News arrow History of Immigration arrow Importance with the defections of Russian seamen and performing artists.
Importance with the defections of Russian seamen and performing artists.
As well, the emigration of Soviet citizens of the Jewish faith added to the community's ranks.
Migration to Canada was renewed only in 1991 following the breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics.
With regard to the question of ethnic origin, according to the 1996 Canadian Census, a total of 272,325 persons responded they were wholly (46,885) or partially (225,450) of Russian background. As well, the emigration of Soviet citizens of the Jewish faith added to the community's ranks.
Migration to Canada was renewed only in 1991 following the breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics.
With regard to the question of ethnic origin, according to the 1996 Canadian Census, a total of 272,325 persons responded they were wholly (46,885) or partially (225,450) of Russian background.

The larger urban centers of Canada such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver continue to be the most popular areas for settlement.
In addition, Russians have settled in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, and Hamilton.

Rich in symbolism, the Russian Orthodox Church acted as a bastion of national identity, the centre around which many Russian Canadians rallied, most especially the post-1917 White Russian emigrants.

The ethnocommunity group founded at least 20 Russian Orthodox churches in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba during the first decade of the twentieth century.
As expected, Toronto and Montreal also have a highly developed Orthodox religious life.
In Montreal, the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul was founded in 1907; the Church of St. Nicholas was established in 1927.
In Toronto, Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Cathedral, founded, 1915, became the hub of Russian Orthodox church life in Toronto — with choirs, dance groups, children's orchestras, youth concerts, cultural groups, and sisterhoods.

Every Sunday after liturgy, the faithful gathered downstairs in the church hall around the Russian classical library over chai (tea) with glorious food like piroshki, pelmeni and borscht lovingly prepared by the sisterhood.

And more often than not, it was a time of joyous fellowship, lectures, and talks with discussions on what was going on in Russia.
In addition, there were a number of Russians belonging to other religious groupings including the Doukhobor, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Mennonite, and Hutterite sects.

Galina Komarow, daughter of Captain Constantine Martemianoff and Zinaida Klugloff, was born, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1918, the same year that Tsar Nicholas Romanov and his entire family were brutally executed by Bolshevik revolutionaries.
The next year, Galina and her parents escaped Bolshevik-led persecution, fleeing to Europe.
For the next 20 years, they were European sojourners, traveling through Poland, Germany, France, and Austria, as displaced persons, surviving the ravages of depression and war.
Eventually migrating across the Atlantic aboard the TSS Nea Hellas, the family arrived, Pier 21, Halifax, July 1949.
First settling, Ajax, Ontario, then Toronto, Galina quickly established a Hair Dressing Salon on Gerrard Street in Toronto's east end.
Because Galina's parents had loyally served the Romanovs before the fall of Tsarist Russia, a sister of Tsar Nicholas II, Olga, chose to finish out her last days with loyal friends in the flat above Galina's Gerrard Street Salon.
Galina carried on her hair dressing business for many years after the death of "the last Duchess," retiring shortly after her own mother passed away, 1989.

In this view, circa 1955, Galina Komarow, right, visits with Her Imperial Highness, the Last Grand Duchess of Russia, who, in exile, resided, Cooksville, Ontario, throughout the 1950s.
 
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