People / Different cultures, Toronto
Toronto is now one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Over 140 languages and dialects are spoken here, and just over 30 per cent of Toronto residents speak a language other than English or French at home. There was a massive increase in immigration between 2001 and 2006. By the end of that period, half of Toronto's population was born outside of Canada. In 1996, that statistic only sat at 48%.
While I personally feel that Toronto lacks a unified, Canadian identity, its amazing to see and experience such a diversity of countries in such a reletively small city. You can have authentic parmagiana in Little Italy, dim sum in China Town, and get authentic Korean, Indian, Mexican and many many other types of food.
There is also no shortage of festivles from other cultures put on by immigrants that cme from that country. In some parts of Toronto, you may not even recognize it as Canada, and that to me, makes it an even more interesting place to visit. Canada is a country of immigrants; either we all are immigrants or descendents of immigrants, and all of the different cultures together are what form the Toronto identity of being multicultural.
For more info: http://www.toronto.ca/toronto_facts/diversity.htm
Most Canadians care about other people especially the seniors. This is evident with situations in subway train, buses, streetcars, wherein young people give seats to older ones. The Canadian government are also very particular about the welfare of the senior citizens. Community Centres are established and activities are organized for the aged.
People from all walks of life volunteer some of their spare time serving in community centres to help the seniors. I for one have volunteered my day of work to serve in one of the centres for the senior people. Here, we entertain them in different ways like dancing, making art and decorative stuff, meal preparation, or just plain keeping them company.
I have posted some of our photos on my latest volunteer work which was half day of keeping them company, serving their meals, and teaching them art and decor. The rest of the day was spent in delivering lunch/dinner to seniors who are living alone in ther apartments/houses.
Fondest memory: I miss their stories, happy or sad.
One thing I like about Canada and Toronto in particular is its multiculturalism. Diversity of race, religion, and lifestyle is what made the city of Toronto apart from other world cities. Toronto is home to virtually all of the worlds culture groups and is the city where more than 100 languages and dialects are spoken, and over one-third of residents speak a language other than English at home.
The top four visible minority groups in Toronto were the Chinese, South Asian, Black, and Filipinos. While it is true that Canadians wanted immigrants to adopt Canada's values and way of life, these and all other groups are permitted by the Canadian government to preserve their original heritage and conserve their values.
Fondest memory: It is possible that when you are on a subway, you will be sitting beside a Jamaican and Chinese. Sitting in front of you could be a Russian, a Japanese, or a group of Filipinos. You will hear on both sides Canadians speaking Japanese, Tagalog, or Russian all at the same time.
I have been to many places but I have not seen situation like this. In Toronto, it is a day to day happening. When I am away from Toronto, this is what I am missing.
I love that there are so many different types of people in Toronto. We have areas of the city in which you can find these different cultures as well as festivals that celebrate their differences. When visiting T.O., you should make an effort to get involved with the cosmopolitan mix.
Fondest memory: There are too many to list......
The islands, Harbourfront, CN Tower, High Park, Centreville theme park, drives throughout Ontario to see the leaves turning in the fall, skating at City Hall in the winter months, etc. etc.
I would suggest that every person who comes to Toronto go to the Art Gallery, (AGO), the Beaches (in the summer) and the club district. As I said before, there is something for everyone.
Fondest memory: The people in Toronto from afar seem distant and curt, but if you ask someone a question they will be most helpful and polite. I would like to nominate Canada as the most polite country in the world!
To find out what's going on in the city, or places you should check out: www.toronto.com as well as www.toronto.ca
I always check it out when I want to try a new restaurant or check out what's happening in the city.
Fondest memory: Toronto is an amazing fusion of cultures and that's what I always miss when I leave. I miss hearing three or four different languages when I sit on the TTC. I miss the safe/clean streets. I miss the fact that if I want to know anything I only have to ask someone, and they'll try to help. I miss over-hearing "I'm sorry" four or five times a day. The people are polite (but this depends on the time of day--I find Sundays to be prime-time for niceness)
...be open in a city that is opened up to you.
No one here is a 'torontian': everyone here is a world citizen.
Fondest memory: The nice balance of diversity: you feel always at home in Toronto!