Jewish populations are growing in every major Canadian city—except Toronto

Canada's Jewish population 2021
Experts have been crunching the numbers released in the 2021 Canadian census to determine Canada's Jewish population is now 404,015. A 5% increase from 385,345 in 2011. Note the significant growth in Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax, but Toronto is plateauing.

Demographer Charles Shahar has been digging into the latest Canadian census data, from 2021, to paint a fuller picture of what Canada’s Jewish community looks like. He says while cities from coast to coast have seen their Jewish populations grow significantly—especially Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax—the Toronto area has plateaued.

Whether it is because of the city’s infamously unaffordable housing prices or COVID sparking an exodus to smaller towns, he suggests his new census findings should be a concern for planners and Jewish community officials in the GTA. Which should they prioritize: building more schools or seniors’ homes?

Shahar says one of the most surprising changes is that Montreal’s Jewish population is now on an upswing, with more than 90,000 people again, after a steep decline that started in the 1970s. Same goes for Winnipeg, reversing 40 years of declines.

What we talked about

  • Read more about the 2021 Census data’s preliminary findings from last fall in The CJN
  • Hear Professor Morton Weinfeld on why Canada’s Jewish population is still growing on The CJN Daily
  • Learn more about the 2011 results in Charles Shahar’s report here


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