World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Bulgarian Canadian


Bulgarian Canadian

Bulgarian Canadian
Канадски българи
Total population
30,485 (by ancestry, 2011 Census)[1] (official data)
150,000[2] (unofficial estimates)
Regions with significant populations
Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta[3]
Bulgarian, Canadian English, Canadian French
mainly Bulgarian Orthodox Christians, but also Roman Catholic, Protestants and Bulgarian Muslims.
Related ethnic groups
Bulgarian people, Bulgarian Americans, Macedonian Canadians, Bulgarians in South America
Part of a series on
Coat of arms of Bulgaria
By country
Bulgarian citizens

A Bulgarian Canadian (Bulgarian: канадски българи, kanadski balgari) is a Canadian citizen of Bulgarian descent or a Bulgaria-born person who resides in Canada. Those can include Bulgarian Canadians living in Canada for one or several generations, dual Bulgarian Canadian citizens, or any other Bulgarian Canadians who consider themselves to be affiliated to both cultures or countries. Some Bulgarian Canadians might be born in Bulgaria, Canada or other countries with ethnic Bulgarian population. According to the 2011 Census there were 30,485[4] Canadians who claimed Bulgarian ancestry, having an increase compared to those 27,260[5] in the 2006 Census.

Because some Bulgarians are not Canadian citizens, others are dual citizens, and still others' ancestors have come to Canada several generations ago, some of these people consider themselves to be simply Canadians, Bulgarians, Bulgarians living in Canada or Canadian Bulgarians.


  • History 1
    • Origin and numbers 1.1
    • Organizations, religion and education 1.2
  • Language 2
  • Notable Bulgarian Canadians 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
    • Footnotes 5.1
    • Sources 5.2
  • External links 6


Origin and numbers

Mass Bulgarian emigration to Canada began in the late 1890s and the early 20th century. Bulgarians primarily settled in Canada's industrial cities, mostly Toronto, Ontario, which was a major centre of Bulgarian migration to North America. Between 1900 and 1944, 19,955 people from Bulgaria settled in Canada; however, this number excludes the mass Bulgarian migration from Ottoman and later Serbian and Greek-ruled Macedonia, Dobruja, southern Thrace, the Western Outlands and Bessarabia, which was indeed the bulk of Bulgarian emigration to Canada.[6] The largest wave of migration from the Kingdom of Bulgaria to Canada was in 1912, when 6,388 people arrived in that country. Other significant waves were those of 1914, consisting of 4,512 people, and 1907–09, which numbered 2,529.[7]

The Canadian Census of 1921 recorded 1,765 people who identified as Bulgarians; of those, 1,378 lived in Ontario. In 1931, self-identified Bulgarians were 3,160 (2,415 in Ontario), while in 1941 they numbered 3,260 (2,553 in Ontario).[8] Other estimates, however, list 10,000 Bulgarians in Canada by 1913, of which 4,000 in Toronto alone, and 20,000 Bulgarians in Canada by 1939.[3] The Bulgarian colony in Toronto mostly consisted of emigrants from Macedonia and the Kostur (Kastoria) region in particular. According to Bulgarian diplomatic and ecclesiastical records of 1936, Bulgarians in Toronto alone numbered 3,500, while other estimates go up to 5,000.[9]

The Bulgarian community in Canada is deeply linked to the Macedonian Canadians. Until World War II, most people who today identify as Macedonian Canadians claimed a Bulgarian ethnic identity and were recorded as part of the Bulgarian ethnic group.[3] In the 1980s and 1990s, the Bulgarian community in Canada spread in larger numbers to the capital Ottawa, Vancouver, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec.[10]

Organizations, religion and education

The first organization of Bulgarians in Canada, the Zhelevo Bulgarian Brotherhood[9] or Zhelevo Benevolence Brotherhood was established in 1907 in Toronto by emigrants from Zhelevo (Kitchener, Windsor and Courtland.[9]

The foundations of the Bulgarian Orthodox community in Canada were laid down in 1908 with the first Bulgarian ecclesiastical mission in North America. The priests Hristo Karabashev and hieromonk Theophylactus, who first visited the United States, arrived in Toronto in 1910 and established what is today the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Macedono-Bulgarian[11] Orthodox Parish, which until 1945 remained the only such community in Canada.[12]

A Bulgarian school, funded by the Bulgarian Orthodox community, was founded in Toronto as early as 1914: this was also the first Bulgarian school in the Americas. In 1924, this school had 70 pupils and two teachers. By 1928, the number of pupils was 100. Bulgarian adult schools were established by two separate organizations in 1917 and 1920, also in Toronto. Another school for children was founded in Toronto in 1934; Bulgarian schools were also established in Kitchener and Windsor in 1932 and 1936 respectively.[13]


Embassy of Bulgaria in Ottawa.

Some Bulgarian Canadians speak Bulgarian, especially the more recent immigrants, while others might not speak the language at all, or speak Bulgarian mixed with English to a lesser or greater extent. Some Bulgarian Canadians understand Bulgarian even though they might not be able to speak the language. There are cases where older generations of Bulgarians or descendants of Bulgarian immigrants from the early part of the 20th century are fluent in the Bulgarian language as well.

Notable Bulgarian Canadians

See also



  1. ^  
  2. ^ Колев, p. 428.
  3. ^ a b c Magocsi, p. 289.
  4. ^  
  5. ^ "Ethnic Origin (247), Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses (3) and Sex (3) for the Population of Canada,". Statistics Canada. 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  6. ^ Magocsi, p. 287.
  7. ^ Колев, pp. 294–295.
  8. ^ Колев, p. 296.
  9. ^ a b c d Колев, pp. 297–299.
  10. ^ Magocsi, p. 290.
  11. ^ That is, "of the Bulgarians from Macedonia".
  12. ^ Колев, pp. 300–301.
  13. ^ Колев, p. 301.


  • Колев, Йордан (2005). Българите извън България (in Bulgarian). София: Тангра ТанНакРа. pp. 294–305.  
  • Magocsi, Paul R. (1999). Encyclopedia of Canada's peoples. University of Toronto Press. pp. 287–293.  

External links

  • Bulgarite v Canada
  • Bulway Bulgarian Canadians
  • BG Toronto
  • BG Canada
  • Bulgarian Community National Capital Region Ottawa – Gatineau, Canada
  • Bulgarian–Canadian Society of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • , Bulgarian newspaper issued out of TorontoMacedonian Tribune
  • Bulgarian embassy in Ottawa
  • Bulgarian honorary consulate in Montreal
  • Bulgarian consulate in Toronto
  • Canadian Foreign Affairs and International Trade Office about the relations with Bulgaria
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.