Lebanese Canadians

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lebanese Canadians
Total population
210,605 (by ancestry, 2021 census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
 British Columbia8,440[5]
Canadian English, Canadian French, Lebanese Arabic, Lebanese French, Armenian
Related ethnic groups
Arab Canadians, other Asian Canadians including West Asian Canadians

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,[8] making them by far the largest group of people with Arabic-speaking roots. As of the 2016 census, they are also one of the largest communities of Asian origin in the country.[9]


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.[10] Because of situations within Lebanon and restrictive Canadian laws these immigrants were 90 percent 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.[11] 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.[12] During 2006 Lebanon War the large number of Canadians caught in the crossfire 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. 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 percent of the total population of the National Capital Region. Canadians of Lebanese origin also made up more than 1 percent of the total populations of both Montreal and Halifax, while the figure was close to 1 percent in both Calgary and Edmonton. In Toronto, people of Lebanese origin made up less than half of one per cent of the total population.[13] 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
Firas Zahabi.png

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population
  2. ^ Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population. Profile Table Ontario
  3. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (February 9, 2022). "Profile table, Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population - Quebec [Province]". www12.statcan.gc.ca.
  4. ^ Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population. Profile Table Alberta
  5. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (February 9, 2022). "Profile table, Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population - British Columbia [Province]". www12.statcan.gc.ca.
  6. ^ "The Lebanese Community in Canada". Statistics Canada. August 28, 2007.
  7. ^ Statistics Canada (October 26, 2022), Religion by visible minority and generation status: Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations with parts, doi:10.25318/9810034201-eng, Table: 98-10-0342-01, retrieved May 10, 2023
  8. ^ Statistics Canada (May 8, 2013). "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  9. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (June 17, 2019). "Ethnic Origin (279), Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses (3), Generation Status (4), Age (12) and Sex (3) for the Population in Private Households of Canada, Provinces and Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2016 Census - 25% Sample Data". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  10. ^ "History of Recent Arab Immigration to Canada". www.canadianarabcommunity.com. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  11. ^ Bessonov, Ania (November 18, 2018). "Dating Druze: The struggle to find love in a dwindling diaspora". CBC News. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  12. ^ Canada and Lebanon, a special tie from CBC 1 August 2006
  13. ^ "The Lebanese Community in Canada". www.statcan.gc.ca.

External links[edit]