Persian-Canadians or Iranian-Canadians are citizens of Canada whose national background is traced back to Iran (Persia).
The vast majority of Iranian-Canadians have settled in the northern parts of Toronto and Vancouver areas. Although you can find Persians in every corner of the country from Halifax and Montreal to Ottawa and Calgary, cities like North York, Willowdale, Thornhill and Richmond Hill in Ontario and North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Coquitlam in British Columbia are famous for having a larger population of Iranians.
Iranian-Canadians are among the most educated and successful communities in Canada. Persians have historically excelled in business, academia, science, art and entertainment. Their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication have resulted in improving their community wherever they have settled. Future Shop, Hakim Optical, BroadbandTV Corp and West Edmonton Mall are a few examples of their contributions to the society.
In Toronto, Persian businesses can be found typically along Yonge Street, just North of the city. If you want to dive into the Persian food and culture, make sure to visit Little Persia District just south of Yonge & Steeles intersection. The Iranian Plaza includes many shops and restaurants that serve authentic Persian food at a reasonable price.
Persian Kabobs and Persian Stews are extremely popular choices. Typical Iranian main dishes are combinations of rice with meat, vegetables, and nuts. Herbs are frequently used, along with fruits such as plums, pomegranates, quince, prunes, apricots, and raisins. Characteristic Iranian flavorings such as saffron, dried lime and other sources of sour flavoring, cinnamon, turmeric, and parsley are mixed and used in various dishes.
Various annual festivals that were mainly related to agriculture and herding were celebrated in the ancient Persia, the most important of which is Nowruz, the Persian New Year which is still widely celebrated across the globe.
In Canada, Tirgan Festival promotes Iranian arts and culture, while making a concerted effort to feature contributions from Iranians of all ethnicities, backgrounds, and cultural disciplines. At Tirgan festivals, local as well as internationally renowned artists and performers unite to celebrate Iranian culture and heritage. Visitors to Tirgan can also sample savoury Iranian cuisine. It is also an opportunity to visit a traditional a tea house and a bazaar showcasing goods that include arts and crafts, Persian literature, exotic sweets, spices, and traditional musical instruments.