Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Social Science Emigration & Immigration

Immigrants in Prairie Cities

Ethnic Diversity in Twentieth-Century Canada

by (author) Royden Loewen & Gerald Friesen

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2009
Emigration & Immigration, General, Urban
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2009
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2009
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Dec 2009
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2009
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Over the course of the twentieth century, sequential waves of immigrants from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa settled in the cities of the Canadian Prairies. In Immigrants in Prairie Cities, Royden Loewen and Gerald Friesen analyze the processes of cultural interaction and adaptation that unfolded in these urban centres and describe how this model of diversity has changed over time. The authors argue that intimate Prairie cities fostered a form of social diversity characterized by vibrant ethnic networks, continuously evolving ethnic identities, and boundary zones that facilitated intercultural contact and hybridity.

Impressive in scope, Immigrants in Prairie Cities spans the entire twentieth century, and encompasses personal testimonies, government perspectives, and even fictional narratives. This engaging work will appeal to both historians of the Canadian Prairies and those with a general interest in migration, cross-cultural exchange, and urban history.

About the authors

Royden Loewen is a senior scholar at the University of Winnipeg. His books include Horse-and-Buggy Genius: Listening to Mennonites Contest the Modern World and Village Among Nations: "Canadian" Mennonites in a Transnational World, 1916–2006.


Royden Loewen's profile page

Gerald Friesen is the author of The Canadian Prairies, the most influential and widely read history of western Canada, and A Guide to Manitoba Local History (with Barry Potyondi). His articles have been published in newspapers, journals, and books, and he has lectured internationally. Currently professor of history at the University of Manitoba, he was the first Seagram Chair at the Institute for the Study of Canada at McGill University (1996-97).

Gerald Friesen's profile page


  • Short-listed, Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction awarded by Manitoba Book Awards
  • Winner, Clio Prize for the Prairies awarded by Canadian Historical Association

Editorial Reviews

‘Loewen and Friesen are to be congratulated for offering a new image of the Prairies… This is a provocative book that should elicit the kind of “compelling…dialogue” that they argue has shaped the multicultural prairie city.’

International Journal of Migration and Integration; vol 13:03:2012

Immigrants in Prairie Cities provides a state-of-the-art approach to the writing of both immigration and social history… A truly fine piece of work that will become required reading for all serious students, not just of Western Canadian, but of Canadian social history.’

Histoire Sociale/ Social History, vol 44:87:2011

‘An excellent reflection on a regional expression of Canadian multiculturalism... academic prose at its best. ’

David G. Burley; <i>H-TGS (Transnational German Studies), 28 November, 2011</i>

‘Loewen and Friesen have made an original contribution to understanding the immigrant experience and laid the ground work for further studies. Scholars of immigration and ethnicity elsewhere will find this book valuable for comparative purposes and it will contribute to better understandings of multiculturalism.’

Patricia E. Roy, <em>American Historical Review: February 2011</em>

Other titles by Royden Loewen

Other titles by Gerald Friesen