Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Latin American Canadians

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Latin American Canadians are Canadian citizens of Latin American descent or persons of Latin American descent residing in Canada. Latin American is the term used by Statistics Canada. Other terms used sometimes are "Latino Canadian" and "Latin Canadian". Latin Canadians comprised 1.2% of the population in 2011.


The majority of Latin American Canadians are multilingual, primarily speaking Spanish or Portuguese. Most are fluent in one or both of Canada's two official languages, English and French. Spanish, Portuguese and French are Romance languages and share some similarities in morphology and syntax.

Latin Canadians have made distinguished contributions to Canada in all major fields, including politics, the military, music, philosophy, sports, business and economy, and science.

The largest Latin American immigrant groups in Canada are Mexican Canadians, Colombian Canadians and Salvadoran Canadians.


The majority of Latin American Canadians are recent immigrants who arrived in the late 20th century from El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, and Guatemala, with smaller communities from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and elsewhere, with nearly all Latin American countries represented. Reasons for immigrating include Canada's better economic opportunities and politics or civil war and political repression in their native countries, as in the case of Cubans fleeing from the Fidel Castro revolution, Chileans escaping from Augusto Pinochet's rule, Salvadorans fleeing from the Salvadoran Civil War, Peruvians escaping from the Juan Velasco Alvarado dictatorship, Dominicans opposed to the regimes of Rafael Trujillo and Joaquin Balaguer, Mexicans escaping from the Mexican Drug War, Colombians from the violence in their country and Venezuelans opposed to the rule of the Socialist Unity Party.


The largest Latin American Canadian communities are in the census metropolitan areas of Toronto (99,290), Montreal (75,400), Vancouver (22,695), Calgary (13,415), and Ottawa (10,630), and there are rapidly growing ones in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia.


  • a The number of Dominican Republic immigrants compared to Dominica immigrants is not specified, due to both countries using the term "Dominican".
  • List of Canadian census subdivisions with Latin American populations higher than the national average

    Source: Canada 2011 Census
    National average: 1.2%


  • Calgary (7000180000000000000♠1.8%)
  • Edmonton (7000170000000000000♠1.7%)
  • Wood Buffalo (7000160000000000000♠1.6%)
  • Red Deer (7000130000000000000♠1.3%)
  • British Columbia

  • New Westminster (7000180000000000000♠1.8%)
  • Burnaby (7000170000000000000♠1.7%)
  • Greater Vancouver A (7000170000000000000♠1.7%)
  • Vancouver (7000160000000000000♠1.6%)
  • Coquitlam (7000150000000000000♠1.5%)
  • Manitoba

  • Brandon (7000440000000000000♠4.4%)
  • Ontario

  • Toronto (7000280000000099999♠2.8%)
  • London (7000270000000000000♠2.7%)
  • Leamington (7000270000000000000♠2.7%)
  • Kitchener (7000270000000000000♠2.7%)
  • Brampton (7000220000000000000♠2.2%)
  • Mississauga (7000220000000000000♠2.2%)
  • Vaughan (7000210000000000000♠2.1%)
  • Milton (7000200000000000000♠2%)
  • St. Catharines (7000150000000000000♠1.5%)
  • Hamilton (city) (7000140000000099999♠1.4%)
  • Quebec

  • Montreal (7000420000000000000♠4.2%)
  • Dorval (7000320000000000000♠3.2%)
  • Brossard (7000310000000000000♠3.1%)
  • Longueuil (7000250000000000000♠2.5%)
  • Laval (7000250000000000000♠2.5%)
  • Saint-Lambert (7000230000000099999♠2.3%)
  • Châteauguay (7000210000000000000♠2.1%)
  • Westmount (7000180000000000000♠1.8%)
  • Dollard-des-Ormeaux (7000160000000000000♠1.6%)
  • Côte Saint-Luc (7000160000000000000♠1.6%)
  • Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue (7000160000000000000♠1.6%)
  • Sherbrooke (7000140000000099999♠1.4%)
  • La Prairie (7000140000000099999♠1.4%)
  • Music

  • Addictiv, R&B singer
  • Eva Avila, pop singer and 2006 Canadian Idol winner
  • Boogat, rapper
  • Fito Blanko, tropical/urban singer-songwriter, born in Panama
  • Keshia Chanté, R&B singer and co-host of BET's 106 & Park
  • José Miguel Contreras, rock musician and lead vocalist of By Divine Right
  • Criollo, hip-hop group
  • Beto Cuevas, rock musician and former lead vocalist of La Ley
  • Lhasa de Sela, folk musician
  • Carlos del Junco, harmonica player, member of the Cuban del Junco family
  • Quique Escamilla, Mexican-born musician
  • Carole Facal, rock musician
  • Alberto Guerrero, music composer and pianist, born in Chile
  • DJ Kemo, producer and DJ for hip-hop group Rascalz
  • Tom Landa, Mexican-born folk-rock musician
  • Oscar Lopez, flamenco musician, born in Chile
  • Adonis Puentes, singer-songwriter
  • Alexis Puentes, musician known by the stage name Alex Cuba
  • Alejandra Ribera, singer-songwriter
  • Writers

  • Rodrigo Bascuñán, author and journalist, born in Chile
  • Gloria Escomel, writer and journalist born in Uruguay
  • Gabriela Etcheverry, poet and novelist, born in Chile
  • José Latour, novelist, born in Cuba
  • Entertainment

  • Juan Chioran, stage actor, born in Argentina
  • Carlos Díaz, television and film actor, born in Chile
  • Ona Grauer, television and film actress, born in Mexico
  • Flora Martínez, actress
  • Paola Nunez Valdez, Miss Universe Canada 2015, born in Dominican Republic
  • Emma Rabbe, television and film actress
  • Klea Scott, television and film actress, born in Panama
  • Jorgito Vargas, Jr., actor (of Bolivian and Argentinian descent)
  • Photography

  • Bruce Chun, cinematographer, born in Mexico
  • Federico Hidalgo, filmmaker and film professor
  • Carlos Arturo Castaño, portrait photographer, born in Colombia.
  • Gloria Margarita Castaño, portrait photographer, exhibitions: born in Colombia.
  • Politics

  • Paulina Ayala, former MP for Honore-Mercier (New Democratic Party), born in Chile
  • Estefania Cortes-Vargas, Canadian politician, elected in the Alberta general election, 2015 to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the electoral district of Strathcona-Sherwood Park, born in Colombia
  • Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator from Texas since 2013, of Cuban descent
  • Joseph Facal, former minister in Quebec (Parti Québécois), born in Uruguay
  • Miguel Figueroa, leader and President of the Communist Party of Canada
  • Andrés Fontecilla, leader of Québec solidaire, born in Chile
  • Rod Loyola, Canadian politician, elected in the Alberta general election, 2015 to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the electoral district of Edmonton-Ellerslie, born in Chile
  • Sergio Marchi, former MP (Liberal Party of Canada), born in Argentina
  • Ricardo Miranda, Canadian politician, elected in the Alberta general election, 2015 to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the electoral district of Calgary-Cross, born in Nicaragua
  • Osvaldo Nunez, former MP (Bloc Québécois), born in Chile
  • Cesar Palacio, first Hispanic person elected to the Toronto City Council, born in Ecuador
  • Saul Polo, MNA in Quebec, born in Colombia
  • Pablo Rodríguez, MP for Honore-Mercier (Liberal Party of Canada), born in Argentina
  • Vic Toews, Member of Parliament for Provencher (Conservative Party of Canada), born in Paraguay
  • Science and technology

  • Ivar Mendez, MD surgeon,Professor and Chairman of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan, born in Bolivia
  • Manuel Buchwald, geneticist and academic, born in Peru
  • Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, electronic artist, born in Mexico
  • Clergy

  • Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, Christian preacher, public speaker, and father of Ted Cruz, born in Cuba
  • Sport

  • Michel Acosta, professional soccer player, born in Uruguay
  • Oscar Albuquerque, former professional soccer player, born in Peru
  • Keven Aleman, professional soccer player, born in Costa Rica
  • Manny Aparicio, professional soccer player, born in Argentina
  • Mauro Biello, former professional soccer player, current assistant coach of the Montreal Impact
  • Marco Bustos, professional soccer player
  • Miguel Cañizalez, professional soccer player, born in El Salvador
  • Lucas Cavallini, professional soccer player
  • Oscar Cordon, professional soccer player
  • Marco Dominguez, professional soccer player
  • Kianz Froese, professional soccer player, born in Cuba
  • Manny Gomez, professional soccer player, born in Argentina
  • Cristián Gutiérrez, professional soccer player
  • Anthony Jackson-Hamel, professional soccer player
  • Juan Cruz Mascia, professional soccer player
  • Rosa Mendes, WWE Diva and professional wrestler
  • Juan Mendez, professional basketball player
  • Ivan Menjivar, mixed martial artist
  • Arturo Miranda, professional diver, born in Cuba
  • David Monsalve, professional soccer player
  • Cristian Nuñez, professional soccer player
  • Jonathan Osorio, professional soccer player
  • Carlos Patino, professional soccer player, born in Colombia
  • Willi Plett, professional hockey player, NHL
  • Robyn Regehr, professional hockey player, NHL
  • Bryce Salvador, professional hockey player, NHL
  • Davis Sanchez, professional football player, CFL and NFL
  • Isidro Sánchez Macip, professional soccer player, born in Mexico
  • O. J. Santiago, professional football player, NFL and CFL
  • Eduardo Sebrango, former professional soccer player, born in Cuba
  • Oscar Taveras, late professional baseball player in MLB, born in the Dominican Republic
  • Raffi Torres, professional hockey player, NHL
  • Cultural adjustment

    In 2002, 82% of those who reported Latin American origin said they had a strong sense of belonging to Canada. At the same time, 57% said that they had a strong sense of belonging to their ethnic or cultural group.

    People with Latin American origins are also active in Canadian society. For example, 66% of Canadians of Latin American origin who were eligible to vote did so in the 2000 federal election.

    2008 Montreal riots

    The Latin American community of Quebec was brought into the spotlight when 18-year-old Honduran immigrant Fredy Alberto Villanueva was shot and killed by police officers of the SPVM on 9 August 2008. The following day, what started out as a peaceful protest against the officers' actions in the borough of Montréal-Nord erupted into a riot in which neighborhood stores were looted, several cars and garbage cans were set on fire, one paramedic and two police officers were wounded and one female police officer was shot.


    Latin American Canadians Wikipedia

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