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./p>

Some prominent Tamils include:


Sports people

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
  • Author of Realizing Women’s Sexual Rights: Challenges in South Asia
  • Gary Anadasangaree – Community activist, a prominent lawyer in Toronto.



  • David Jeyaraj Canadian freelance journalist, Toronto
  • Logan Velumailum – Monsoon Journal, Toronto
  • R.N. Logendralingam – Uthyan Tamil Newspaper, Toronto
  • Nada Rajkumar – Geethvani Tamil Radio, Toronto

Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee

National Anthem – Tamil


Welcome to Canada!

If you are a newcomer to Canada, you must adapt to a new culture, language and climate. Tamil Cultural Association of Waterloo Region wants to help you become familiar with your new surroundings and find a job. Come and join us at one of our many events to find out more. Find out about our upcoming events. We also provide some useful sites to ease your transition into Canadian society.

Immigrating to Canada

Every year, Canada plans to accept a couple of hundred thousand immigrants, to meet goals of economic benefit to Canada, family reunification, and humanitarian commitment. At Citizenship and Immigration Canada, you can find out how immigrants are selected, where to go and how to apply.

Province of Ontario – Capital: Toronto

Province of Ontario is one of the 10 Provinces of Canada. The Capital City of Ontario is Toronto. Multiculturalism is what sets Toronto apart from other big North American cities. Toronto is home to virtually all of the world’s culture groups and is the city where more than 100 languages are spoken.

There are more than 90 different ethnic groups in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and over one million non-English or French speaking people. The top six are European (997,180), East and Southeast Asian (488,350), British (457,990), Canadian (311,965), South Asian (291,520) and Caribbean (167,295). The top ten source countries for immigration to Canada were China, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Iran, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Taiwan, Russia and Jamaica in 1996.

Italian is the most widely known non-official language with some 277,500 Torontonians able to speak it. Cantonese is the second most widely known non-official language with 178,680 persons able to speak it and Spanish is third with 142,635. Cantonese is the non-official language most widely spoken at home in Toronto (139,670 persons or 10.8% of all persons who speak a non-official language at home) and for those residents under the age of 25 (38,265 persons or 10.9%).

Italian (95,655 persons), followed by Punjabi (84,635), Portuguese (68,965) and Tamil (68,050) are the next most widely spoken non-official languages at home in Toronto.