In the 1970s, under the direction of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Canada officially adopted a policy to promote multiculturalism, and ever since it’s been a key part of the Canadian identity.
Canada has one of the highest immigration rates per capita among developed nations. In 2018 alone, Canada will welcome over 310,000 immigrants into the country. 57% of those immigrants will arrive as skilled workers. The rest will be refugees or join family already living in Canada. Altogether, 22.3% of the Canadian population identifies as a visible minority and 21.9% as foreign-born.
Canada is also known for its ‘mosaic’ approach to multiculturalism, where people from all cultures live in harmony, while also maintaining their cultural heritage and religious practices.
In Canada, there are over 30 ethnic communities with 100,000+ people, and 11 that have a million or more people. This stands in contrast to ‘melting pot’ cultures where immigrants are expected to blend in and assimilate to the norms of their new home.
Canada’s urban centers such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are particularly diverse, and home to many ethnic neighborhoods. In Toronto, which is regularly referred to as ‘the most multicultural city in the world,’ more than half of the population identifies as a visible minority.