Buddhism arrived in Canada with the arrival of Chinese laborers in the territories during the 19th century. The first Japanese Buddhist temple in Canada was built at the Ishikawa Hotel in Vancouver in 1905.
A substantial expansion of Buddhism in Canada began in the last half of the 20th century. Changes in Canadian immigration pattern saw a massive influx of immigrants from China, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, and Southeast Asia, countries with strong Buddhist histories and demographics. In addition, the immense popularity and goodwill ushered in by Tibet's Dalai Lama (who has been made honorary Canadian citizen) put Buddhism in the forefront of Canadian spirituality. Many non-Asian Canadians embraced Buddhism (in various traditions) and have become leaders in their respective sanghas in their own right.