The Dominican Republic and Canada began their diplomatic relations on April 22, 1954, but both nations have maintained a trade exchange and investment relations since the 1800s, and in 1914 there was already a Dominican consulate in the city of Montreal.
More than a decade before the official exchange of diplomatic legations, both countries had already signed their first trade agreement to grant each other the "unconditional treatment of most-favored-nation", thereby eliminating the tariffs for the imports of fish and wheat grains coming from Canada, while doing the same with Dominican exports to Canada, which were largely made up of sugar.
The agreement entered into force on January 22, 1941 and a few months later the Dominican government informed the Canadian authorities of its interest in establishing direct diplomatic relations with that country; however, Canada was expanding at such a rapid pace commercially that it couldn’t keep up with the rate at which other countries were requesting the establishment of Canadian diplomatic missions in their lands, and the Canadian authorities adopted a policy of not accepting the establishment of new diplomatic missions in their territory if Canada did not have the capacity to reciprocate the measure. The Dominican government did not bring up the subject again until 1945, the year in which it opened a Consulate General in the city of Ottawa.
The beginnings of the 1950s were characterized by an increase and diversification in the bilateral trade when Canada was able to have the Dominican Republic reduce its tariffs for multiple Canadian products through the negotiations of GATT, which were held in Annecy in 1949. While concessions were also granted to fish from Newfoundland, plus a renewal of the International Wheat Agreement had just been signed.
These events boosted trade between Canada and the Dominican Republic, which in turn consolidated relations between the two countries and led the Canadian government to open a commercial office in Santo Domingo in 1952, but it was not until 1954 that relations were formally established. The Embassy opened its doors that same year in the city of Ottawa, having Mr. Rafael Paíno Pichardo as the first Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Dominican Republic in Canada.
However, the Dominican Embassy closes in 1975, and reopens its doors in 1985 for a short period of two years.
By the end of the 1990s, the economy of the Dominican Republic was experiencing a solid growth supported by sectors that were key for Canadian companies, such as manufacturing in duty-free zones, mining, finance and the electricity sector; in addition, the country had become one of the favorite destinations for Canadian tourists and one of the largest markets in Central America and the Caribbean. The bilateral relations were booming and became very advantageous for both countries. In order to support them and expand trade, as well as to promote investment and cooperation, in addition to the formalization and strengthening of the political ties, the Embassy of the Dominican Republic is re-established in the city of Ottawa in 1999.