A City of Multiculturalism
By Henry Wang
I’ve lived in Toronto for almost all my life, and one of the things that strikes me as extraordinary is the prominence of diversity and multiculturalism as one of the city’s values. According to a 2016 Statistics Canada census, over half of Toronto’s population came from a visible minority, including people from Arab, Chinese, Latin American, and many other backgrounds. Over 250 ethnicities and 170 languages are represented in the GTA region, so it should not be a surprise that Toronto is recognized as the most multicultural city in the world. In fact, Toronto’s official motto reflects this almost perfectly: “Diversity Our Strength”. And from my personal experience living in Toronto, its diversity truly changes daily life.
Everyday, different kinds of people from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds interact with each other, spreading their own culture to each other. I’ve found personally that the different languages spoken in Toronto offer wide degrees of accessibility to new immigrants who may not be fluent in English. These languages are woven into the way Torontonians work, study, create, play, and influence. Each language represents a culture of its own, and I’ve been lucky enough to explore myriad areas to learn more about culture through language. Whether it be at a Italian pizzeria or ethnic enclave such as Koreatown, everybody can learn more about different cultures and personally grow with each interaction. Even cultural festivals like Toronto Caribbean Festival spread knowledge and understanding of their own culture. Recently, First Nations and Indigenous culture has been brought into Toronto at a rapid speed through art galleries and school workshops. All sorts of culture are accepted and embraced in order to make Toronto what it is.
I love living in Toronto for its amazing and widespread multiculturalism, so don’t be afraid to explore different cultures, eat at authentic restaurants, or attend cultural festivals. At the end of the day, all of those are fun ways to experience life and shape who we Torontonians are as a collective. Diversity Our Strength!