Indian-born Mallika Kapur, 21, was crowned as Miss India Canada at a pageant at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel here on Saturday night.
The girl from Hamilton, near Toronto, beat 15 other contestants from across Canada to win the crown, which fetches her, apart from many gifts, a fully-paid trip to India.
Ruchi Kumar from Richmond Hill was the first runner-up and Meena Luv Asdhir from Mississauga the second runner-up.
Actor Anupam Kher, who was honoured at the pageant for his contribution to Hindi cinema, was on hand to congratulate the winners. Also present was the outgoing Miss India-Canada Akhina Mooken, who put her crown on the new winner.
The 22nd annual pageant started with a well-attended gathering watching the 16 contestants perform Indian dances.
After judging the contestants in the preliminary round on the basis of their collective dance performance, evening gown, Indian dress and Indian dance, the judges chose the five best for the final round, which consisted of quizzing.
Kapur was asked by a judge "What prepares you better for life, formal education or street smarts?" A person needs both formal and informal education outside the classroom, she said, explaining how education is a never-ending process.
Started by the late Punjabi businessman Kush Agnihotri, the Miss India-Canada pageant is the biggest and oldest Indian beauty show in North America.
Some of the past winners of the Miss India Canada pageant such as Kamal Sidhu (1991), Ruby Bhatia (1993), Gita Bali (1994), Rishma Malik (1996), Komila Jagtiani (1999), and Neelam Verma (2001) went on become actresses, models, and television stars and show hosts.
Many top-notch Bollywood stars, including Dev Anand, Hema Malini, Raveena Tandon and Aftab Shivdasani, have been chief guests at the pageant.