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     Home > People > Oral History Projects > Italians Settle in Edmonton >
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     Chronology:  Italians Settle in Edmonton 

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Read the Book  |  Introduction  |  Chronology  |  Santa Maria Goretti Parish  |  Acknowledgements
  

1871

census lists 1,035 Italians (by race of origin).

1881

census lists 1,849 Italians.

1901

census lists 10,834 Italians.

1901- 07

census lists 43,213 Italians.

Italian men were brought to Canada by padroni working with developers who required labourers to do heavy and dangerous work (for example, in the mines, building the railways). As a result of unemployment in these industries, Italian migrant workers in Montreal were viewed as a threat to law and order and a Royal Commission on Italian Immigrant Labour was set up in July 1904.

Before 1910, as a rule, only single men came to Canada. After 1910, whole families began to arrive. The growing Canadian cities required the skills brought by Italian artisans (small shopkeepers, bricklayers, stone masons, market gardeners, etc.)

1905

Italian parish in Montreal

1908

Italian parish in Toronto

1915

Il treno degli italiani: on May 24, a special train left Vancouver for Montreal to take men who wished to fight for Italy in World War I to the port of embarkation.

1920

Tightening up of immigration rules for southern Europeans. Between 1925 and 1945, only a few hundred Italians entered Canada yearly. After 1929, only farmers could enter Canada from Italy.

Because Italians in Canada were a minority, there was tremendous pressure to become assimilated. By 1931, 62% of Italians born in Canada were naturalized Canadians.

1940

June 10, Mussolini declared war on Great Britain and some Italians were arrested and interned in special camps. On the other hand, numbers of Italo-Canadians to volunteer for the Canadian Armed Forces were high.

1947- 51

The "enemy alien" designation of Italians was removed and the Canadian government began active recruitment of "bulk labour" from Italy. Within a single decade, recent immigrants outnumbered older Italo-Canadians by 4:1.

1951

Official estimates indicated that there were 150,000 people of Italian descent in Canada.

1961

Estimated numbers of Italians is 450,000.

Women and children in great numbers came with their men in the 1950s. They created a need for Italian consumer goods which resulted in the creation of Italian food stores. The women also created a pool of part-time workers (for example, for garment industries, cleaning industries, service staff for hospital and restaurants, etc.)

1981

Estimated number of Italians is 747,970.

1983

25th anniversary of founding of Santa Maria Goretti in Edmonton

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