Hungarian Albertans

Hungarian Canadian
William Shatner
Total population
0.92% of the Canadian population
Regions with significant populations
Ontario 151,750 (1.3 %)
Alberta 48,655 (1.48 %)
British Columbia 43,515 (1.12 %)
Saskatchewan 24,400 (2.5 %)
Quebec 16,490 (0.23 %)
Prince Edward Island 415 (0.30 %)
Canadian English, Hungarian
Catholic, Reformed
Related ethnic groups

Hungarian-Canadians are persons in Canada of Hungarian ancestry. According to Canada 2001 Census, there are 315,510 Canadians of Hungarian ancestry.[1] The Hungarian minority is the 23rd largest ethnic group of Canada. The majority of Hungarian immigration occurred after World War II, the wave peaked after the 1956 Hungarian revolution against communist rule and over 100,000 Hungarian refugees went to Canada. The Hungarian-Canadian community is among the country's multiple ethnicities and one of the top five countries of the Hungarian diaspora.


After the Canada 2006 Census 48,665 people (1,48% of the population) have Hungarian roots and 6,770 of them speak the Hungarian language (0.21%).[2]

The first Hungarians arrived in Alberta in 1866 with Count Paul Oskar Eszterhazy, who wanted Hungarians to re-settle after they had emigrated originally to Pennsylvania. The memorial of János Mráz, in 1895 in Bashaw indicated that there were already 25 Hungarian families, each of which farmed a homestead.[3] The 1900 Census in Lethbridge counted 167 Hungarians in the area.

A larger influx of immigrants into Alberta is recorded from 1914 or 1915. At that time 300 Hungarian labourers arrived in the area. In the 1930s there was a greater immigration wave to Alberta. In 1921 there lived 1045 Hungarians there, in 1931 this number was 5502.[3]


After the Canada 2006 Census there lived 27,395 people in Saskatchewan who have Hungarian roots or were born in Hungary.[4] In the local oral Hungarian usage the name of the province was Saskanada.[5]

By 1921 the Hungarian population grew to 8,946, in 1931 to 13,363, and in 1941 to 14,576. Because of migration to Ontario and eastern Canada, the population declined to 12,470 by 1951. In 2001 there lived 24,340 Hungarians in Saskatchewan, of whom 24% (5,875 people) claimed to born in Hungary.[6]

Significant Hungarian populations exist in the Saskatchewan settlements of: St. Benedict, Prud'homme, Yellow Creek, Zichydorf, East Central, Cudworth, Whitewood and Mistatim.

In 1885 the Hungarian immigrants established several settlements in the eastern region of Saskatchewan. One of them was Esterhaz colony, which still exists. In 1888 a new settlement was founded near Esterhazy, which was named Kaposvár (named after Kaposvár, now part of Esterhazy). By 1902 these two settlements had over 900 people.[6] The nearby Stockholm also became Hungarian settlement (in Hungarian Sokhalom). In 1894 a Hungarian settlement was established Rev. Janos (John) Kovacs in Otthon (which means 'Home'). After 1902 somewhere the current town of Kipling there was a settlement called Békevár ('Peaceburgh').[6] Later Hungarians settled down also in the northern part of Saskatchewan, close to Wakaw, there was the Buda School District. West of Wakaw was the Dunafoldvar district (named after Dunaföldvár), south of Wakaw was Matyasfold (Mátyásföld - 'Land of Matthew').[6]


After the Canada 2006 Census there were 9,900 people in Manitoba who have Hungarian roots or were born in Hungary.[4] In 1996 there lived 9,025 Hungarians in Manitoba.[7]

The first wave of the Hungarian immigrants reached Manitoba in 1885, many of whom settled in or near Winnipeg. In 1906 the Hungarian Presbyterian church was established there. The first Hungarian newspaper in Canada was published in Winnipeg in 1905: Kanadai Magyarság ('Canadian Hungarians').[8] During the First World War, citizens of enemy allies were interned. Between 1918 and 1924 the Hungarian clubs in Winnipeg were very active. By 1920 there were only 13,181 Hungarians in the whole country, most of them in Saskatchewan, only a few in Manitoba. The second wave of the immigartion came during the inter-war years. The new immigrants established to Roman Catholic church and the Protestant church in 1924. A new newspaper was founded: Kanadai Magyar Újság ('Canadian Hungarian Newspaper'). In 1927 Hungarian consulate was opened in Winnipeg.


The Canada 2006 Census counted 151,750 people in Ontario who have Hungarian roots or were born in Hungary.[9] They account for 1.3% of the population. More recently, 53,000 Hungarians live in Toronto.[10]

Most of the Hungarians lived in Welland, Windsor, Brantford and in Hamilton.[11] In 1931, more than 1,000 Hungarians lived in Hamilton, Toronto and in Welland. There were significant Hungarian populations in Brantford, Kitchener, Oshawa, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and in Port Colborne. Many Hungarians worked at the construction of the Welland Canal.[12] By 1961 Hungarians accounted for 40% of the population of Welland.[13]

After the First World War thousands of Hungarians emigrated to Canada, especially from rural class. After the Second World War people from several classes came to the country. Ontario's climate was similar to the Hungarian climate so people from the Prairies moved to Ontario. The first Hungarians (60 people) to arrive in Welland did so in 1906.[13] The first Hungarian society was established in Hamilton in 1907, the second was founded in Hamilton in 1913. In 1921 the Hungarian Self Culture Society was established in Welland[12] where the first Hungarian newspaper was also published in 1928.[14] In 1931 the three-fourths of the Hungarian Canadian population lived in Ontario.[11] The 1956 refugees also lifted the Hungarian population in Canada. In 1949 a so-called Delhi & Tobacco District Hungarian House was dedicated in Delhi-Tillsonburg, the centre was initiated by Paul Rapai in 1947. 40 percent (about 1,500 people) of the tobacco factory was Hungarian.[15] In 1933 two Hungarian newspapers were established by Rapai, the Kanadai Magyar Újság and the Wellandi Kisújság.[16] After 1956 abouth 6,000 refugees arrived in Ontario.[15] In 1964 a Roman Catholic church was built in London, Ontario. Roman Catholic churches are still in Toronto, Hamilton and in Courtland. There are still four Greek Catholic churches in Ontario: in Welland, Courtland, Windsor and in Hamilton. Presbyterian churches are in Delhi and in Ottawa.[17]

See also

  • List of Canadians of Hungarian descent


External links

  • Hungarian immigrants in interwar Canada
  • Digitized issues of the Kanadai Magyar Munkás (Canadian-Hungarian Worker), 1929-1967
  • 1956 Hungarian Memorial Oral History Project
  • Hunagrian Refugees Received on Prince Edward Island, Canada (1956-1957)
  • Hungarian settlements in Saskatchewan
  • Life as it was : Prud'homme, Saskatchewan, 1897-1981
  • Karpat Hungarian Folk Dancers of Winnipeg
  • Address to the Commemoration in Winnipeg of the 50th Anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising: 22 October 2006
  • Toronto's Hungarian Community
  • Ottawa Hungarian Community Centre
  • The Free Magyar Reformed Church in Ontario
  • Susan M. Papp: Hungarians in Ontario
  • Arany Janos Hungarian School in Hamilton
  • Hungarian TV in Toronto
  • Hungarian Radio in Toronto

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