Across Cultures

Why did we come to Canada?

About this theme

This theme shows people talking about their decisions to immigrate to Canada. Many state that political and economic pressures were compelling.


If you are interested in references in French, please consult the French version of this Web site.

Baaba Folson, Rose, ed. Calculated Kindness: Global Restructuring, Immigration, and Settlement in Canada. Halifax, NS: Fernwood, 2004.

Beiser, Morton. Strangers at the Gate: The « Boat People’s » First Ten Years in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.

Boyd, Monica and Michael Vickers. “100 Years of Immigration in Canada.” Canadian Social Trends (Autumn 2000) : 2-12 (accessed June 26, 2007).

Canadian Council for Refugees. Facing Facts - Myths and Misconceptions about Refugees and Immigrants in Canada. Montreal: The Council, [no date] (accessed June 14, 2007).

Coelho, José Mário. Small Stories, Great People: Portuguese Pioneers in Canada. Tr. Ana Fernandes-Iria. Toronto: Creative 7, 2004.

Dossa, Parin. Politics and Poetics of Migration: Narratives of Iranian Women. Toronto:Canadian Scholars’Press Inc., 2004.

Grant, John N. The Maroons in Nova Scotia. Halifax, NS: Formac, 2002.

Hughes, Susan. Coming to Canada: Building a Life in a New Land. Toronto: Maple Tree Press, 2005.

Duivenvoorden Mitic, Trudy. People in Transition: Reflections on Becoming Canadian. Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2001.

Knowles, Valerie. Forging our Legacy: Canadian Citizenship and Immigration, 1900-1977. Ottawa: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2000.

Leddy, Mary Jo. At the Border Called Hope: Where Refugees are Neighbours. Toronto: HarperCollins, 1998.

Li, Peter S. Destination Canada: Immigration Debates and Issues. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Li, Peter S. “The Rise and Fall of Chinese Immigration to Canada: Newcomers from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China and Mainland China, 1980–2000.” International Migration 43, no 3 (August 2005): 9-34.

Lippert, Randy K. Sanctuary, Sovereignty, Sacrifice: Canadian Sanctuary Incidents, Power, and Law. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2005.

Milan, Anne and Kelly Tran. “Blacks in Canada: A Long History.” Canadian Social Trends, no 72 (Spring 2004): 2-7 (accessed June 13, 2007).

Nyers, Peter. Rethinking Refugees: Beyond States of Emergency. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Parmar, Prabhjot and Nila Somaia-Carten, eds. When Your Voice Tastes Like Home: Immigrant Women Write. Toronto: Second Story Press, 2003.

Pellerin, Helene. “Economic Integration and Security: New Key Factors in Managing International Migration.” IRRP Choices 10, no 6 (July 2004) (accessed July 5, 2007).

“Refugees in Canada: Grant and Contributions [theme issue].” Canadian Issues / Thèmes canadiens (March 2004). [Table of contents]

Rifaat, Cherif. Immigrants Adapt, Countries Adopt – Or Not: Fitting Into the Cultural Mosaic. Montreal: New Canadians Press, 2004.

Shellenberg, Grant and Hélène Maheux. “Immigrants’ Perspectives on their First Four Years in Canada: Highlights from Three Waves of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada.” Canadian Social Trends, special ed. (April 2007): 2-34 (accessed June 6, 2007).

Siemiatycki, Myer, ed. "Immigration and the Intersections of Diversity [theme issue]." Canadian Issues / Thèmes canadiens (Spring 2005).

Statistics Canada. Ethnic Diversity Survey: Portrait of a Multicultural Society. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2003 (accessed June 27, 2007).

Statistics Canada. Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada: A Portrait of Early Settlement Experiences. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2005 (accessed July 4, 2007).

Showler, Peter. Refugee Sandwich: Stories of Exile and Asylum. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006.

VanderPlaat, Madine, ed. “Immigration and Families.” Canadian Issues / Thèmes canadiens (Spring 2006).

Wallace, Theresa. The Role of Transportation in Canadian Immigration 1900-2000. Ottawa: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2000