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First Wave of Ukrainian Immigration to Canada, 1891-1914
Taras Shevchenko Museum
Toronto , Ontario


   On September 7, 1891, two
Ukrainian farmers, Vasyl
Eleniak and Ivan Pylypiw,
disembarked in Montreal. They
traveled west and their
encouraging reports on
farming conditions prompted
others to emigrate. Their
encouraging reports on
farming conditions in western

Canada set off a tide of
immigrants from Western
Ukraine (Austria-Hungary)
that became a flood after the
publication of Professor
Joseph Oleskiw's book About
Free Lands in 1895. Between
1891 and 1914, a total of
180,000 Ukrainians left their
homeland for Canada, most of

them landless peasants or
peasants with small holdings
who were promised "lots of
land" by shipping companies
and the Canadian government.
Most settled in Manitoba and
areas of the Northwest
Territories that in 1905
became the provinces of
Alberta and Saskatchewan.

   In the early years
Ukrainians were known by
several names such as
Ruthenians, Rusins, Carpatho-
Rusins, Galicians, Lemkos and
Bukovinians. These pioneers
brought with them foods such
as borshch beet soup,
perogies (varenyky), cabbage
rolls (holubtsi), kasha (buck-

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