Italy's Major Mafias (Including in Canada)

Canada is home to both the Sicilian Cosa Nostra and the Calabrian Ndrangheta.

Each group established separate roots in Canada; the two entities have been known to opportunistically form and break alliances.
 Ndrangheta boss, Antonio Macrì, who sent
some clans to Canada 

In fact some of the largest, wealthiest and most powerful Mafia groups in the world are located in Canada today.

In America, the story evolved differently.

One Mafia rules here, with crime families spread across the nation, typically forming along waterfronts and in cities but elsewhere as well.

A Mafia Commission oversaw all the crime families and usually worked to mediate peaceful solutions to problems, unless violence was necessary. Then the Commission ensured hits were carried out as efficiently as possibly, ostensibly via Murder Inc. for a  time.

According to David Critchley's  The Origin of Organized Crime in America: The New York City Mafia, 1891–1931, from the 1920s, American-based Sicilian crime groups, partly to mitigate tension, admitted Neapolitans and Calabrians into their organizations. This happened initially on a limited basis.

Yet most New York City Mafiosi continued to be resolutely “Sicilian”by birth or heritage. Over the thirteen years of prohibition, the magnitude and number of Families in New York City grew....

However, over the course of the century since, the FBI's Italian Organized Crime Overview page now reports "there are several groups currently active in the U.S.: the Sicilian Mafia; the Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia; the ’Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia; and the Sacra Corona Unita or United Sacred Crown."

Furthermore, "all four traditional Mafias are currently operating in the U.S. with more than 3,000 members and affiliates "scattered mostly throughout the major cities in the Northeast, the Midwest, California, and the South."

It's further noted that "Their largest presence centers around New York, southern New Jersey, and Philadelphia."

In addition, the FBI notes:

We estimate the four groups have approximately 25,000 members total, with 250,000 affiliates worldwide.
Their criminal activities are international with members and affiliates in Canada, South America, Australia, and parts of Europe. They are also known to collaborate with other international organized crime groups from all over the world, especially in drug trafficking. 
The major threats to American society posed by these groups are drug trafficking and money laundering. They have been involved in heroin trafficking for decades. Two major investigations that targeted Italian organized crime drug trafficking in the 1980s are known as the “French Connection” and the “Pizza Connection.” 
These groups don’t limit themselves to drug running, though. They’re also involved in illegal gambling, political corruption, extortion, kidnapping, fraud, counterfeiting, infiltration of legitimate businesses, murders, bombings, and weapons trafficking. Industry experts in Italy estimate that their worldwide criminal activity is worth more than $100 billion annually.

Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia (based in Naples)
The word “Camorra” means gang. The Camorra first appeared in the mid-1800s in Naples, Italy, as a prison gang. Once released, members formed clans in the cities and continued to grow in power. The Camorra has more than 100 clans and approximately 7,000 members, making it the largest of the Italian organized crime groups.

In the 1970s, the Sicilian Mafia convinced the Camorra to convert their cigarette smuggling routes into drug smuggling routes with the Sicilian Mafia’s assistance. Not all Camorra leaders agreed, leading to the Camorra Wars that cost 400 lives. Opponents of drug trafficking lost the war.

The Camorra made a fortune in reconstruction after an earthquake ravaged the Campania region in 1980. Now it specializes in cigarette smuggling and receives payoffs from other criminal groups for any cigarette traffic through Italy. The Camorra is also involved in money laundering, extortion, alien smuggling, robbery, blackmail, kidnapping, political corruption, and counterfeiting.

It is believed that nearly 200 Camorra affiliates reside in this country, many of whom arrived during the Camorra Wars. 

Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia (based in Calabria)
The word “’Ndrangheta” comes from the Greek meaning courage or loyalty. The ’Ndrangheta formed in the 1860s when a group of Sicilians was banished from the island by the Italian government. They settled in Calabria and formed small criminal groups.

There are about 160 ’Ndrangheta cells with roughly 6,000 members. They specialize in kidnapping and political corruption, but also engage in drug trafficking, murder, bombings, counterfeiting, gambling, frauds, thefts, labor racketeering, loansharking, and alien smuggling.

Cells are loosely connected family groups based on blood relationships and marriages. In the U.S., there are an estimated 100-200 members and associates, primarily in New York and Florida.  

Sacra Corona Unita or United Sacred Crown (based in the Puglia region)
Law enforcement became aware of the Sacra Corona Unita in the late 1980s. Like other groups, it started as a prison gang. As its members were released, they settled in the Puglia region in Italy and continued to grow and form links with other Mafia groups. The Sacra Corona Unita is headquartered in Brindisi, located in the southeastern region of Puglia.

The Sacra Corona Unita consists of about 50 clans with approximately 2,000 members and specializes in smuggling cigarettes, drugs, arms, and people. It is also involved in money laundering, extortion, and political corruption. The organization collects payoffs from other criminal groups for landing rights on the southeast coast of Italy, a natural gateway for smuggling to and from post-Communist countries like Croatia, Yugoslavia, and Albania.

Very few Sacra Corona Unita members have been identified in the U.S., although some individuals in Illinois, Florida, and New York have links to the organization.
Also see:
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