Constable Henry Demarche has found his calling and a home for his family in Canada.
Though he has been a Greater Toronto Area (GTA) resident for the last decade, the Toronto cop became a Canadian citizen on October 5 at a swearing in ceremony at Scarborough Town Centre.
“I have been waiting for this day for a long time,” said the 55 Division officer. “Living here has been a great experience. I just love the people and the environment and I am so happy to be a Canadian.”
At age 17, Demarche left his hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil, encouraged by his parents to pursue higher education in Mexico. He spent seven years in the country, earning his medical degree and meeting his wife, who was pursuing psychology studies.
After spending six months in Utah with his wife’s family, Demarche accepted an invitation from his sister, who was residing in Quebec at the time, to come to Canada in 2006.
“At that stage, I was contemplating either staying in the United States or going back to Brazil," said Demarche. “When my sister reached out to me, I took up the offer. Looking back, I am so happy I did.”
He stayed in Gatineau for six months before relocating to the GTA where he worked for a company making health seminar presentations before taking a job as a hair transplant doctor in Beverly Hills and Dubai.
Back in Toronto in the summer of 2012 after two years in the desert, Demarche decided it was time to switch careers after performing nearly 1,500 hair transplant procedures.
“Ever since coming to Toronto, policing had interested me,” he said. “My family just couldn’t understand that and they didn’t like the fact that I was thinking about leaving the medical profession to take up a law enforcement career.”
Permanent residents are eligible to become police officers.
Demarche had a few reasons for walking away from medicine.
“I was working seven days a week almost 10 hours daily and that didn’t afford me the opportunity to spend quality time with my family,” he said. “Even though I had a decent job and was earning well, I wasn’t happy with what I was doing.”
Three years ago, Toronto Police hired Demarche on his first application.
“Being a police officer is simply amazing and I love it,” he said. “My family now is seeing what happiness means for me and they are glad I am doing something I like that brings me joy. I am now able to be around my family to the point that my wife asks me sometimes if I am unemployed.”
Demarche’s wife, who is enrolled in Durham College’s early childhood education program, and their three sons are already Canadian citizens. It has taken longer for Demarche to become a citizen because he spent so much time on business travel outside of the country.
In order to apply for Canadian citizenship, an applicant has to be physically present in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 1,460 days during a six-year period immediately before the application date or at least 183 days during each of four calendar years that are fully or partially within the six years immediately before the application date.