping from the Juan Velasco Alvarado dictatorship, Dominicans opposed to the regimes of Rafael Trujillo and Joaquin Balaguer, Mexicans escaping from the Mexican Drug War, Colombians from the violence in their country and Venezuelans opposed to the rule of the Socialist Unity Party.[citation needed]


The largest Latin American Canadian communities are in the census metropolitan areas of Toronto (99,290), Montreal (75,400), Vancouver (22,695), Calgary (13,415), and Ottawa (10,630),[3] and there are rapidly growing ones in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia.

Latin American population of Canada by census year[edit]

Census Latin American population Change from previous census Total Canadian population Change from previous census Latin American population (%)
1996[4] 176,970 N/A 28,528,125 N/A 0.6%
2001[5] 216,980 22.6% 29,639,030 3.9% 0.7%
2006[3] 304,245 40.2% 31,241,030 5.4% 1%
2011[6] 381,280 25.3% 32,852,325 5.2% 1.2%
2016 447,325 17.3% 34,460,065 4.9% 1.3%

Latin American Canadian population in Canada by province or territory according to the 2011 NHS[edit]

Province Latin Americans 2001 % 2001 Latin Americans 2011 % 2011 Latin Americans 2016 % 2016
Flag of Ontario.svg Ontario 106,835 0.9% 172,560 1.4%
Flag of Quebec.svg Québec 59,520 0.8% 116,380 1.5%
Flag of Alberta.svg Alberta 18,745 0.6% 41,305 1.2%
Flag of British Columbia.svg British Columbia 23,885 0.6% 35,465 0.8%
Flag of Manitoba.svg Manitoba 4,775 0.4% 9,140 0.8%
Flag of Saskatchewan.svg Saskatchewan 2,010 0.2% 3,255 0.3%
Flag of Nova Scotia.svg Nova Scotia 520 0.0% 1,360 0.2%
Flag of New Brunswick.svg New Brunswick 425 0.0% 1,160 0.2%
Flag of Prince Edward Island.svg Prince Edward Island 75 0.1% 235 0.2%
Flag of Newfoundland and Labrador.svg Newfoundland and Labrador 80 0.0% 185 0.0%
Flag of Yukon.svg Yukon 45 0.1% 105 0.3%
Flag of the Northwest Territories.svg Northwest Territories 60 0.2% 105 0.3%
Flag of Nunavut.svg Nunavut 10 0.0% 30 0.1%
Flag of Canada.svg Canada 216,980 0.8% 381,280 1.2%


Latin Americans in Canada by country of origin (2016)[7]
Region Number of immigrants % of Latin American immigrants % of total immigrant population
 Mexico 80,585 19% 1.1%
 Colombia 70,035 16.5% 0.9%
 El Salvador 48,075 11.3% 0.6%
 Peru 29,620 7% 0.4%
 Brazil 29,315 6.9% 0.4%
 Chile 26,705 6.3% 0.4%
 Venezuela 20,775 4.9% 0.3%
 Argentina 19,425 4.6% 0.3%
 Cuba 17,850 4.2% 0.2%
 Guatemala 17,270 4.1% 0.2%
 Ecuador 14,970 3.5% 0.2%
 Dominican Republic[a] 10,605 2.5% 0.2%
 Nicaragua 9,865 2.3% 0.1%
 Honduras 7,785 1.8% 0.1%
 Paraguay 7,300 1.7% 0.1%
 Uruguay 6,535 1.5% 0.1%
 Bolivia 4,395 1% 0.1%
 Costa Rica 3,945 0.9% 0.1%
 Panama 2,620 0.6% 0%
 Puerto Rico 505 0.1% 0%
Total Latin American immigrant population 423,585 100% 5.5%
Total immigrant population 7,482,860 N/A 100%
  • a The number of Dominican Republic immigrants compared to Dominica immigrants is not specified, due to both countries using the term "Dominican".

List of Canadian census subdivisions with Latin American populations higher than the national average[edit]

Source: Canada 2016 Census[8]
National average: 1.3%


British Columbia[edit]




List of notable Latin American Canadians[edit]



  • Rodrigo Bascuñán, author and journalist, born in Chile
  • Gloria Escomel, writer and journalist born in Uruguay
  • Gabriela Etcheverry, poet and novelist, born in Chile
  • José Latour, novelist, born in Cuba.
  • Camila Reimer novelista , born in Chile publishing my books in English and Spanish. Not all my work has been translated, of course.




Science and technology[edit]


Cultural adjustment[edit]

In 2002, 82% of those who reported Latin American origin said they had a strong sense of belonging to Canada. At the same time, 57% said that they had a strong sense of belonging to their ethnic or cultural group.

People with Latin American origins are also active in Canadian society. For example, 66% of Canadians of Latin American origin who were eligible to vote did so in the 2000 federal election.[10]

2008 Montreal riots[edit]

The Latin American community of Quebec was brought into the spotlight when 18-year-old Honduran immigrant Fredy Alberto Villanueva was shot and killed by police officers of the SPVM on 9 August 2008.[11] The following day, what started out as a peaceful protest against the officers' actions in the borough of Montréal-Nord erupted into a riot in which neighborhood stores were looted, several cars and garbage cans were set on fire, one paramedic and two police officers were wounded and one female police officer was shot.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  2. ^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Statistics Canada: Ethnocultural Portrait of Canada Highlight Tables, 2006 Census".
  3. ^ a b [1], Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Province/Territory
  4. ^ [2], Total Population by Visible Minority Population(1), for Canada, Provinces and Territories, 1996
  5. ^ [3], 2001 Community Profiles
  6. ^ [4], National Household Survey (NHS) Profile, 2011
  7. ^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Immigrant population by selected places of birth, admission category and period of immigration, Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas and areas outside of census metropolitan areas, 2016 Census". Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  8. ^ [5], Canada 2016 Census Profile, 2016
  9. ^ "Quien Es Ricardo Miranda? | Hola Calgary". Hola Calgary. 2017-04-09. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  10. ^ "latin calgary".
  11. ^ "Family 'destroyed' by death of Montreal man shot by police". CBC News. 2008-08-15.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2013-08-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)