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Happy Thanksgiving, Eh!

To all my fellow Canadian Bianconeri out there, Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you're surrounded by the ones you love today, enjoying way too much food along the way. There's a ridiculous amount of us Juventus tifosi north of the border so I've decided to do a little background check on the origins of Italian-Canucks.

Over 75% of Italian immigrants to Canada have come from southern Italy, especially from the regions of Calabria, Abruzzi, Molise and Sicily, each with over 10% of the total. About three-quarters of these immigrants were small-scale farmers or peasants. Unlike northern Italy, which dominated the newly formed (1861-70) Italian state, and continued to industrialize, southern Italy remained rural and traditional.

Overpopulation, the fragmentation of peasant farms, poverty, poor health and poor educational conditions, heavy taxation and political dissatisfaction acted as a "push" to emigration. Factors that "pulled" Italians to Canada included rising expectations, the low cost of ocean travel, the example of successful relatives and friends in the New World, and the significantly higher wages there.

In 2006, 60% of Italian Canadians lived in Ontario, 21% in Québec and 10% in BC. About 95% of Italian Canadians live in towns and cities. The most significant concentrations are in Toronto, where in 2006 Italian Canadians numbered 466 155, and in Montréal, where they numbered 260 345.

Other cities in which Italian Canadians numbered 10 000 or more were (in descending order) Vancouver, Hamilton, St Catharines-Niagara, Ottawa-Hull, Windsor, Calgary, Edmonton, London, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sudbury and Oshawa.

In daily life, the influence of Catholicism can be seen in the strong family values of Italian Canadians, which give the group higher rates of marriage and fertility, and lower rates of divorce and separation, compared to the overall Canadian average. The majority are opposed to divorce, abortion and even artificial contraception. Most Italian Canadians believe they have a responsibility to care for aged parents, a conviction reflected in living arrangements showing almost half in multi-family households.

Italians are the 5th largest ethnic group in Canada after British, Irish, French and German origins, which today amounts to 4.6% of the population of Canada. For more information on the history of Italians in Canada, visit The Canadian Encyclopedia online. Seeing as so many of La Vecchia Signora's fans are from southern Italy, it's no wonder so many of us Italian-Canucks are Juventus supporters. To all of my Juventini in the United States, don’t worry November 25th is just around the corner, until then Happy Columbus Day; another famous Italian.