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Armenians in Toronto, ON


Toronto, ON

Early Days: Canada's first Armenian, Garabed Nergarian, settled in the Ontario province back in the 1880s. After that a handful of Armenians immigrated to Toronto to escape persecution, mostly from the Ottoman Empire. The majority of the immigrants were factory workers or small-scale tradesmen, artisans, and businessmen. By the end of WWI there were less than 50 Armenians in Toronto, but by the mid 1930s the Armenian community had flourished to about 300 (Kaprielian-Churchill 354).

Today: With an estimated population of 16,000 Armenians, Toronto contains the second largest population of Armenians in Canada, right behind Montreal. However, because of very stringent immigration laws between 1930 and 1947, Toronto's (as well as Canada's) Armenian community has begun flourishing only in the last 40 years. Today, Armenians have numerous organizations and activities in Toronto including a Homenetmen chapter for athletic and scouting activities, an AGBU chapter, schools, restaurants, and varying weekly activities sponsored by the different organizations.

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