The first Filipinos migrated to Canada in 1931. In 1950, 10 Filipinos were recorded in Manitoba. These first generation Filipino-Canadians were mainly women who worked as nurses, teachers and in the health sector. These first Filipinos came from the United States to renew their visas after they had expired in hopes of returning to the United States.
Most of these women returned to the United States but some decided to stay in Canada. From 1946 to 1964, the total of Filipinos in Canada was 770. During the 1960s, Canada recruited more professionals, mostly from the United States with some coming directly from the Philippines. Most of these nurses, technicians, office workers and doctors arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In the late 1960s, more Filipinos came to Winnipeg to work in the garment industry. During the 1970s, most Filipinos came directly from the Philippines to Winnipeg to work in clerical, sales and manufacturing fields. In the late 1970s, more Filipinos came to join their relatives who worked in Canada under the family reunification program. More and more Filipinos decided to settle in Ontario, particularly in Toronto, where jobs were prospering.
Filipino-Canadians are the third-largest Asian Canadian group in the nation after the Indian and Chinese communities. They are also the largest South Asian group in the country. Between the years of 2001 and 2006 the Filipino community in Canada grew from 308,575 to 410,695 or a growth of about 33%, compared to the rest of Canada which only grew by about 5%. On average, Canada received about 20,500 Filipino immigrants every year between 2001 to 2006. Assuming this annual growth, the population is expected to hit 500,000 by 2010.
There are many religious, town and sport associations in the Greater Toronto Area. The Filipino Centre Toronto ("FCT") provides health, educational, social and commercial services to the community. It also assists newcomers to the City of Toronto by providing immigration and settlement services.
Another organization established for the community is the Philippine Independence Day Council ("PIDC") whose members represent various other associations in Ontario. PIDC organizes numerous events for the Filipino community including the annual Mabuhay Philippines! Toronto Summer Festival.
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