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Italian Canadians in Greater Montreal

  (Redirected from Italians in Montreal)

Montreal has an Italian Canadian community. As of 2007, 17.6% of the ethnic Italians in Canada live in Montreal.[1]

Montreal's Italian community is one of the largest in Canada, second only to Toronto. With 279,795 residents of Italian ancestry as of the 2016 census in Greater Montreal,[2] Montreal has many Italian districts, such as La Petite-Italie, Saint-Leonard (Città Italiana), Rivière-des-Prairies, and LaSalle. Italian is the third most spoken language in Montreal and in the province of Quebec. There is such a large number of Italian Canadians in Montreal that when Italy won the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the number of Italian Montrealers taking to the streets to celebrate en masse resulted in the closure of many major streets, such as Saint Laurent Boulevard.[citation needed]


A grocery store owned by an Italian family in Little Italy, 1910s

In 1893 there were about 1,400 ethnic Italians in Montreal.[3] According to a 1906 edition of The Labour Gazette, Canada Department of Labour, Italian employment agencies that worked with Canadian steamship and railway companies attracted many Italian labourers to Montreal.[4] Additional growth in the Italian population took place in the 20th century.[3]

The Order of the Sons of Italy in Montreal dedicated a statue of John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) in 1935. The order suggested that Cabot, and not Jacques Cartier, was in fact the first European to reach Canada.[5]


In 1931, there were more Italians than people of British origins in St. Jean Ward. During that year, in 19 of Montreal's 35 wards, the Italians were the largest non-French and non-British ethnic group. This was also the case in five other cities and towns in Greater Montreal.[6]


The political unit of the Italian community split after Benito Mussolini became the leader of Italy in the 1920s. During World War II the Canadian government opposed pro-Mussolini elements in the Montreal Italian community.[3]


The first Catholic church for the Italians became Mount Carmel Parish in 1905. It was established by an Italian-speaking man, Canon Bruchési. In 1911 the second Italian parish opened.[3]

See alsoEdit


  • Harney, Nicholas DeMaria. "Ethnicity, Social Organization, and Urban Space: A Comparison of Italians in Toronto and Montreal" (Chapter 6). In: Sloan, Joanne (editor). Urban Enigmas: Montreal, Toronto, and the Problem of Comparing Cities (Volume 2 of Culture of Cities). McGill-Queen's Press (MQUP), January 1, 2007. ISBN 0773577076, 9780773577077. Start p. 178.


  1. ^ Harney, p. 179.
  2. ^ "Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity Highlight Tables". Statistics Canada.
  3. ^ a b c d Linteau, Paul-André, René Durocher, and Jean-Claude Robert (translator into English: Robert Chodos). Quebec: A History 1867-1929 (Volume 1 of Quebec, a History, Paul André Linteau). James Lorimer Company, 1983. ISBN 0888626045, 9780888626042. p. 47.
  4. ^ The Labour Gazette, Volume 6. Canada Department of Labour, 1906. p. 1348.
  5. ^ Harney, p. 192.
  6. ^ Rosenberg, Louis and Morton Weinfeld. Canada's Jews: A Social and Economic Study of Jews in Canada in the 1930s (Volume 16 of McGill-Queen's Studies in Ethnic History). McGill-Queen's Press (MQUP), Oct 12, 1993. ISBN 0773563946, 9780773563940. p. 33.

Further readingEdit

  • Salvatore, Filippo. Fascism and the Italians of Montreal: An Oral History, 1922-1945 (Volume 35 of Essay series). Guernica Editions, 1998. ISBN 1550710583, 9781550710588 (See preview at Google Books)
  • Boissevain, Jeremy. The Italians of Montreal: Social Adjustment in a Plural Society (Volume 7 of Studies of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism). Information Canada, 1974. See profile at Google Books
  • De Martinis, Lucio. Italian Identity in Montreal: Issues of Intergenerational Ethnic Retention (Canadian theses). McGill University (Canada), 2005. See profile at Google Books
  • Ramirez, Bruno and Michael Del Balso. The Italians of Montreal: From Sojourning to Settlement, 1900-1921. Associazione di Cultura Popolare Italo-Quebecchese : mail order, Les Éditions du Courant, 1980. - See profile at Google Books
  • Ramirez, Bruno. "Workers without a Cause: Italian Immigrant Labour in Montreal: 1880-1930." In: Arrangiarsi: The Italian Immigration Experience in Canada. Eds. Roberto Perin and Franc Sturino. Montreal: Guernica, 1989.