History of the Lithuanian community in Canada is like a scaled-down version of the Lithuanian Americans history (today there are 47 000 Lithuanian Canadians). It also began later. The first Lithuanians came to Canada in some 1900 to work in Nova Scotia mines. The first ethnic parish was erected in 1913. Main immigration took place ater the Soviet occupation of Lithuania and like in the USA there was a post-1990 third wave. Most Lithuanian Canadians live in Ontario (~27 500) where there are numerous lively communities. Quebec Province, Alberta and British Columbia has between 4000 and 6000 each. The Maritimes still have ~1500 descendants of first Lithuanian immigrants but most are now of mixed heritage (less than 100 pure Lithuanians). Two Canadian towns - Wilno, Ontario and Vilna, Alberta - are named after Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital (Wilno is the Polish name of Vilnius while Vilna was the Russian name).
In addition to Toronto after World War 2 Lithuanians also moved to small Ontario towns. Multiple such town have Lithuanian churches dating to ~1950s: somewhat modern, somewhat old in style appropriate for a time when the Lithuanian refugees were living with both the modern realities of Canada and their old traditions. A wooden corss or chapel-post stands in the yards to tell everyone that Lituanity has not been destroyedeven if there was no independent Lithuania at the time.
In Delhi the Lithuanians worked at tobacco plantations. In 1959 they used an opportunity to buy a small local church (as its parish moved into a larger building) thereby establishing St. Casimir church (41 Talbot Road).
Lithuanian Canadians loved church names related to Lithuania. A church named after St. Casimir (Lithuania's patron saint) also stands at Windsor (1043 Greendale Drive). London has an Our Lady of Šiluva church (1414 Dundas Street East).
Wasaga Beach is a small town but has many Lithuanians. ~1952 they were encouraged to buy summerhouses here by a Toronto priest Petras Ažubalis as this location reminded of Palanga (the Lithuania's prime seaside resort, then firmly behind the Iron curtain). Like the Baltic Sea nearby Lake Huron is so big that the other shore is invisble and the world's longest lakeside beach (14 km) reminded of the famous Palanga sandy shore. It was one of the rare times when Lithuanians moved in somewhere in an organized fashion. One summerhouse has converted in 1993 to a Good Shepherd church (2121 Mosley Street), making it so far the last Lithuanian church to be established outside Lithuania-proper. It became needed as an increasing number of Lithuanians permanently left the major cities for their Wasaga Beach summer homes.
In St. Catherines near the famous Niagara Falls Lithuanian Franciscan monks, forced to flee their homeland by the Soviets, established their monastery and the Our Lady of Angels mission. The building has been sold in 2001 as the numbers of Lithuanians were declining, however, Lithuanians are still permitted to use it.
Hamilton city between Toronto and St. Catherines has an Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn church (58 Dundurn Street) established in 1948. It is named after the Virgin Mary painting that hangs on the final remaining gate of the Vilnius city.
Ontario also has a city named after the capital of Lithuania. However, it is "Wilno" rather than "Vilnius", "Wilno" being the Polish name of the city. This town has been established by Kashubians - a small ethnic group that lives near Gdansk. The nature here reminded them of their homeland - and it reminds of Lithuania as well. The settlers were led by Ludwik Dembski who had been born in Vilnius. Being too modest to name the town after himself he named it after his city of birth instead. Wilno has numerous crosses around it and also hosts the Canada's oldest Polish parish (est. 1875, current church built in 1937).
Canada's second largest city Montreal attracted many Lithuanian refugees after World War 2. They have constructed patriotically-named churches that remain community hubs even today, making Montreal the world's only Francophone city to have sizeable Lithuanian heritage.
Tall spire of St. Casimir Lithuanian church rises above an old townhouse district (address: 3426 Parthenais). The parish is 100 year old however the church is more modern, having been expanded after the post-WW2 influx of Lithuanian refugees.
Southern Montreal (1465 Rue de Seve) hosts the mid-20th century Our Lady of Vilnius church. It is towerless, of rectangular proportions and a Lithuanian credit union is nearby. The church interior has Three Crosses (a copy of the famous Vilnius monument) behind its altar.
Like elsewhere in Canada first Lithuanians settled in Quebec after USA curbed migration before World War 1. However their numbers extremely swelled after Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union and refugees fled to the West, including Canada. Protests for the Lithuanian independence became regular events. Lithuanians achieved that one street of terrace homes in Montreal LaSalle district would be renamed after Lithuania (Rue Lithuania).
Canada is a bilingual state: most of its provinces are English-speaking (former colonies of England). However Quebec (where Montreal is located) has been initially a French colony and has French as official language. Sings on the Lithuanian churches are thus bilingual (Lithuanian and French) and Montreal Lithuanians are the only sizeable Lithuanian community in a French-speaking land (most Lithuanian diaspora is in English, Spanish or Portuguese speaking areas). However the majority of Montreal Lithuanians speak better English than French, Montreal Lithuanian website is also available in just Lithuanian and English. After all, English itself is the second language to older Lithuanians, making French more difficult to master well. Moreover, Englush is moree important in Canada (and North America) as a whole.
After the increase of separatist ideas in Quebec which led to increased requirements to speak French in many jobs some of the Montreal Lithuanians migrated to Ontario.
The Lithuanian Home in Alberta's capital city Edmonton (83 Street Northwest) is a small building in a district of single-floored single-family homes. This was the maximum what a small local Lithuanian community could have acquired and the small space is well used: the house includes a chapel (that replaces the otherwise usual Lithuanian church for which there were no funds). The outside is covered by the columns of Gediminas, ethnic ornamentation.
Alberta also has a village (pop. ~250) Vilna named after the Lithuania's capital city Vilnius. The settlement has been established in 1907 when Vilnius was ruled by the Russian Empire and the contemporary Russian name of the city was "Vilna". As Russian has been the official language of the entire Empire this was the name that the city appeared as on maps worldwide and so it was also chosen by mostly Eastern European Alberta settlers. By the way even today in a few languages Vilnius city is still officially known as "Vilna" (Finnish, Spanish, Tagalog and Latin; Latvians call the city Viļņa). In those languages Vilna in Alberta and Vilnius in Lithuania are still homonymous.