Somalia is located on the eastern coast of Africa, in what is known as 'the horn of Africa'. Somalia borders the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Arabian Sea to the east, and Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti to the west.


Population: 10 million (2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Somali (85%), Bantu and other non-Somali (15%)
Languages: Somali (official), Arabic (official, according to the Transitional Federal Charter), Italian, English
Religions: Sunni Muslim (official)


Somali Population:
In Canada: 37,785
In the GTA: 18,445
In the City of Toronto: 9,225

Primary Areas of Settlement in the GTA (Social Atlas):
City of Toronto (Ward 42 Scarborough Rouge River, Ward 2 Etobicoke North)

The last few decades of Somalia's history has been characterized by civil wars, and numerous governments have been ineffective in their attempts to bring law and order. The "transitional" national government formed in 2000 does not control most of the country, and radical Islamists and jihadists are eager to fight the government. In sum, much work has to be done to bring stability to Somalia. Sunni Islam is the official religion, and nearly the entire population is Muslim. Religion plays a huge role in Somali life. Somalis do not consume pork or alcohol, and men could have as many as four wives at a time. Many Somalis also believe in a spirit world, and either "fight" or try to appease spirts known as "jinns." The few Christians who live in Somalia face persecution.

Map of Services and Churches in the GTA: 

Social and Settlement Services in the GTA

Somali-Canadian Association of Etobicoke
925 Albion Road, Unit 202
Etobicoke, ON
M9V 1A6
Phone: 416-742-4601


Central Intelligence Agency. (2014, June 23). The World Factbook: Somalia. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from

Encyclopedia of the Nations. (n.d.). Somalia. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. (2009, October 15). Cultural Information - Somalia. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from 

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. (2011, December 15). Overview - Somalia. Retrieved July 9, 2014, from

Mandryk, J. (2010). Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation (7th ed.). Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing.

Somalis. (2009). In T. L. Gall & J. Hobby (Eds.), Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 495-500). Detroit: Gale. 
Retrieved July 16, 2014, from

Statistics Canada. (2011, April 7). 2006 Census of Canada: Topic-based tabulations/Ethnic Origin, Single and Multiple Ethnic Origin Responses and
Sex for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample
. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from