History

Romanian immigrants were originally from Romania and came to Canada when their home country started seeing many political changes that made it unsafe to live there. The government was after power and was not allowing the people who lived there to make their own decisions regarding their beliefs and traditions. Romanians immigrated to Canada in search of a safer place to live.

A world map is highlighting the countries of Canada and Romania.

Romanian immigrants traveled from Romania to Canada.

A map illustration highlights the country of Romania, and also shows the surrounding countries of Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine, Turkey, etc.

The country of Romania and the surrounding countries.

A man and woman are dressed up in their wedding outfits and posing for a wedding photo.

This man and woman were born in Romania, moved to Canada, and got married in Dysart, SK in 1922.

Settlement

The first Romanians immigrated to Saskatchewan in 1896 to buy farmland. Around 11,000 Romanians were living in Canada by 1911. After the First World War, the number of Romanians who moved to Canada decreased as the economy became better in Romania and there were more jobs available. However, Jewish Romanians began to move to Canada in larger numbers because the Romanian government was rejecting their basic human rights. By 1941, there were 25,000 Romanians living in Canada.

An Illustrated farmer walks to a city building to get a land title.

The first Romanians went to land titles offices or city halls to buy farmland.

An aerial view of a homestead shows a house, a barn, and a few small sheds.

This homestead was started in 1915 by a couple from Romania. This photo is taken in 1960.

After the Second World War, many people immigrated from Romania to Canada because the political situation was becoming unsafe again. They were no longer allowed to choose their own traditions and beliefs so 1.5 million Romanian citizens left their country and became refugees. Many of these refugees moved to Canada for safety. Another big wave of Romanians moved to Canada after 1989 when more unrest started in Romania.

An Illustrated army soldier in his uniform.

There were many wars and revolutions that made living conditions unsafe in Romania.

Culture

Romanian immigrants contributed greatly to Saskatchewan’s society. A Romanian recreational and cultural facility opened in Fort Qu’Appelle in 1971. Some of the communities where the first immigrants from Romania settled had centennial celebrations to celebrate being in Canada for 100 years. They had religious services, cultural events, and activities to show the early life of the Romanians in Canada.

Two Illustrated Romanian couples are shown in clothing that they would have worn in Romania 100 years ago.

Many communities where Romanians settled in Saskatchewan had celebrations to celebrate living in Canada for 100 years.

Romanians adapted well to life in Canada and found themselves working in a variety of job fields including farming, manual labour, and some became small business owners. Many of the wives worked outside of the home, doing jobs such as dress making. Many people who have Romanian roots speak English now, but they still keep connected with their home country through Romanian restaurants, social clubs, churches, and dance clubs.

Two women and a man are dressed up in traditional Romanian outfits and are dancing on a stage.

Many Romanians stay connected to their culture through social clubs and dance clubs.