The Scientology movement has been present in Canada since at least the 1960s. According to the most recent available census data, there were 1,745 individuals in Canada identifying as Scientologists in 2011. The Scientology organisation has encountered difficulties in obtaining status as a tax exempt organization, as has happened in other countries.
Scientology has a location in Toronto. In 2015, an application for interior demolition was submitted to the city, and said it planned to renovate it into an Ideal Org. In 2013, Scientology opened a facility in Cambridge, Ontario. In 2015, it was reported that the Toronto property owed over $100,000 in property taxes. In 2017, Scientology announced a plan to move its Canadian headquarters to Guelph, Ontario. Proximity to Toronto and Cambridge was cited as a reason. Some Guelph residents protested the plan. The facility was opened in the autumn of the year at 40 Baker Street.
The Church has failed to win status as a federally registered charity for tax purposes. A November 2007 article in The Varsity, a University of Toronto student newspaper, stated that the Church of Scientology is classified as a religious non-profit organization in Canada whose ministers can perform marriages, and that Scientologist public servants are allowed to take time off work for Scientologist holidays. However, since marriage is governed in Canada by provincial law, its unclear whether Scientology is actually accredited in any Canadian province to perform legal marriages.
“Operation Snow White” was the Church of Scientology’s name for a project during the 1970s to purge unfavorable records, mainly in the US, about Scientology and its founder L. Ron Hubbard.
As a result of documents stolen from public and private agencies in Canada and information on other covert activities found as evidence collected in the Operation Snow White case, investigations into the Church of Scientology in Ontario were started. This eventually resulted in a large police raid of the Church of Scientology in Toronto, 3 March to 4 March 1983. The R. v. Church of Scientology of Toronto case began 23 April 1991, resulting in seven members being convicted of operations against organisations including the Ontario Provincial Police, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and two convictions of criminal Breach of the Public Trust against the church itself, for infiltration of the offices of the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. The Church of Scientology was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.