The diversity in Toronto was the first thing that I became addicted to when I first started living overseas many years ago. I keep telling myself it wasn’t the beautiful women but the diversity. Having a range of citizens from around the world isn’t unique to Toronto but I have found that the interaction of people is very distinctive.
To try and show the incredible diversity of the city I made the video below. I stood at the center of the center of the Toronto’s Dundas Square (the equivalent would be Times Square in New York City), and asked the entire world passing by if they would stop and smile for the camera. This is what I came up with, watch the video on YouTube if you can’t see it below:
Canada, similar to the United States, is a land of immigrants. People from all over the world arrive to the shores of the West for opportunity and freedom. After September 11th, the United States has become much more restrictive on who is allowed to enter the country. Canada, it seems, has become more liberal and is much more accepting.
Getting to Toronto is relatively easy, as there are flights from nearly every major city in the world. The majority of these flights land at Pearson International Airport, which is less than half an hour from the downtown core. Air Canada is the country’s national carrier, but countless airlines have regularly scheduled flights into the city daily.
The first thing that I noticed upon landing in Toronto was the volume of accommodation options in the city. If you plan to explore downtown Toronto, it is a good idea to book your hotel room before arriving in the country, since it can be overwhelming once you land.
In many societies around the world most cultures stick to their own.
There are pockets and communities that only hang out with people of similar backgrounds; Asians come together with other Asians, Latin Americans generally flock together, etc.
There have been many unique circumstances while I was living in Toronto where the whole world was represented in one room. During a small house party I went to there were representatives from six different continents.
I have never remembered being in a room with so much diversity in the United States.
In Toronto, everyone hangs out with everyone.
The colors are blurred, accents are distinguished, your sexual preference is encouraged, and there are culinary masterpieces to be experienced in the city. Many call Toronto little New York City and it really is a city of small neighborhoods. After leaving the business district a sea of skyscrapers is hard to find.
It is simply amazing how one can find authentic food from nearly any culture in the world in the city.
Everything from sushi to Ethiopian food, Persian (never call a person Arab that is from Iran by the way) to Italian, even unique items like Guyanese and Colombian food can be found.
I have a rule that I follow to base how open a society is anywhere around the world. If a country has an active salsa music scene then it means the society is open, friendly, and social.
Who doesn’t like salsa music?
Now this doesn’t mean that a culture isn’t open and friendly if there is no salsa music. There are many Asian countries that are very friendly but also a bit more conservative.
I find it quite awkward at times when I try to give a woman a kiss on the cheek in Asia. It is similar to greeting someone by shaking their hand in a remote village that has never done it before.
All of the my favorite countries around the world that have the friendliest people have salsa music. Even the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, there was an active salsa scene where I met many ambassadors from Latin American countries.
Toronto was actually the first city I lived in when I embarked on this new lifestyle of living around the world. Toronto and Canada as a whole is different enough from the United States culturally to experience something different. It is also similar enough to where logistics and problems can be resolved easily as well.
Would highly recommend a visit to Toronto but only in the summer. Canadian winters can be quite brutal. During my recent visit I have forgotten how unique and exciting the city really is. Until next time Toronto, until next time.