Lebanese Canadians

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Lebanese Canadians
Total population
219,555 (by ancestry, 2016 Census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Alberta
Canadian English, Canadian French, Lebanese Arabic, Lebanese French, Armenian
Christianity, Druze,[2] Sunni and Shia Islam
Related ethnic groups
Lebanese, Arab Canadians, Arabs, Arab Americans, Lebanese Americans, Lebanese Brazilians, Lebanese Australians, Arab Argentines, Arab Brazilians, Arab Mexicans, Arabs in Europe, Lebanese Jamaicans

Lebanese Canadians are Canadians of Lebanese origin. According to the 2016 Census there were 219,555 Canadians who claimed Lebanese ancestry, showing an increase compared to the 2006 Census,[3] making them by far the largest group of people with Arabic-speaking roots.


Lebanese immigration began in 1882. The first Lebanese immigrant to Canada was Abraham Bounadere (Ibrahim Abu Nadir) from Zahlé in Lebanon who settled in Montreal.[4] Because of situations within Lebanon and restrictive Canadian laws these immigrants were 90% Christian. These immigrants were mostly economic migrants seeking greater prosperity in the New World.

In more recent years this pattern has changed, and large numbers of Lebanese Muslims and Druze have come to Canada.[5] Immigration laws were liberalized after the Second World War, and immigration steadily increased in the 1950s and 1960s.

The greatest influx of Lebanese was during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), and this period saw a number of Lebanon's wealthiest and best educated move to Canada to flee the violence in their homeland. Canada and Australia were the only Western countries to set up special programs to enable Lebanese to more easily emigrate. Canada set up an office in Cyprus to process Lebanese refugees.

The media has reported that as many as 50,000 of Lebanese-Canadians were in Lebanon during the summer of 2006, with about half of them permanently residing there.[6] During 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict the large number of Canadians caught in the middle of the Israeli onslaught led to a major effort to evacuate them from the war zone. It also led some to accuse some of those holding Canadian citizenship of being Canadians of convenience.


Many Lebanese speak French and prefer to settle in francophone Montreal rather than anglophone Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia. About half of the Lebanese-Canadian community is located in and around Montreal, and most Lebanese-Canadian organizations, especially religious ones, are based in that city.

Lebanese Canadians account for a larger share of the population of Ottawa than that of any other census metropolitan area across the country, constituting over 2% of the total population of the National Capital Region. Canadians of Lebanese origin also made up more than 1% of the total populations of both Montreal and Halifax, while the figure was close to 1% in both Calgary and Edmonton. In Toronto, people of Lebanese origin made up less than half of one per cent of the total population.[7] There are also substantial Lebanese populations in Vancouver, Windsor, London, Edmonton, Fredericton and Charlottetown.

Prominent Canadians of Lebanese descent[edit]

Robert Ghiz.jpg
Karl singing.jpg
Kevin O'Leary 2012.jpg
Kristina Maria LA showcase.jpg
Paul Zed.jpg
Gad Saad 2010 JMSB Faculty Portrait 7175 web.jpg
Eddie Francis 2011.jpg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity Highlight Tables". statcan.gc.ca. 25 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Dating Druze: The struggle to find love in a dwindling diaspora". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  3. ^ Statistics Canada (8 May 2013). "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  4. ^ "History of Recent Arab Immigration to Canada". www.canadianarabcommunity.com. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  5. ^ "Dating Druze: The struggle to find love in a dwindling diaspora". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  6. ^ Canada and Lebanon, a special tie from CBC 1 August 2006
  7. ^ "The Lebanese Community in Canada". www.statcan.gc.ca.

External links[edit]