Vietnamese Canadians

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Vietnamese Canadians
Vietnamese Canadians singing 2005.jpg
Vietnamese Canadians singing during Lunar New Year at St. Joseph's Church, Vancouver
Total population
240,615 (2016)[1]
0.70% of the Canadian population (2016)
Regions with significant populations
Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo Region, London, Windsor, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver
Vietnamese, Canadian English, Quebec French, Vietnamese French
Mahayana Buddhism and Catholicism[2]
Related ethnic groups
Vietnamese, Vietnamese Americans, Vietnamese people in France

Vietnamese Canadians (Vietnamese: Người Canada gốc Việt; French: Canadiens vietnamiens) are Canadian citizens of Vietnamese ancestry. As of 2016, there are 240,615 Vietnamese Canadians, most of whom reside in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec.


Mainstream Vietnamese communities began arriving in Canada in the mid-1970s and early 1980s as refugees or boat people following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, though a couple thousand were already living in Quebec before then, most of whom were students. After the fall of Saigon, there were two waves of Vietnamese immigrants to Canada. The first wave consisted mostly of middle-class immigrants. Many of these immigrants were able to speak French and or English and were welcomed into Canada for their professional skills. The second wave consisted of Southern Vietnamese refugees who were escaping the harsh regime that had taken over the former South Vietnam. Many of them (10%) were of Chinese descent and were escaping ethnic persecution resulting from the Sino-Vietnamese War. These south Vietnamese refugees were known globally as the "boat people".

In the years 1979–80, Canada accepted 60,000 Vietnamese refugees.[3] Most new arrivees were sponsored by groups of individuals, temples, and churches and settled in areas around Southern Ontario, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Montreal, Quebec. Between 1975 and 1985, 110,000 resettled in Canada (23,000 in Ontario; 13,000 in Quebec; 8,000 in Alberta; 7,000 British Columbia; 5,000 in Manitoba; 3,000 in Saskatchewan; and 2,000 in the Maritime provinces). As time passed, most eventually settled in urban centres like Vancouver (2.2% Vietnamese), Calgary (1.6% Vietnamese), Montreal (1.6% Vietnamese), Edmonton (1.6% Vietnamese), Toronto (1.4% Vietnamese), Ottawa (1.0% Vietnamese), and Hamilton (0.8% Vietnamese).[4]

The next wave of Vietnamese migration came in the late 1980s and 1990s as both refugees and immigrant classes of post-war Vietnam entered Canada. These groups settled in urban areas, in particular Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. In Metro Vancouver, they have settled mainly in East Vancouver, Richmond, and Surrey. In the Montreal area, they settle in Montreal's downtown, South Shore, and the suburb of Laval. In Toronto, they have settled in the city's Chinatown area near Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West and in the inner suburbs of North York, York, Scarborough, and Etobicoke. Other municipalities in the Toronto area with large Vietnamese Canadian populations include Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, and Markham.

The flag of South Vietnam is used by the Vietnamese diaspora in North America.


According to the 2011 National Household Survey, approximately 50% of Vietnamese Canadians identify as Buddhist, 25% identify as Christian, and the rest reported having no religious affiliation.[3][5]

Vietnamese-Canadian population by province, 2016
Province Vietnamese population[citation needed]
 Ontario 107,640
 Quebec 43,080
 British Columbia 41,435
 Alberta 36,780
 Manitoba 5,850
 Saskatchewan 3,690
 Nova Scotia 760
 New Brunswick 885
 Northwest Territories 245
 Yukon 85
 Prince Edward Island 85
 Newfoundland and Labrador 75
 Nunavut 10
Canada Canada (2016) 240,615
Canada (2011) 220,420[5]
Current flag of reunified Vietnam.
Canadian metropolitan areas with large Vietnamese-Canadian populations, 2016
City Province 2016 Vietnamese population[citation needed] 2011
Greater Toronto Area Ontario 73,740
Greater Montreal Quebec 38,660
Greater Vancouver British Columbia 34,915
Calgary Region Alberta 21,010
Edmonton Capital Region Alberta 14,180
Ottawa-Gatineau Ontario, Quebec 9,650
Winnipeg Capital Region Manitoba 5,580
Waterloo Region Ontario 5,555
Hamilton Ontario 4,855
London Ontario 3,110
Windsor Ontario 2,555 2,160[6]
Guelph Ontario 2,425

Community issues[edit]

Crime, poverty, and gangs[edit]

A report done by UBC graduate Andrea Gillman Vietnamese-Canadians were more likely than other visible minorities to face barriers to employment, assimilation, and language proficiency. Gillman stated that family, cultural, and employment factors contributed to the prevalence of Vietnamese crime, poverty, and gang violence.[7]

In The New Start for Vietnamese-Canadian Community Forum, the Lac Viet Public Education Society surveyed individuals to identify the causes of crime and victimization within the community. The results have been used to run a series of radio shows addressing these issues. Gang-related issues were identified as the area of most concern, followed by safety, grow-ops, education and health. Employment, family, and school issues were listed as the root cause of crime and victimization. [...] Issues identified specifically by youth as areas of major concern are those related to school, gangs, safety and family. Under these headings, issues include bullying, kidnapping and violence; recruitment into illegal activities; selling and smoking marijuana in schools; and recruitment of female youth into sexual activities.[8]

Notable Canadians of Vietnamese origin[edit]





Fashion Industry

Media, Film and Television



Religious Figures

Writers and Authors



In Canada, local Vietnamese media includes:

  • Viet Nam Thoi Bao — Edmonton magazine[9]
  • Thoi Bao — Toronto newspaper[10]
  • Thoi Bao TV — Toronto[11]
  • Thoi Moi — Toronto newspaper[12]
  • Little Saigon Canada — Toronto newspaper
  • Vietnamville — Montreal[13]
    • Phố Việt Montreal, printed newspaper of
  • Viethomes Magazine — Toronto magazine[14][15]
  • Culture Magazin — national magazine, first-ever bilingual English-Vietnamese magazine in Canada[16]

In Vancouver, a large population of Vietnamese Canadians are self-employed; they're business owners of a variety of businesses, stores and restaurants throughout the city. Vietnamese Canadians also brought their cuisine and phở has become a popular food throughout the city. Vietnamese Canadians also reside in Central City, Surrey, which is a rapidly growing suburb of Metro Vancouver.[citation needed]

In the Toronto area, there are 19 Vietnamese owned supermarkets.[citation needed]

In Montreal there are about 40,000 Vietnamese Canadian population among highest median income and education of Vietnamese Canadians in major cities. There are more than 100 Vietnamese restaurants, hundreds of small size manufacturers of different products from clothing to technology, about 80 pharmacies and hundreds of doctors, dentists, over a thousand scientists, engineers and technicians, about sixty convenient stores and groceries. Since November 2006, Ngo Van Tan has started a project to promote and build the first 'Vietnam Town' in Canada called 'Vietnamville' near metro Jean Talon including St-Denis, Jean Talon, St-Hubert, and Belanger streets with over 130 businesses already opened in the area. Investment opportunities in Vietnam Town are open to Vietnamese worldwide.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  2. ^ [1] (Statistics Canada, Census 2001 - Selected Demographic and Cultural Characteristics (105), Selected Ethnic Groups (100), Age Groups (6), Sex (3) and Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses (3) for Population, for Canada, Provinces, Territories and Census Metropolitan Areas 1 , 2001 Census - 20% Sample Data)
  3. ^ a b Joy, Amanda. "Vietnamese Canadians".  The Canadian Encyclopedia, March 5, 2018, Historica Canada. Accessed November 17, 2020.
  4. ^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics (May 8, 2013). "2011 National Household Survey Profile - Census subdivision".
  5. ^ a b Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics (May 8, 2013). "2011 National Household Survey Profile - Province/Territory".
  6. ^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics (May 8, 2013). "2011 National Household Survey Profile - Census metropolitan area/Census agglomeration".
  7. ^ "The Faculty of Graduate Studies". 2004. CiteSeerX
  8. ^ "The Faculty of Graduate Studies". 2004. CiteSeerX
  9. ^ "Viet Nam Thoi Bao".
  10. ^ Thoi Bao
  11. ^ "Thoi Bao TV".
  12. ^ "Tuan bao Thoi Moi - Thoi Moi Canada - Tuần báo Thời Mới". Tuần báo Thời Mới.
  13. ^ Vietnamville. "Vietnamville :: Trang chủ".
  14. ^ "Home - Viet Homes Magazine". Viet Homes Magazine.
  15. ^ "Viethomes Magazine Inc., 205 - 5805 Whittle Rd, Mississauga, ON (2021)".
  16. ^ " - Vietnamese Asian English Magazine in Canada – Bridge East and West".

External links[edit]

Vietnamese Canadian organizations
About Vietnamese Canadians