Early contact between Canada and Korea took place around 1890, through Canadian Christian missionaries working in Korea.
By 1969, there were an estimated 2,000 Koreans in Canada
With the 1966 reform of Canadian immigration laws, South Korean immigration to Canada grew significantly from a community of 70 members to nearly 20,000 by 1980
Between 1970 and 1980, 18,148 Koreans immigrated to Canada, and another 17,583 arrived in the following decade.
In the late 1990s, South Korea became the fifth-largest source of immigrants to Canada.
The data in 2011 shows that Korean-Canadians in Ontario 78,290, British Columbia 53,770, Alberta 15,000, Saskatchewan 12,620, Quebec 4,400, Manitoba 5,000 etc.
According to South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, there were 205,993 Koreans or people of Korean descent in Canada as of 2013, making them the fourth largest Korean diaspora population.
The Korean-Canadian community in Vancouver is relatively new, compared to older Asian-Canadian communities such as the Chinese-Canadian and the Indo-Canadian communities. However, Koreans now constitute one of the larger visible minority communities in the area.
Overall, there are approximately 160,000 people of Korean origin living in Ontario, with another 100,000 residing in the greater Vancouver area and other places in British Columbia. At the same time, there are smaller Korean communities in other provinces. For example, almost 15,000 Korean-Canadians living in Alberta, and another 5,000 living in Quebec, 5,000 in Manitoba, etc.
Compiled by Eunice Oh
-Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society