Skip to content

A look at past papal visits to Canada as Francis prepares for upcoming tour

After early morning morning rain, blue skies appear during the World Youth Day papal mass at Downsview Park in Toronto, Sunday July 28, 2002. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The Vatican has released details of Pope Francis' trip to Canada from July 24 to 29. It is to begin with stops in and around Edmonton, including a visit to the site of a former residential school. The pontiff is also scheduled to visit the Quebec City area and end his tour in Iqaluit.

Here is a look at past papal visits:

1984 -- Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff to visit Canada. He spent 12 days touring the country, touching down in Quebec City and travelling through most of the provinces and on to Yellowknife. He was greeted by massive crowds and, according to Canadian bishops, delivered more than 30 addresses, including to faithful who flocked to Montreal's Olympic Stadium.

1987 -- Three years later, John Paul II returned to travel to Fort Simpson, N.W.T., a village he was supposed to visit on his first trip, but was unable to because of bad weather. He had been in the United States and made the trek to Canada's Far North for one day. He delivered an address to his "Aboriginal brothers and sisters," and met with national Indigenous leaders. He also expressed support for their rights to self-government.

2002 -- John Paul II made his final trip to Canada to attend World Youth Day in Toronto. He spent six days in and around Ontario's capital that July. Canadian bishops say more than 800,000 people came to a mass he delivered at Downsview Park.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Looking for National News? viewed on a mobile phone

Check out Village Report - the news that matters most to Canada, updated throughout the day.  Or, subscribe to Village Report's free daily newsletter: a compilation of the news you need to know, sent to your inbox at 6AM.