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Polish Organizations and Cultural Centers in Canada

In this section you can find possibly full contact information regarding organizations, associations, clubs, centers, parishes, mass media and many other forms of activity of the Poles living within the consular district of Toronto that consists of provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nunavut. We kindly request to help us to update information you can find here as well as announcing other Polish centers that - in your opinion- should be placed here (Toronto.info@msz.gov.pl)

POLISH ORGANIZATIONS

 

Canadian Polish Congress

The Congress was officially announced in 1944 as the initiative of organizations being a member of the Federation of Polish Associations in Canada. This is federation that coordinates activity of over 100 organizations and associations working within it. Its area of activity is spread all over Canada. By organizational activity it is subdivided into the following districts: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario (11 sub-districts included) and Quebec. 

 

Polish Canadian Women's Federation

First branch of the PCWF was formed in 1956 in Toronto. At present Federation consists of 20 Branches. Every branch sends its representative to the National and Provincial Councils of Women as well as to the Canadian Ethnocultural Council. Federation issues "Informator" buletin, that helps in inter-branch network as well as to exchange experience and achievements. Federation's important goal is to take a position regarding women's and family matters. Federation's activity is concentrated within the fields of culture, education and integration into the Canadian society.

 

The Adam Mickiewicz Foundation

The Adam Mickiewicz Foundation is the oldest Polish foundation formed in 1956 to implement needs of education, literary activity and Polish science in Canada. The primary task of the Foundation is to provide help in educational and cultural proceedings of Polish institutions in Canada and to the young people of Polish descent. The unique point of this Foundation are lectures in Polish history and culture organized at Canadian universities. Foundation also supports Polish schools in Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

 

The W. Reymont Foundation of Canada

The Foundation grants bursaries and educational allowances for the students of Polish descent and organizes all-Canadian recitation contest. It also helps Polish schools and organizations, and supported the Chair of Polish History at the University of Toronto, Polish Theatre in Toronto, and "White Eagle" and "Lechowia" dancing groups. In 1971 Foundation made contact with the universities in Poland. Since then it cooperates with the Catholic University of Lublin and the Jagellonian University. Every year Foundation grants over 50 bursaries for the amount of $ 50.000 CAD.

 

The Polish Women of Canada Heritage Fund

This organization was formed in 1986 by exiting 11th branch of the Polish Women's Federation in Canada. Fund carries charity activity, handing down financial help to the orphanages in Poland.

Beside charity activity, Fund contributed into cultivation and preservation of Polish traditions, culture and increasing values of the Polish language.

 

Canadian Polish Milenium Fund

Canadian Polish Milenium Perpetual Fund was founded by the Polish Canadian Congress in May 1966 as the Poland's Baptism celebration. Fund's primary goals and foundations were established as such as: support and promotion of scientific interests and cultural studies, especially Polish national and religious cultural studies; encouraging and help to the people of Polish descent to study; financial support of scientific and literary publications regarding Polish culture and history; support for community organizations gathering Canadian youth of Polish descent.

Fund's Board of Directors gathers at least twice a year, to grant bursaries and dotation distribution among the people who applied for them and organizations as well. Finances to cover bursaries and dotations are collected due to generosity of individual contributors and last will legacy.

 

Canada-Poland Chamber of Commerce of Toronto

Canada- Poland Chamber of Commerce of Toronto is an organization existing back to 1994, which statutory goals include promotion, development and expansion of economic, trade and investing contacts between Poland and Canada, networking development and cooperation between businessmen of Polish descent in Canada. Organization is a member of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Toronto and holds cooperation agreements with the Polish Business Centre Club and Polish Craftsman Association.

At the present time the Chamber unites few hundred of members representing small, as well as medium and large facilities of different profile of activity. Its statute also makes it possible for those businessmen of no Polish descent to become a member.

 

Polish-Canadian Institute of Historical Studies

With its headquarters in London,ON, this organization was founded in 2016 by two common Polish-Canadian history researchers, Roman Baraniecki and Andrzej Kawka. Its members are amateurs who are fond of studies of events connecting Polish and Canadian community, and who previously were acting in informal way, ex. by organizing exhibitions prepared by the Institute of National Remembrance.

 

Polish National Association in London

Founded in 1920 by a group of people who wanted to create their own social and cultural centre, to support local Polish community. Primary this organization was called "Society of Fraternal Help of Polish Sons Group # 2" and its model was an organization from Toronto called similarly. In 1930 the name of the organization was changed from Polish Club into the Polish National Association. In 1977 at Nilestown, ON PNA has started construction of the Polish Canadian Recreational Center, which at the present time is the biggest soccer center in Ontario, with three full soccer fields. "The White Eagle" Club from London, ON annually organizes Polish Teams Open Soccer Tournament, that take place in Nilestown, ON. 

 

The Canadian-Polish Research Institute

The Canadian-Polish Research Institute was founded in September 1956. First director of the Institute was the initiator of its founding, Dr Wiktor Turek. Institute systematically collects publications regarding Poles in Canada, including Polish press. It collects documents regarding Polish ethnic group in Canada, of religious, cultural and political character, ex. bulletins, reports, commemorative books, prints, correspondence. Some of these documents are passed on to the Archives of Ontario.

 

Polish-Canadian Association of the Representatives of Medical Professions 

Consists of 100 members, doctors, stomatologists and pharmacists. Organization is informal and is not registered officially, but it held regular meetings connected with the specialized lectures.

 

Polish Canadian Business and Professional Association of Windsor

This is organization acting for the economic development between Canada and Poland and initiator of partnership agreement between Windsor and Lublin in 2004. 

 

Association of Polish Engineers and Technitians in Canada

was announced in 1941 as the initiative for Polish engineers coming to Canada during the wartime. It was an agreement signed between Polish Government on Emigration and Canadian Government for those Polish engineers who were able to get employed in the Canadian facilities working for military industry. About 500 work permits to Canada were issued to Polish engineers and technicians, without the right to settle. 

Association belongs to so-called central organizations, is a member of the Canadian Polish Congress, and issues "New Link" bulletin.

 

The Polish Combatants Association

The Polish Combatants Association in Canada continues its prototype organization called "Military Self-Help". PCA was founded in May 1946. At the beginning of its activity Association first of all represented interests of those soldiers, lots of whose were coming to Canada. Then its main task were efforts to equal rights of Polish and Canadian veterans. It took place only in 1957, when new amendments were implemented into the by-law of the alienated armies, when Polish veterans were granted, ex. full medical and hospital care. Expanded self-help activity never blocked main purpose and character of this organization: to promote patriotic and independent attitude in Poland's service. Since 1948 PCA belongs to the Canadian Polish Congress.

Aside from the Polish Combatants Association, there are many other veterans organizations, where their members act according to the military formations, such as Polish Army Veterans Association# 114 in Toronto, that takes care of Paderewski Park located up north of Toronto, where every year numerous events are organized, such as celebrating Monte Cassino Battle anniversary, Polish Army Holiday, or planting "Oaks of Remembrance" action.

At the headquarters of the Polish Combatants Association in Toronto such organizations as the Association of Soldiers of the 1st Tank Division, Pilots Association and Association of the Former Soldiers of the National Army. Significant group of Polish veterans is also a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, a Canadian organization, creating its Polish branches.

As an organization affiliated by the Polish Combatants Association, "Nadzieja” (“Hope") Women's Circle acts in Toronto. Its members, besides participation in veterans’ events, also carry charity activity collecting finances for Polish orphanages and terminally ill children in Poland.

 

Association of Siberians in Toronto

This Circle was formed in 1958 as the Union of Eastern Lands, link of the organization with the Main Directorate in London, UK. It consisted of people, later its members, who came after the WWII from the Poland's Confined Eastern Lands.

 

Polish Cultural Association of Gdansk in Canada

While being prepared to the 1000th anniversary of Gdansk, Polish Cultural Association of Gdansk in Canada was formed in 1996. Its purpose was to ensure that anniversary will be celebrated properly and all those, who were born there, lived there or just expressed special liking to this place, integrated together to be felt connected to each other. Association tries to promote Gdansk within Poles and Canadians. At present there are around 100 registered members of this organization.

 

Polish Scouting Association in Canada

Polish Scouting Association in Canada was founded after the WWII as the branch of Polish Scouts Federation with the headquarters in London, UK. In 1952 female scouts ensign and in 1953 male scouts ensign was formed. Canadian branch of the PSA was officially registered in 1955, uniting aforementioned two ensigns as well as already existed in Canada scout and junior scout teams. At the same time, in early fifties, first scout centers were formed in the region of Barry's Bay and Wilno on the so-called Ontarian Kaszuby. Now this is a summer headquarters for male and female scouts, scout detachments such as Baltic, Podhale and Rzeka (River). Scout territory also include "Carpathians" center for male scouts and "Bucze" center for female scouts located by the Long Lake. On the territory which is under ownership of the Polish Scouting Association Inc. Szare Szeregi Monument as well as field chapel also known as "The Chapel Under the Pines" are situated. Every year scouting instructors carry so-called summer action there, where hundreds of junior and senior scouts learn Polish culture, Polish language and Polish scouting tradition.

 

Polish Scouts of Canada

This association exists since 1996 and was formed in the result of partition of the Polish Scouting Association in Canada. It carries a center on the Ontarian Kaszuby, which is under constant expansion. Every year it organizes summer action, and since 2005 winter camps for scouts and anniversaries celebration in Toronto and the GTA.

 

Polish National Union in Canada

Formed in 1930, Polish National Union in Canada belongs to the oldest Polish organizations in the country, with the widely spread organizational structure in the area.

PNU was founded as organization ideologically close to the right-centered groups in Poland. Its activity is in the province of Ontario only. By its organization it's subdivided into the communities/branches, formed mostly in the southwestern part of the province (Cities of Kitchener, Stratford, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Burlington, Toronto). Ethics and principles of the Union's program are based on Christian religion. Program underlined necessity to fight for a free and independent Poland. PNU activity also helped to solve problems of Polish Canadians. Some branches actively participated in forming Polish schools and carried activity to promote Polish culture and traditions.

 

Polish Teachers Association in Canada

PTA was founded in 1962 and its main task was to gather all teachers of Polish language and literature and to spread interest to permanent program of teaching Polish language in as many Canadian schools as possible. From the very beginning PTA is an organization being a part of the Canadian Polish Congress, with its headquarters in Toronto, ON.

Main Board of the PTA bi-monthly issues a "Myśl" ("Idea") bulletin. PTA is organization, whose goal is to preserve Polish traditions among Polish youth in Canada, to preserve language, to cultivate Polish history and traditions. It also trains teachers of Polish language (including those teaching the language for high school credits), organizes annual methodical conferences for teachers in Polish schools from all over Canada, and participates in the Educational Forum organized in Poland.

 

Polish Highlanders Association of Canada

This organization was founded in 1978 and at present consists of around 200 members. The aim of this organization is to cultivate traditions, folklore and Highland culture from Podhale region. A great emphasis is placed to relaying these values to the young generation. Within the Union, a folklore group called "Harnasie" actively participates in the cultural life of Polish community in Ontario. The group presents Highland folklore in Podhale region style to both Canadian and Polish audience.

 

Polish Alliance of Canada

Polish Alliance of Canada is the oldest Polish organization founded in 1907 in Toronto, under the primary name "The Sons of Poland". On March 6, 1921 "The Sons of Poland" Alliance and Saint Stanislaus Alliance (organization founded in 1922 as the Society of Mutual Help) were united. On March 19, 1922 first constitution was proclaimed as a statute of united organizations and a name "Alliance of Polish Fraternal Help in Canada" was proclaimed. In October 1924 new constitution was proclaimed and its final name as the "Polish Alliance of Canada" was accepted. Alliance's statute didn't provide out-of-province activity for this organization.

First General Meeting in 1929 established main board and described character of this organization that had to be a non-party one, to cooperate on the national and educational field with all Polish organizations despite their political and religious views, to cultivate and support Polish traditions, to organize lectures, discussions, Polish schools and nurseries, to establish drama circles, scout teams, Youth Groups and Polish Women Circles. Since 1933 the Alliance's newspaper is "Zwiazkowiec", a weekly newspaper currently merged with their Winnipeg publishing house "Czas" - "Zwiazkowiec Czas" ("Trade Unionist - Time").

Polish Alliance of Canada currently consists of around 2000 members, that makes it the biggest organization in the country.

 

CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS: 

 

John Paul II Polish Cultural Center in Mississauga and Maximilian Kolbe Foundation

Main goal of the Maximilian Kolbe foundation founded in 1982, was to establish a cultural community center for the Poles in Mississauga. After the years of collecting funds, the Center was opened in fall 1994. Both the Foundation and the Center are closely connected with the biggest Polish Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Canada, in close proximity to which the Center's building is situated.

John Paul II Center is the biggest facility in the GTA, where Polish people can organize their cultural and community events. Center consists of a concert hall, stage, library, bawling room and a club. Almost every day they host various cultural events as well as classes for education and integration for adults, children and youth.

 

Libraries (with books in Polish language)

 

Library located by the John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre in Mississauga

4300 Cawthra Rd., Mississauga, ON, tel. (905) 306-9900

Open: Mondays, Thursdays - 7.00 - 9.00 pm

           Saturdays - 2.00 - 4.00 pm