Ontario Supports New Greek-Canadian Heritage Museum
Facility will be dedicated to preserving and portraying Hellenic history
Archbishop Sotirios remarked, “On behalf of the Greek communities in Ontario and across Canada, I extend my sincere gratitude to Premier Ford, Minister MacLeod, as well as to the former Finance Minister, the Hon. Rod Phillips, and MPPs Effie Triantafilopoulos, Christina Mitas, and Aris Babikian, for their strong support of the Greek-Canadian Heritage Museum that will preserve and perpetuate the Greek culture and Christian tradition.”
TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $325,000 to support the planning and development of a new Greek-Canadian heritage museum to house a collection of artifacts in Toronto. The museum will serve as a new community hub and central repository of photos, historic newspapers, books and an archive of recorded histories. Additionally, it will provide professionally designed educational programs for people of all ages, linking generations of Canadians to the Hellenic legacy.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford and Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, during a virtual meeting with His Eminence Archbishop Sotirios. "Ontario is home to a proud and growing Greek community," said Premier Ford. "This museum will provide a destination for everyone to celebrate Greek heritage and culture, right here in Toronto. The strength of our province is our diversity and cultural heritage, that's why it's so fitting that we make this important announcement to help mark Hellenic Heritage Month and the 200th anniversary of Greek independence." The government consulted a variety of leaders, including the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada, who identified the need for a public space to connect generations to the legacy of Hellenic culture. The museum will be located at the Archdiocesan headquarters in Toronto and will attract people of all ages. Project planning is currently in preliminary stages with timelines and architectural plans to be determined. "Today marks the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence Day, and our government recognizes the valuable contributions that Hellenic Canadians have made to Ontario's cultural wealth, vitality and economic success," said Minister MacLeod. "With more than 270,000 people of Hellenic descent in Canada, and more than half of them living in Toronto, there is no better place to locate this new Greek-Canadian heritage museum. This investment will boost tourism in the GTA, bring communities together and highlight the modern intellectual and scientific knowledge people of Hellenic descent have brought to the province - showcasing how Ontario offers the world in one province."
Last year, Ontario was the first province in Canada to formally recognize March as Hellenic Heritage Month.
Greek Independence Day is a national holiday celebrated annually in Greece on March 25, commemorating the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821.
Quotes "As a Greek Canadian, I am absolutely thrilled that our government is supporting the creation of a Hellenic Heritage Museum. This museum allows those of Hellenic descent, and all who show an interest in our history, to expand their knowledge of our heritage and celebrate our achievements. Preserving history is integral to preserving culture, traditions, and connections to our past. I look forward to sharing my young children's heritage with them by visiting the museum in person, and am very proud to be a part of a government that is committed to lifting up the Greek community." - Christina Mitas MPP, Scarborough Centre
"During Hellenic Heritage Month, and on the Bicentennial of Greek independence, I am very proud that our government is supporting a Hellenic Heritage Museum in Ontario. Our province is the only jurisdiction in Canada that passed a law to recognize Hellenic Heritage Month, in 2019. The museum will honour the history and heritage of Ontarians of Hellenic descent and recognize their contributions to our province and country." - Effie Triantafilopoulos MPP, Oakville North—Burlington
"Today, on the dual celebration of the Annunciation and Greek Independence, I am both humbled and honoured to meet with Premier Ford and members of the government as we take the first step together to develop a Greek-Canadian Heritage Museum. This valuable initiative and dedicated funding will ensure that the story of Canadians of Greek descent is protected and preserved. I extend my gratitude to the Premier and praise his commitment to the Hellenic ideals of family, freedom, democracy and human rights, as well as thank Minister MacLeod, and MPPs Triantafilopoulos and Mitas for paying tribute to the 200th anniversary of Greek independence with this historic announcement." - His Eminence Archbishop Sotirios Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada