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Swedish Canadians (Swedish: Svenskkanadensare) are Canadian citizens of Swedish ancestry or Swedes who emigrated to and reside in Canada. The Swedish Canadian community in Canada numbers 330,000.[2] The vast majority of them reside west of Lake Superior, primarily in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Toronto is the most popular settlement spot for newcomers.[citation needed] Despite having an influential presence and distinctive cultural bond, only 14,000 Canadian persons of Swedish descent speak Swedish.[3]

HistoryEdit

A few Swedes trickled into Canada even before it became a country in 1867, but the first real wave of immigration began in the late 1890s and ended with the onset of the First World War in 1914. Included in this group were a significant numberTemplate:Quantify of farmers who had settled first in the United States.

The first Swede, Jacob Fahlström, arrived in Canada in 1809, as an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company. He was succeeded in 1812 by another Swedish man, who was accompanied by two other men from Norway and Ireland to populate the Red River Colony in lower Manitoba. A much more substantive wave of Swedish settlers immigrated to Canada from the United States between 1868 and 1914, as land for farming became more and more scarce in America. Crop failures in their home country between 1866 and 1868 encouraged a similar exodus from Sweden.

The second and largest wave, which came during the 1920s, endured both the depression of the 1930s and the Second World War 1939–45. The third wave, although not as numerous, has been steady since the 1950s.

The immigrant pattern in Canada differs slightly from their counterpart in the United States. Whereas the majority of the earlier Swedish immigrants in America are from south-central Sweden, a significant portion of the Swedish immigrants in Canada are from the Stockholm region and Northern Sweden.[4]

As the economic situation improved after the Second World War, the overall emigration rate of Sweden slowed down considerably. Very much like recent Swedish emigrants found in other parts of the world, many of the newcomers are connected with Swedish companies, and do not intend to remain in the country permanently.

Spatial distributionEdit

Most Swedes settled in western Canada, from northern Ontario to British Columbia. There were only a handful of strictly Swedish communities, the earliest being Scandinavia, Manitoba, in 1885 and Stockholm, Saskatchewan, in 1886. The Census of Canada shows that Swedish immigrants could be found scattered throughout every province and territory, with pockets in rural areas and in some towns and cities.

Winnipeg acted as the Swedish capital of Canada until the 1940s when Vancouver took over this title. A significant numberTemplate:Quantify of Swedes live in Calgary and Edmonton and their environs, but the Toronto area is home to the largest concentration of newcomers, where it has one of the largest concentration of Swedish business in North America.[5]

More than 175 places' names in Canada are of Swedish origin,[6] which include Uppsala (Ontario), Stockholm (Saskatchewan) and Thorsby (Alberta).

Swedish Canadians by province or territory Edit

Swedish Canadian population by province and territory in Canada in 2011:

Province or territory Swedish Canadians Percentage
Flag of Canada.svg Canada 341,845 1.1%
23x15px British Columbia 106,085
23x15px Alberta 96,890
23x15px Ontario 67,795
23x15px Saskatchewan 32,705
23x15px Manitoba 22,575
23x15px Quebec 6,265
23x15px Nova Scotia 3,815
23x15px New Brunswick 2,640
23x15px Newfoundland and Labrador 955
23x15px Yukon 945
23x15px Prince Edward Island 600
23x15px Northwest Territories 510
23x15px Nunavut 65

AssimilationEdit

Assimilation was considered by most Swedes considered it a primary goal to succeed.[citation needed] Early immigrants made every effort to master the English language[citation needed] while supporting a fairly large number of Swedish-language newspapers, including two weeklies. The only Swedish magazine in Canada or the rest of North America today, the Swedish Press, is published in Vancouver.

Swedes are accustomed to four distinct seasons. Although Sweden is located quite far north (in the Western Hemisphere it would lie in the middle of Hudson Bay), the Gulf Stream keeps Sweden significantly more temperate than would be expected. The reason that so many Swedes settled on the prairies, despite the very different landscape and significantly colder winters, was the availability of land.

Notable Swedish CanadiansEdit

Noteworthy Canadians of Swedish origin include former NHL Hockey star Daniel Alfredsson, who is originally from Sweden but has lived in Canada since playing 19 years for the Ottawa Senators, and he eventually acquired Canadian citizenship in September 2016; Canadian Senator Pamela Wallin; Judge Tom Berger, who headed the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline inquiry; architect Arthur Erickson, who designed Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto and the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.; singer-songwriter and recording artist Michael Saxell; Harry Strom, who was the premier of Alberta (1968–1971); naturalist Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, who was the most prolific contributor to the Audubon; and Ralph Gustafson, who won the Governor General's Award for poetry in 1974.

Further readingEdit

  • Hale, Christopher S. "Swedes" in Paul Robert Magocsi, ed. Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples (1999), 1218–33

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. [1] Statistics Canada, Census 2006 – Selected Ethnic Origins1, for Canada, Provinces and Territories – 20% sample data
  2. Statistics Canada - Swedes in Canada
  3. "NHS Profile, Canada, 2011". http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/dp-pd/prof/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=PR&Code1=01&Data=Count&SearchText=canada&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&A1=Non-official%20language&B1=All&Custom=&TABID=1. 
  4. http://www.multiculturalcanada.ca/Encyclopedia/A-Z/s13/2
  5. Ruprecht, Tony. Toronto's Many Faces
  6. http://www.swedesincanada.ca/facts.html

External linksEdit


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