Trinidadians in Canada

I recently read an article on about Trinidadians living in Canada. The article dealt with the origins of Trinidadians living in Canada and the migration, arrival and settlement process that led to a very vibrant Trinidadian community in Canada. Most Trinidadians are aware of this community with the Caribana festival drawing thousands of visitors each year to enjoy the carnival activities.

However, I was curious to read that during the period 1905 to 1965 fewer than 3,000 Trinidadians were permitted to enter Canada. It appears that strict rules relating to non whites limited the amount of people of color that were permitted to enter the country. Then in 1967 a new immigration policy was implemented giving non-whites equality with whites with the new non-discriminatory immigration policy. This resulted in a flood of Trinidadians travelling to and settling in Canada. During the period 1967 to 1990 over 100,000 Trinidadians migrated to Canada. Obviously the number is more for that period since illegal migration is always a factor in the equation.

The 1991 census reported that there were only 15,000 Trinidadians living in Canada however a more realistic figure would have been around 150,000.

Trinidadian families prepare for and take care of family members who finally make it to Canada and that is the case for most places that Trinidadians migrate to. Families pull together and sacrifice to ensure that each member is successful, get a good education or job so that eventually they can move on, get their own apartment or buy a home in the suburbs and do the same for someone else.

The culture of Trinidad and Tobago lives on with the Caribana that was originally started in Toronto but now takes place in many major Canadian cities. There is a very large Indo Trinidadian community in Toronto that has fostered the playing of Chutney and other forms of Indo Trinidadian music along with Calypso and Soca.
Trinidadians in Canada, just as is the case in the US, are very keen on keeping up with the events of the homeland. Several editions of local newspapers are available in every city and now with the advent of the internet everyone gets the news (via newspaper web sites) and even listen to the local radio stations via internet streams. The communities are alive and sites like and the Shout box chat of WACK radio keep everyone in touch and in tune with the vibes of the islands.

Trinidadians in Canada are well rooted and successful. The fact that so many different societies have migrated to Canada makes it easy for the Trinidadian community to integrate easily. The fact that Trinidad and Tobago is a cosmopolitan society helps in this regard. It should be interesting to see what the children of these Trinidadians born in Canada (Canadian citizens) think about and react to the culture of their parent’s homeland. Is it a love fest or, is it that they simply don’t care? Please write in and give your opinion.


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Anonymous said…
This is a very interesting article. My Trinidadian parents move to the U.K and became British citizens. Although born in London myself I am very aware of my parents'cultural identity (food, music, dialect, mannerisms.....)I feel very close to my cultural heritage and roots. However once the generations of grandchildren and great grandchildren arrive I have noticed that some people/families become so distant from their origin it is not necessarily a case of not caring. it is often a case that they (the younger ones) haven't got a clue about their origins because nobody bothered to tell/teach them.
Anonymous said…
Most Trinidadians are those of East Indian decent who falsely claimed refugee status claiming they were politically persecuted. Utter rubbish, That is one of the reasons why other citizens now have to obtain a visa to enter Canada
Santiwah said…
"Most Trinidadians!" A few who may have done that should not taint the majority who went up legitimately.