Lebanese Canadians are Canadians of Lebanese origin. According to the 2011 Census there were 190,275 Canadians who claimed Lebanese ancestry, showing an increase compared to the 2006 Census, making them by far the largest group of people with Arabic-speaking roots.
|190,275 (by ancestry, 2011 Census) 250,000 (estimate)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Alberta|
|Canadian English, Canadian French, Lebanese Arabic, Lebanese French, Armenian|
|Christianity, Druze, 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 immigration began in 1882. The first Lebanese immigrant to Canada was Abraham Bounadere (Ibrahim Abu Nadir) from Zahlé in Lebanon who settled in Montreal. 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. 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.
Many Lebanese speak French and prefer to settle in francophone Montreal rather than anglophone Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia. About half 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 a half a per cent of the total population. There are also substantial Lebanese populations in Vancouver, Windsor, London, Edmonton, Fredericton and Charlottetown.
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. 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.