Polish Heritage in Canada


The objective of this website is to provide an insight into the contribution that individuals of Polish origin have had on the development of Canada. The first phase of the project - Polish Heritage in Ontario - was made possible through a grant provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

It is the desire by the Canadian-Polish Congress (The national association of polish organizations across Canada - in excess of 250 organizations) to encourage each of the regional branches of the Canadian-Polish Congress to research and develop a component to reflect polish heritage in each of the provinces across Canada.

Additions, corrections and omissions to the website by various individuals and communities throughout Ontario are encouraged, as this website is a continually growing and changing insight into Polish-Canadian Heritage.

Future additions to the website will also include sections on biographies of important people of polish origin, detailed history of organizations, as well as archival material (photos, documents etc.)


Polish Heritage in Ontario

The earliest organized Polish settlements in Ontario date back to the early 1860s. The pioneers and their descendants left an important imprint on the Ontarian landscape, with their beautiful religious landmarks, characteristic methods of land cultivation, and unique architectural style and artistry. Much of this precious heritage is being lost through neglect or inadequate identification and documentation. Even in Canada’s oldest Polish settlement in Renfrew County, this continues to be a serious concern.

The Polish Heritage Project is the first comprehensive, province-wide database of architectural-heritage sites and cultural-heritage landscapes that are significant to the Polish-Canadian community in Ontario.

The information in the database includes:

 Architectural details
 History of construction and ownership
 Any other information that relates to the cultural-heritage interest and value of the sites in question

While deeply meaningful for the Polish-Canadian community, this project is designed to build bridges between Canadians of Polish descent and organizations or officials working on heritage planning and conservation. Its resources are accessible to all Ontarians, emphasizing that our landscape is indeed a multicultural one. It is a body of information that can benefit other ethnic groups and organizations considering similar initiatives.

The Polish Heritage Project contributes significantly to the creation of a sense of belonging to the Polish community, to the conservation of architectural-heritage and cultural-heritage properties, and to tourism and economic development. It consists of permanent and pertinent educational resources that can be passed down from generation to generation.







Project authors:


Steering Committee: 
Maria Swietorzecka, Ted Lojko,
Władysław Lizoń

Project coordinator:
Stanisław Stolarczyk

Philadelphia Zawierucha, Paweł Opolski, Małgorzata Skwara, Marta Wnuczko

Source documents:
o. Janusz Błażejak OMI, Maria Budziakowska, Joyce Chyrski, William Bolesław Makowski, Polski Instytut Naukowo Badawczy



The first polish settlers who came to Canada in 1858 came from Kashuby....
The first polish settlement in Canada was Wilno, established close to the first polish church, which was built in 1875 r...

 Stanisław Stolarczyk