Ottawa

Ottawa. The capital (2016 pop 934,243; metropolitan pop 1,476,008) of Canada, located on the Ottawa River on Ontario’s eastern border with Quebec. In the 2001 census 17,235 residents gave Ukrainian as their national origin (13,250 of them of mixed background). The first Ukrainian immigrants settled in Ottawa in 1905. They were mostly single men who worked on the railways, on farms, and in the forests. The earliest community organizations were the Prosvita society (1908), a branch of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party of Canada (1912), and the Saints Cyril and Methodius Ruthenian National Organization (1913). Saint John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic parish was established in 1914, and the Bukovynian Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity was consecrated in 1918. By 1914 there were over 200 Ukrainians in Ottawa. After the First World War a branch of the Ukrainian Labour-Farmer Temple Association was organized. Few newcomers were attracted to Ottawa in the interwar period, because there was little industry there. During the Second World War the expanding federal government attracted educated and professional Ukrainian Canadians from across the country, and a local branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (now Congress) was formed.

After the Second World War the Ukrainian community grew (1,760 in 1951, 2,950 in 1961, 5,200 in 1971). Local branches of national organizations were established in Ottawa: the Plast Ukrainian Youth Association (1949), the Ukrainian Youth Association (1953), the Canadian League for Ukraine’s Liberation (1957), and the Ukrainian National Federation (1957). Another Orthodox parish was organized in 1949, and the Catholic parish built a new church, the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine (1987), as a project to commemorate the millennium of Christianity in Ukraine. A Basilian monastery was opened in Ottawa in 1962, and Holy Spirit Seminary was established at the monastery in 1982. The latter moved to its own building in 1984. The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies was established at Saint Paul University in 1990 as a center for scholarship related to Ukrainian Christianity. A Ukrainian language and literature program was introduced at the University of Ottawa in 1952 by Constantine Bida; in 1995 a Chair of Ukrainian Studies was launched at the university and in 2003 Dominique Arel became its first occupant.

As the capital of Canada, Ottawa has been the home of numerous Ukrainian politicians and civil servants of note, including Michael Starr, Paul Yuzyk, Vladimir Kaye-Kisilewsky, and Gov Gen Ramon Hnatyshyn. The city houses valuable archival collections pertaining to Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian studies at Library and Archives Canada (which has incorporated the earlier National Archives of Canada) and Carleton University (the Evhen Batchinsky Collection). The Canadian Museum of Civilization contains a collection of Ukrainian-Canadian artifacts.

[This article was updated in 2005.]




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