Death or Canada

Death or Canada Movie Poster

Death or Canada is a powerful docudrama that reveals the incredible story of how Toronto survived and was shaped by one the most traumatic events in its history. In the summer of 1847, more than 40,000 diseased and desperate refugees from Ireland's devastating potato famine that claimed over one million lives flood the city -- nearly tripling the population. Many are sick with typhus and the city is thrown into panic over fear of an epidemic. More than 1,000 die—their bodies buried anonymously beneath a school playground in Toronto's downtown east end.

In advance of the film's premiere on History Television on March 16th, History Television and Ballinran Productions present a preview of the film on the big screen. "In many ways, this was our Hurricane Katrina, our Great San Francisco Earthquake," says Executive Producer Craig Thompson. "It was a horrible event that nearly wiped out the city, but out of the tragedy came opportunity and renewal."

Death or Canada follows the journey of one family who left Ireland in the worst year of the famine to come to the new world in search of a better life. In the summer of 1847, with U.S. ports closed, Canada became the primary gateway for the Irish into North America. Today more than 50 million North Americans claim Irish heritage.

Director: Ruan Magan
Studio: Ballinran Productions & Tile Films
Producer(s): Craig Thompson, Dave Farrell, Stephen Rooke
Cast: Antony John, Rose Conway, Tony Murphy, Jamie Hodgins, David Kinsman, Raquel Duffy, Carl Dalton, Lee Wilson
Writer(s): Craig Thompson
Official Site:

Change Location