Last Updated: June 11, 2017

Number of private sponsors of Syrian refugees in the GTA


In a separate article,  Syrian refugees in the GTA – by family size, we have estimated that there were 1,924 Syrian refugee families in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as of January 2, 2017.  (This total was comprised of 1,773 Privately Sponsored Refugee (PSR) families and 150 Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) refugee families.)


If we assume that almost all refugees sponsored by or through Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) are assigned to one of their Constituent Groups and that the average Constituent Group, Group of Five, and Community Sponsor Group is affiliated with 1.75 families, then the estimated number of sponsor groups in the GTA as of January 2, 2017 was approximately 1,100. Of course, this is simply a guess on our part, based upon assumptions as to both the number of Syrian families and the average number of families sponsored per group. We have assumed a high average number of families per group, because of the very high number (874) of single-person ‘families’ represented among the privately-sponsored refugee population. Our thinking is that many of these individuals were sponsored by groups who had also previously sponsored their relatives (who may have been parents, children, or siblings, for example.)


In a separate article, Syrian refugees in the GTA by category of support and local area of settlement, we have estimated that an additional  2,232 to 2,908 PSR and BVOR Syrian refugees will be settled in the GTA during 2017. Based upon a continued, estimated average family size of 2.9, this would add 770 to 1,000 more families. If the average number of PSR and BVOR families sponsored by sponsor groups is the same 1.75 as guessed above, this would in turn add 440 to 570 more groups sponsoring Syrian refugees in the GTA during 2017, bringing the total to between 1,540 and 1,670 Syrian refugee sponsor groups in the GTA by the end of 2017.


Lastly, if we assume an average of five active members per Constituent Group, Group of Five and Community Sponsor Group, this suggests that there was in the neighbourhood of 5,500 individuals actively supporting Syrian PSRs and BVORs as of the start of 2017 and that by the end of 2017, there could be as many as 8,350 individuals actively supporting 6,900 to 7,558 Syrian PSRs and BVORs in the GTA.