From outside the country, people are advised that Canada is a bilingual French-English society. Well,not exactly...
In Toronto, Canada's largest metropolitan area of over 5 million people, French speakers barely add up to 2 percent of the population - one of the smallest language groups!
By contrast, Chinese and Italian are well over 10 percent each, with many other communities far outnumbering the French.
Almost all the French communications in the Toronto area are the result of some government regulation.
Almost all of Canada's six million French-speakers reside in the Province of Quebec. While most of the rest, totaling several hundred thousand reside in Northern Ontario, they are still several hundred miles removed from this city.
Canadians ask for the washroom when they need to use the toilet. Bathrooms are places with bathtubs in them.
A paper napkin is a serviette.
Sneakers are called running shoes or runners.
What Americans call soda, Canadians call pop. Ask for soda and you’ll get soda water.
Zed is the last letter of the alphabet – not zee.
Canadians wear housecoats, not bathrobes.
In the living room, they sit on a Chesterfield - not a couch.
They call the trolley a "street car."
There are no balconies or porches - only verandahs.
A ski cap is a "touque" (pronounced "tuk, " with a long "u" sound)
If you really want to be Canadian, make sure to tack the word “ay” on to the end of every sentence, as in: You like it, ay?
The following are some slang you may encounter while in Toronto (and in Ontario in general).
"Loonie" - Our $1 coin. It has a loon on one side.
"Toonie" - Our $2 coin. Like two loonies.
"T.O." - Pronounced "Tee-Oh". Stands for "Toronto, Ontario", or "TOronto". It's the subject of many debates. :)
"The Rocket" - Endearing slang for the Toronto Transit Commision (TTC). "Ride the Rocket" generally means to take the TTC.
That's all I can think of at the moment. There are probably more, but hard to think of if you're a local. :)
Toronto is in Ontario. Ontario is South of Quebec. Montreal is in Quebec. They wish they could have us all speaking French. We wish we had their fashion sense.
For decades there has been a massive rivalry between the two cities and their respective Provinces. Who's more cosmopolitain,...who's got the best club scene? Who serves the best smoked meat,...who has the hottest citizens?
The answers to these tough, thought provoking questions may never truly be answered to anyone's satisfaction, but it's good to know that everything you buy in this country comes labeled in two languages.
Impotence and confusion should be National.
I may not have spelled that right at the top but make sure before you go to Toronto you know exactly what they are referring to. When I first went there I was a bit confused.
A "looney" is $1 and a "twoney" is $2...the one dollar is gold in colour and the $2 is silver outside and gold inside.
English is the predominant language of Toronto, although both English and French are official languages; most government services are available in either language. But there are also large ethnic populations -- 350,000 Chinese, 400,000 Italians, 127,000 Greeks and many others -- so those languages are prominent in many neighbourhoods. Dual-language street signs can be found in areas such as Chinatown, Little Italy, Little Portugal, and other communities.
Please, oh please, oh please, DO NOT pronounce this city Trawna! People will immediately guess that you are a tourist if you do this!
This pic is taken from the Docks parking lot.
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