Montreal

Montreal. The largest city (2016 pop 1,704,694; metropolitan pop 4,099,927) in Quebec, Canada, near the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers. It is a major industrial, commercial, and financial center of North America. The Ukrainian population of Montreal numbered approximately 13,700 in 1981 and is the only significant Ukrainian community in a French-Canadian environment.

Ukrainian residence in Montreal dates from 1904. The community grew slowly before the arrival of the second (interwar) and third (post–Second World War) waves of immigrants. The interwar immigrants from Ukraine had been active in Ukraine’s struggle for independence (1917–20) and were more politically and nationally conscious than the earlier immigrants. The most important organization formed by them was the Ukrainian National Federation. The postwar immigrants were mostly refugees and displaced persons from Galicia. They formed new Ukrainian institutions and organizations, such as credit unions, a Ukrainian section of Radio Canada International, a Ukrainian radio program ‘Ukrainskyi chas,’ and university courses in Ukrainian language and literature. In 1950 an illustrated bimonthly, Oko svitu, and in 1979–86 a trilingual monthly, Oko, came out in Montreal.

In 1981 about 65 percent of the Ukrainian population of Montreal was Ukrainian Catholic, 30 percent Ukrainian Orthodox, and 5 percent Protestant. The first Ukrainian church in Montreal was the Catholic Saint Michael’s Church, built in 1916. Another six were built later, five of them in the late 1950s and early 1960s. There are also three Orthodox parishes. Most of the churches are located in the areas of highest Ukrainian concentration, such as Rosemont, St-Michel, Montreal, and St-Leonard. In 1991, 5,580 inhabitants of Montreal claimed Ukrainian as their mother tongue.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]




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