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Immigration, Italian

Italians have been coming to Canada for many years—the most illustrious being Giovanni Caboto [John Cabot]. In the 18th century and early part of the 19th century, they came as mercenaries and even missionaries (associated with orders such as the Oblates of Mary Immaculate).

The real push to emigrate came with the unification of Italy. By 1870. southern Italians believed their interests in the new Italy dominated by the northern states were being ignored. As well, economic unrest and unemployment forced Italians from other regions to look for work abroad. Beginning in the 1880s, their primary destination was the United States, but they also began to come to Canada. They worked on the railways, forestry camps, mines, construction—anywhere that strong hands and back could help them to gain a living. Join us in this section as we look at about 150 years of Italian settlement history in Canada.


The Global Gathering Place - An overview of Italian Canadian History from 1880 to 1979.

The beginnings of Italian Immigration

Oliva Giovanni Biollo 's Home

Oliva Giovanni Biollo 's Home