Welcome to Toronto! The UNF Toronto Branch is the largest of the branches of the Ukrainian National Federation. Together with the Ukrainian Women’s Organization – Toronto Branch, and the Ukrainian National Youth Federation – Toronto Branch, the UNF Toronto Branch runs a successful Banquet Hall Business, Trident Banquet Hall which along with rental income provides the funding required run programming and activity for the community. The hall is equipped with a library, offices, a banquet hall, smaller event spaces a gym and a dance studio, and serves as the focal point for Ukrainian activity in Toronto.
The Toronto Branch was established on May 9th 1933. The branch was formed at a time when Ukrainians in Canada were concentrating on uniting in to several national organizations. Between 1932 and 1950 the organization mushroomed in to one of, if not the largest Ukrainian-Canadian Organizations in what would become the Greater Toronto Area. During this time the UNF worked to increase Ukrainian cultural activities among its members and their children, establishing in the first few years a Saturday School, Ukrainian secondary school courses, sports clubs, dance and music groups and theater clubs. The branch also played an active role in Canada’s war effort, and the branch became a center for Education of young Ukrainian Canadians ready and willing to support Canada in our fight for freedom and democracy in Europe. In particular the Toronto Branch was home to a school of Radio Telegraph Operations, and was instrumental in training young men of Ukrainian background in this very important skill. During World War II most of the membership of the Ukrainian National Federation and Ukrainian National Youth Federation were enlisted in either active or reserve units and played a very vital role in Canada’s war effort. Those who were unable to take part in these efforts remained behind and took part in numerous UNF initiatives to support local and federal programs such as the Red Cross, National Defense and Support for Veterans and their families.
In 1944 the UNF Toronto Branch founded the Ukrainian(Toronto) Credit Union, to assist members of the organization in purchasing property and starting business upon their return from the war. Today the Ukrainian Credit Union Ltd. (www.ukrainiancu.com) is the largest Ukrainian co-operative credit union in all of Canada and is among the largest credit unions in Ontario.
Between 1950 and the late 1970’s the organization was the driving force behind cultural, social and educational programming for Ukrainian-Canadians in Toronto and it had under its patronage the Kalyna Song and Dance Ensemble (Later renamed the Kalyna Performing Arts Company), Camp Sokil, eastern Canada’s largest Ukrainian Sports, Recreation and Children’s Camp facility, The UNF Library which was among the largest collections of Ukrainian Books and Reference Materials in all of Canada, as well as an active community hall, a children’s Saturday school program and numerous social and education programs for Ukrainians in the GTA. The organization founded the Canadian Ukrainian Opera Society in 1975 and during the 70’s and 80’s the organization was host to one of the most popular Cultural pavilions of the Metro Toronto Caravan festival.
During this time the organization was also actively involved in dispelling rumours and exposing the brutal truths of the Soviet regime, and Communism’s blatant failure across Europe. These activities often exposed the organization, its members and executive committees to threats, physical assaults and constant divisive propaganda designed to undermine the organization’s efforts and activities.
During the 1980’s and 1990’s with the onset of a new wave of immigration, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the establishment of a free and independent Ukraine the objectives of the branch shifted somewhat and the cultural/educational activity of the branch slowed. During this time it was determined that to meet the needs of the changing demographic of Ukrainians in the GTA not only a new focus, but a new home would be required for the branch to continue to flourish and offer the community the programs that it needed to develop. In 2002 a new home was purchased for the organization at 145 Evans Eve in Toronto. This location more accurately reflected the resettlement of Ukrainians in the West End of Toronto, and gave the organization the opportunity to provide a fresh, vibrant and active community hall to our members.
Today the organization is again actively pursuing the involvement and education of the community. A cultural renaissance is taking place in which the branch is spearheading a new vision of Ukrainian-Canadian life in the city of Toronto that focuses on melding our rich history and culture with life in our new found home in Canada.
The Cultural & Educational Programming is again expanding and the organization continues to run Camp Sokil, the Kalyna Performing Arts Company, UNF Resource Center and now also under its patronage, the branch includes the Sports Club Karpaty. The branch’s facility is also home to the Ukrainian Credit Union Ltd. head office, The head offices of the Ukrainian World Congress, Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Toronto, New Pathway Publishers, Ukrainian National Federation Board of Directors, Ukrainian Woman’s Organization National Executive, Ukrainian Canadian Schoolboard and the Ukrainian Canadian Council of Credit Unions.
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Established in 1959 by the UNF Toronto Branch, Camp Sokil on the shores of Lake Simcoe north of Toronto has served the Ukrainian Community in the GTA as a Children’s Camp, Recreation & Sports Area and summer retreat for over 50 years.
The Camp Sokil Property includes Cabin & Trailer Accommodations for UNF Members, Camp Sokil Children’s Summer Camp, St. John The Baptist Chapel & Holodomor Monument as well as a private beach, sports fields, lake-side event pavilion and over 200 acres of forested property.
Camp Sokil is open from May 1st to November 1st of each year. Cabin & Trailer accommodations are available for seasonal rental to Members of the Ukrainian National Federation. For more information on Trailers and Cabins please click on the link above.
General Daily Admission is available to members and non-members between 8AM and 8PM each day in July & August. Daily Admission includes access to the Beach and Sports & Recreation Areas. Daily Admission is $30/Car and is granted on a first come first served basis.
Overnight Camping is permitted and can be purchased on arrival or by reservation in advance. You can preregister for your Seasons Camping Pass or Weekly Camping Pass. Overnight Camping is also open during special events. Please click on the “Events” link above for more information on UNF Events at Camp Sokil.
Children’s Summer Camp
Camp Sokil Children’s Camp operates in July and August each summer. Camp Sokil is one of the largest and oldest Ukrainian Camps in Canada, and offers Childrens Recreation, Soccer, Karate and Ukrainian Dance Camps throughout each summer. For information on the types of camps offered by the UNF please click on the Children’s Camp link above.
Every Sunday in July & August St. John the Baptist Chapel serves the community with a Sunday Morning Mass, as well as special religious functions throughout the year. For information on the Chapel, Wedding or Event Bookings please contact us.
Trailer & Cabin Accommodations
Camp Sokil has approximately 100 units/lots including 54 services Trailer lots and 46 Cabin units of various sizes.
These accommodations are available to members of the UNF on a Seasonal Basis. We do not currently offer daily, or weekly rentals of Trailer or Cabin units. For information on visiting Camp Sokil on a daily or overnight basis please see the Visiting Camp Sokil information above.
Cabin A – The Motel
Cabin A contains 13 individual units, 2 common bathroom facilities and a common kitchen. The Motel is located near the beach and sports area adjacent to the entrance of the Camp Sokil property. Cabin A offers 4 large units with self contained washrooms, and 9 individual units.
Cabin B – The School House
Cabin B contains 22 units including 8 individual units and 14 larger units with self contained bathroom facilities.
Cabin C – Camp Cabin
Cabin C contains 8 individual units, and is located at the rear of the Camp Sokil Property.
The Trailer Park contains 54 fully serviced trailer lots, each with their own hydro and water connections. The trailer park also contains a common bathroom facility for members and guests.
The Ukrainian National Federation manages the waiting list for new members who wish to lease a unit or trailer lot at Camp Sokil. The list is open to members of the Ukrainian National Federation who are in good standing. The list is not unit or trailer lot specific, members on this list will be offered the first available unit or lot as it becomes available.
The UNF reserves the right to assign accommodations to any member of the UNF as it sees fit.
If you wish to be added to the waiting list please contact the UNF Toronto Branch.
Our vision is to offer Ukrainian-Canadians of various generational backgrounds a place to feel united and to be able to more effectively integrate into the Canadian multicultural landscape. Our focus today is both on our current membership’s needs and on the needs of our youth, they are our future!