History

Canada benefited greatly by the mass exodus of immigrants after World War II, as in the process, some of Italy’s finest rushed to our shores. Everywhere one looks, the Italian presence is constant.

Architects like Bruno Freschi, shipbuilders like Vito Trevisi and contractors like Aquilini, Boffo, Bordignon, Bosa, DeCotis, Nardone, and Zen have left a permanent print on the landscape of this world class city.

The celebration of the Italian culture and the contributions made to this city is the foundation of Italian Day, which has a rich history of over 70 years on Commercial Drive. The festival has grown and diversified from its parade oriented origins in the 60’s, street dancing in the 70’s, and cultural celebration in the 80’s. Now, Italian Day is one of the city’s most celebrated cultural festivals. It pays tribute to the community’s vibrant Italian enclave and the contributions made to the city by Italian immigrants and their children, the next generation(s) of Italian-Canadians.

Historical photo of trolleys along Commercial Drive

A crowd gathers on Commercial Drive