Montreal Buddhist Temple
The Montreal Buddhist Church was founded in 1947 by Japanese immigrants who came to Montreal after living in the internment camps in British Columbia.
For long years the temple served as the centre of the Japanese community in Quebec (but there exist two other Japanese churches, one Catholic and one United, that serve the Japanese community of Montreal and maintain the national consciousness).
Starting in the 1950s, the Buddhist church began organizing and hosting bazaars, karaoke, bowling, Obon Odori dances, mochi tsuki, and kindergarten Sunday school in order to encourage close personal networking and bring members of the community together.
Besides, these activities common to many of the Jodo Shinshu churches across Canada, link them to a wider Japanese Canadian experience and identity. Thus the church has been the focal point of the community and many people are certain than its members would have been lost and adrift without it in the 1950ies and 1960ies.
Today, the Montreal Buddhist Church does not play the role it used to play in those times, but it’s still an important element in maintaining and reaffirming the Japanese-Canadian ethnic identity based on a shared collective memory and values, as the church is one of the closest link to Japanese culture in Canada.
There is still a yearly bingo and spaghetti party in November, and karaoke on the first Saturday of every month, bu these activities are organized by the Japanese Canadian Culture Center and not the church.
Address of the Montreal Buddhist Church:
5250, Saint-Urbain Rue Montreal
Phone: 514 273-7921