Canada

The Canadian Tamils of Sri Lankan origin is one of the fastest growing community in Canada, particularly in the city of Toronto, Ontario.  Canada is now home to more than 250, 000 Tamils, of which approximately 200, 000 live in Toronto. 
 
The history of Tamils in Canada goes back to the 1940s, when a few hundred Tamils migrated to Canada. Among the first Tamils to immigrate to Canada were predominantly English-educated individuals from India and Sri Lanka. Many had professional qualifications and were seeking to find better prospects for their education and talents. A substantial proportion came as graduate students and, after completing their studies, found jobs and remained in Canada.
   
A significant number in the 1960s and 1970s came by way of Great Britain, where they had previously settled but become disenchanted with increasing racism in that country and lured by greater economic opportunities in Canada. Since the majority of newcomers were well educated and familiar with British institutions, they had few problems adapting to Canadian life. These early Tamil immigrants were highly mobile and settled wherever they could find adequate employment. Many moved to Alberta during the boom in oil production there in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
 
The vast majority, however, arrived in Canada after 1983 in the aftermath of communal riots in Sri Lanka. They settled in the urban centres in Toronto (Province of Ontario), Montreal (Province of Qubec) and Vancouver (Province of British Columbia).  The Waterloo Region and Ottawa is becoming a popular immigration centre because of popular Universities and High tech. Industries.
 
Canada is now home to the largest Tamil population outside of Sri Lanka and South India. Within this short period of time, Tamils have established a mounting presence in multiple aspects of Canadian life: business, academic, political and social. The Tamil business community has grown in leaps and bounds, with over 2,000. in the City of Toronto.  Tamil businesses range from grocery stores and restaurants carrying South Asian foods to astrologers, marriage brokers, car dealers, computer shops, insurance brokers, and real estate and travel agents. The majority of Tamil business ventures appear to be successful, and indications are that they are growing.
 
Some prominent Tamils include:
 
Academics
Indira Samarasekera nee Rutnam - President of University of Alberta
lagu V. Elaguppillai - Academic, Researcher, Entrepreneur and politician
Chelva Kanaganayakam, Director, Centre for South Asian Studies, Professor, Department of English, University of Toronto.
Joseph Chandrakanthan, Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto.
Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson– Peace maker and politician and author of books on Sri Lanka. Deceased.
   
Sports people
Sonya Jayaseelan - Canadian tennis player
Sanjayan Thuraisingam- Canadian cricketer
Suresh Joachim - Guinness World Record holder
   
Literary figures
Shyam Selvadurai - Canadian author of Funny Boy and Cinnamon Gardens
A. Sivanandan - Canadian author of When Memory Dies, and editor of the journal Race and Class
Ms. Yasmin TamiahAuthor of Realizing Women’s Sexual Rights: Challenges in South Asia
Gary Anadasangaree – Community activist, a prominent lawyer in Toronto.
   
Politicians
Vincent Veerasundaram nominee for federal elections in 2006.
David Thomas - New Democratic Party nominee for 2006 federal elections
   
Journalists
David Jeyaraj Canadian freelance journalist, Toronto
Logan Velumailum – Monsoon Journal, Toronto
R.N. Logendralingam – Uthyan Tamil Newspaper, Toronto
Nada Rajkumar – Geethvani Tamil Radio, Toronto
 
Tamil History in Canada