Diversity in Toronto

It’s easy to worry about fitting in when relocating to a new country and city, but trust us, Toronto is so diverse that there’s no need to fear. The city of Toronto is growing in leaps and bounds.  In fact, the Toronto Ministry of Finance projects that in the next 28 years, the population will spike by 31.3 per cent. That’s nearly 4.2 million new residents.  Most of this growth will be people just like you – newcomers from other countries. Already, 52 percent of Torontonians are born outside of Canada.

Because people come from all over the world (Europe, China and Philippines to name a few) there’s no shortage of  ethnic, religious and gender diversity. When you walk down the street or hop in the subway, you’re sure to encounter many differences.  Cultural diversity in Toronto is something to be embraced and celebrated!

Ethnic Diversity in Toronto:

In general, Ontarians and Torontonians apply a policy of tolerance and acceptance, when it comes to ethnic diversity. Instances of racism are not tolerated by the general population, and  they are certainly not the norm. While you’re sure to see a wide variety of faces from all over the world wherever you go in Toronto, there are also neighborhoods where people of like ethnicities tend to gravitate. For instance:

  • There are three major Chinatowns, including the largest that’s located around the intersection of Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West.
  • South Asians have a large population in the east end on Gerrard Street East. It’s a section of the city affectionately called Little India (thought people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka live there too).
  • Little Italy, home of some of the best authentic Italian food in the city is between Euclid Avenue and Shaw Street on College Street, on Toronto’s west side. In additions to Italians, Portuguese people sometimes live here.
  • Greektown is home to a considerable Greek-origin population, and is located on Danforth Avenue around Chester and Jones Avenues.
  • There’s a considerable Jewish population located on Bathurst Street between Eglinton and Steeles Avenues and
  •  Little Jamaica is located on Eglinton Avenue between Oakwood Avenue and Vaughan Road. 

That’s just a start to the various ethnic communities, but it’s good to understand that even though there are hubs in Toronto, people of all ethnicities live and are welcome throughout Toronto.

Religious Diversity in Toronto:

People of Toronto come from a number of different faith backgrounds and practices. While the majority of residents  who practice a religion are Catholic, at about 31 per cent, followed by Protestants, at about 21 per cent. About 26 per cent of those residing in Toronto proper have no religious affiliation, and you’ll also find populations of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, Baha’i and other world religions. There are religious institutions for each one of these groups.

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Gender and Sexual Diversity in Toronto:

When it comes to LGBT rights and supper, Ontario has always been pro-active and at the forefront in Canada, but also across the globe. The province has the third government to legalize gay marriage in the world, with legislation passing back in 2001. Ontario also has the first openly gay Premier in the country – Kathleen Wynne. Those are only a couple of indications of the LGBT-friendly vibe of Toronto. 

If you enjoy cheering crowds, lively parades and showing your support, participating Toronto’s annual Pride Week and Pride Parade in late June is a great way to show your solidarity with the LGBT community. It’s the largest LGBT celebration of its kind and includes a three-day festival with live music and entertainment, lists of vendors, and family programming.

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Want more information about cultural diversity in Toronto? Sign up for Settle-in.com and receive full access to “The Guide.” Read its “Cultural Adjustment” chapter for more great facts and advice.

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(Photos: Hepingting via Flickr, cc Karen Stintz via Flickr, cc)

Dobromir

About Dobromir

Relocating to Canada was a difficult decision that turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. It’s important for me to find a work-life balance that satisfies my professional ambitions, my family life and my personal interests. Here in the cities of Canada, we work hard, but a trip to the ski slope with the kids, or a night of excellent dining and a theater production is never out of reach. At Settle-in.com, we can help all your moving formalities (like planning your finances and finding the perfect home) run smoother, so you can begin to enjoy your new city even faster. // Se relocaliser au Canada a été une décision difficile mais qui s’est avérée être exactement ce que je recherchais. C’est important pour moi de trouver un équilibre entre travail/ vie personnelle qui puisse satisfaire mes ambitions professionnelles, ma vie familiale et mes intérêts personnels. Ici, dans les villes du Canada, nous travaillons dur mais un petit tour sur les pistes de ski avec les enfants ou une soirée avec un bon repas puis une pièce de théâtre ne sont jamais hors de portée. A Settle-in.com, nous pouvons vous aider à faire toutes vos formalités de déménagement ( comme la planification de vos finances et trouver la maison idéale ) tout en douceur afin que vous puissiez commencer à profiter de votre nouvelle ville encore plus rapidement.