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The Religious Evolution of Montreal & Toronto since 1945

Global Geography Presentation

ana markovic

on 18 November 2015

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Transcript of The Religious Evolution of Montreal & Toronto since 1945

The Religious Evolution of Montreal and Toronto Since 1945
1960's and after:
French Canada

Pinnacle point: the Quiet Revolution in Quebec
1960's and after:
English Canada

English Canada also experienced secularization
The United Church of Canada, the country's largest Protestant denomination, is now one of the most liberal major Protestant churches in the world
Canada's rapidly changing culture resulted in the United Church ending its evangelical programs; membership declined sharply as the United Church affirmed a commitment to gay rights and the ordination of women
Areas of Western Canada and the Atlantic Provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia) embraced a new emerging evangelical Protestantism; leaning towards a more conservative approach with the rejection of same sex marriage, abortion and common-law relationships
Evangelical Protestantism has been a growing movement since the 1960's
Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral
Notre-Dame Basilica
Saint Joseph's Oratory
(largest church in Canada)
Religion in Canada Today

Canada has
no official religion
Religious Pluralism (
Freedom of religion in Canada
) is an important part of Canada's political culture
2011 Canadian census:
claiming adherence to
Followed by
claiming adherence to
No Religion
Taking a closer look at
Discovered in 1535 by Jacques Cartier and founded in 1643 by French settlers

Throughout Montreal's history, it has been in turn a French settlement, British stronghold and bilingual city

Montreal is the largest French-speaking city in North America and second largest French-speaking city in the world
Religion in Montreal: The Breakdown
Quebec is dominantly Christian, approximately
of the entire population
The Greater Montreal Area is predominantly Roman Catholic; historically a center of Catholicism
of the total population is
Roman Catholic
This is primarily due to the descendants of original French settlers, along with other Italian and Irish origins
, including Anglican, United Church, Lutheran, owing to British and German immigration, make up
Orthodox Christians
fuelled by a large Greek population make up
Religion in earlier 20th Century Canada
History of Religion in Canada:
How did it all start?
French settlement beginning in the 17th century: Roman Catholic Francophone population was introduced to areas surrounding Nova Scotia and Quebec, also known as Lower Canada
"La ville aux cent clochers"
("The city of a hundred bell towers")
Domination of Canadian society by Protestant and Roman Catholic religions remain most prevalent
Until the 1960's, most parts of Canada still had "Lord's Day" laws - limiting certain activities on Sundays
English-Canadian elite: dominated by Protestants (often excluding Jews and Roman Catholics
The process of liberalization began after the Second World War in
Christian laws were expunged - those involving topic of homosexuality
Policies favoring Christian immigration were abolished
Historically, Montreal is known for its many churches and its generally rich religious architectural heritage
Pre-colonization: Aboriginal Religion
English Settlement brought Anglicans and Protestants to areas surrounding southern Ontario, also known as Upper Canada
A central theme in Canadian History:
The Religious, Cultural and Political antagonism between Canadian Protestants and Catholics
The majority of Quebec is still Roman Catholic, but liberalization has made its influence through the acceptance of common law relationships, abortion and support of same-sex marriage, being most common in Quebec in comparison to the rest of Canada
In the beginning of the 1960's, the Catholic Church began to drastically lose its influence
In the 1950's, Quebec was one of the most traditional Roman Catholic areas in the world
Religion in 21st Century Canada
Taking a closer look at
2011 statistics, National Survey statistics

76% of people living in Toronto identified a religious affiliation

54% of those living in Toronto identified as Muslim, 6% as Hindu and 24% had no religious affiliation
History of Religion in Toronto before and during WWII
Toronto before World War Two was a very "white" and protestant city
After the war, refugees from countries in Europe immigrated to Toronto
Immigration policies favored Christian immigrants
Saint Patrick's Basilica
(originally built on a high hill giving it a grand view of old Montreal)
Religion in Toronto
By: Ana Markovic & Marie-Pascale Poku
Christianity is on a decline
Canada has entered a post-Christian period in a secular state, with irreligion in Canada on the rise
The practice of religion is considered a private matter
In large, this decline in Christianity is due to increases in religious minorities as a percentage of the population
A growing number of Canadians are identifying themselves as having no religious affiliation
The city has major 4 Roman Catholic Basilicas
Montreal possesses many cultural and religious symbols that represent its deep roots in the Roman Catholic faith, dating back to the beginning with its French founders
Discussion Questions
1. Quebec has just updated its charter on religious values prohibiting the demonstration of religious symbols in the public arena (within school, hospitals, malls). What are your thoughts on this political decision?

2. The city of Toronto before 1945 was predominantly a Protestant city. But in the 21st century, more people are affiliated with Catholicism as their religion. Why has this occurred?

3. The overall decline of religion in 21st century Canada is occurring rapidly. What are your thoughts and reasoning in respect to this decline?

4. Why is it important to study religion from a geographic perspective?
Collision of Faith and Economic Development
Core of Toronto has experience signs of secularization, but in other parts of the city, religion seems to be active. The city's postwar suburbs are experiencing increases in places of worship and religious attendance
There is a collision of religious and economic interests within the city
Some scholars argue that many new places of worship in cities like Toronto, Sydney or New York are non-Christian and are primarily composed of immigrants
Toronto before World War Two was a very "white" and protestant city
West end
Toronto: Many churches and other religious temples, such as Buddhist temples and Islamic mosques
North end
: Synagogues, churches, mosques and temples
East end
: a variety of places of worship
Religion in Toronto after WWII
After WWII, immigration policies were reformed resulting in a new wave of diverse cultural groups
Toronto is the second most multicultural city in the world
Full transcript