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Routing Number:  082814632
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More Information

To turn a ground-breaking idea into a successful enterprise requires leadership that is aggressive, determined, and totally committed. The founders of the Finnish Credit Union in Toronto fortunately included two families with the necessary qualifications.

Esko Oskar Iivarinen, born near Käkisalmi in Karelia, came to Toronto in 1951 and went into business almost instantly. His wife, Tamara, was born in Estonia and had escaped on the last ship to leave Paldiski for Helsinki before the Soviet occupation in 1944. Tamara, who had worked first at the Royal Bank and later the TD Bank, in Toronto was the only founding member with any previous banking experience.

The Jalava family arrived from Helsinki Finland in 1952 and included Mauri and Anna-Liisa Jalava, Mauri’s brother Erkki and his wife, also named Anna-Liisa, their mother Orvokki and Mauri’s brother-in-law, Paavo Hyttinen. Mauri Jalava had worked in Finland as location manager for two studios and as a freelancer for Finnish movie trade magazines.

His wife Anna-Liisa was an accomplished artist, as was Mauri’s brother Erkki. Mauri describes how David Raye got the idea for a Finnish Credit Union from William J. Zinches who founded the Toronto Ukrainian Credit Union, So-Use. “Zinches had asked why the Finns didn’t have a credit union, and told Raye to work on it. He then introduced Raye to officials at Credit Union Central who could provide advice and information about credit unions, and how to get one started.” By personally spreading the word among his friends and acquaintances Raye organized a meeting to discuss further the idea of a credit union.


191 Eglinton Avenue East
Toronto, Ontario

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