Canadians of Dutch descent

Canadians of Dutch descent
Dutch Canadian
Nederlandse Canadezen
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Roméo Dallaire . Cornelius Krieghoff
Total population
3.12% of the Canadian Population
Regions with significant populations
Ontario, Western Canada, Atlantic Canada, Quebec

English, French, Dutch, Frisian.


Protestant, Roman Catholic

Related ethnic groups

Dutch people, Dutch Brazilians, Dutch Americans, Dutch Surinamese, Afrikaners

According to the Canada 2006 Census, there are 1,035,965 Canadians of Dutch descent, including those of full or partial ancestry.



The first Dutch people to come to Canada were Dutch-Americans among the United Empire Loyalists. The largest wave was in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when large numbers of Dutch helped settle the Canadian west. During this period significant numbers also settled in major cities like Toronto. While interrupted by the First World War this migration returned in the 1920s, but again halted during the Great Depression and Second World War. After world war II a large number of Dutch immigrants moved to Canada, including a number of war brides of the Canadian soldiers who liberated the Netherlands. During the war Canada had sheltered Crown Princess Juliana and her family. The annual Canadian Tulip Festival held in May commemorates her with a generous amount of the Tulips coming from The Netherlands. Due to these close links Canada became a popular destination for Dutch immigrants. The Canadian government encouraged this, recruiting skilled workers. This post-war wave went mainly to urban centres such as Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver. With the economic recovery of the Netherlands in the post-war years immigration to Canada greatly slowed.

While one of the largest minority groups in Canada, Dutch Canadians have tended to rapidly assimilate and there are relatively few Dutch Canadian organizations and media. One important institution is the Christian Reformed Church in North America, with most congregations found throughout Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. The Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, The King's University College in Edmonton, and Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario are associated with this Dutch Reformed/Calvinist denomination. Christian Schools International, the Christian Labour Association of Canada, and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario are organizations with strong Dutch-Canadian roots.

Dutch Canadians, because of their shared cultural and religious heritage, tend to form tight knit communities. This has led to an in-joke known as Dutch Bingo [3], where it is said that a Dutch Canadian is able to figure out his/her connection to another Dutch Canadian by asking questions about the other's last name, town of birth, church and the college they attended.

Notable Canadians of Dutch descent


  • Parzival Copes (1924 - ) economist with a particular interest in regional science and specialization in fisheries economics and management
  • Sidney van den Bergh (1929 - ) astronomer[1]
  • Mark Brodwin (1974 - ) astrophysicist[2]

Arts and Entertainment


Politics and Civil Service


  • Evert van Benthem (1958 - ), speed skater, won the Elfstedentocht in 1985 and 1986
  • Petra Burka (1946 - ) Olympic figure skater[6]
  • Karl Dykhuis (1972- ) Ice hockey player; first cousin of Mark Brodwin (1974 - ) astrophysicist.
  • Adam van Koeverden (1982 - ) Olympic gold medalist in K-1 500 m. His last name relates him to the Dutch city of Coevorden
  • Trevor Linden (1970 - ) ice hockey player in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Vancouver Canucks
  • Dwight Lodeweges (1957 - ) footballer and coach
  • Joe Nieuwendyk (1966 - ) ice hockey player in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Florida Panthers
  • Beorn Nijenhuis (1984 - ) speed skater, who represents the Netherlands at the 2006 Winter Olympics[7]
  • John van 't Schip (1963 - ) footballer
  • Eric Staal (1984 - ) ice hockey player in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Carolina Hurricanes
  • Jordan Staal (1988 - ) ice hockey player in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Bruce Timmermans ( - 1999) activist cyclist and founder of Citizens for Safe Cycling Ottawa [8]
  • Kelly VanderBeek (1983 - ) Alpine Skier
  • Mike Vanderjagt (1970 - ) the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Played for the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys and is currently a Free Agent.
  • Greg de Vries (1973 - ) Ice hockey player
  • Steve Yzerman (1965 - ) retired NHL player for the Detroit Red Wings




Web sites

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