Every year, Canada welcomes thousands of people who move here from other countries to begin a new life. They bring many skills and talents, and the hope of contributing to their new home. Your interest in reading this profile may come from being involved in an organized HOST Program, in which you have the opportunity to meet people from Poland and introduce them to life in Canada. You may have met newly arrived Poles at work, or have Polish students at your school. Whatever your source of interest, this profile will help you learn about Poland and its traditions.

Polish settlement in Canada began in the 19th century, when Polish farmers settled in Ontario and Manitoba. Waves of Polish immigrants arrived at turbulent periods in Polish history. Many of Canada's cities have large Polish communities. Poles coming to Canada now will have many of the same questions that you would have if you moved to a new city or country. They will want to know how to find work, what their new community is like and which schools their children should attend. You can help your new friends settle by answering their questions. You will also find that you have much to learn from them.

Although this cultural profile provides insights into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Poland.

  Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name Republic of Poland
Capital Warsaw
Type of Government Democratic Republic
Population 38 million
Area 312,683 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups Poles, Ukranians, Belarusians, Germans
Language Polish
Religions Christianity, Judaism, Islam
Unit of Currency Zloty
National Flag Two equal horizontal stripes, white on top and red below
Date of Independence November 11, 2021

  Did you know?
The word pole means "field" in Polish. Thus Poland, some believe, means "the land of fields." Others contend that the Poland stems from Polanie, an ancient local tribe.

  Did you know?
The engineer and Polish exile Sir Casimir Gzowski (1813-1898), who headed the Public Works Department in Ontario, was responsible for building Yonge Street in Toronto. His firm also engineered the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie and Buffalo. Gzowski was a founder of the Toronto Stock Exchange and Toronto Symphony Orchestra.