We were the Enemy

Today, Italian Canadians are a successful group. They are businessmen, skilled professionals and innovators in every field. Famous athletes, politicians and others are easily recognized.

Not that long ago, the loyalties of Italian Canadians were questioned. During World War II, they were considered to be fascist sympathizers and potential terrorists. Italian Canadians were put under surveillance, and 31,000 were designated as enemy aliens. Of these, about 600 were taken from their families and held in prisons and remote camps. This is also part of the Italian Canadian story.

Learn more


    From coast to coast, listen to compelling accounts from those who lived through World War II as Italian Canadians and enemy aliens. Family members recount the impact on not only the interned men, but also the home situation for the wives and children left behind. A national project, the collection includes 86 personal testimonies.

    View the interviews

    On June 10, 1940, Italian Canadians became the Enemy. Were these individuals a threat to Canadian democracy? The exhibit combines history and memory, presents a complicated story, and raises many questions.

  • Pompilio Di Vito INTERNEE LIST

    In 1940, 31,000 Italian Canadians were officially designated as enemy aliens. Of these, about 600 were taken from their homes and separated from their families. They were held in prisons and remote camps. An online commemorative wall honours these internees.

    View the internee list