Neighborly Toronto!

The mosaic or melting pot, as you prefer, that is Toronto is notably defined by its many distinct neighborhoods.  By the time I realized I was working on a theme with these signage shots I had already overlooked about a dozen or so too many feet-miles earlier to readily retrace my steps.


28 responses

  1. Lovely signs from TO. You might like to visit PEI during the 2014 celebrations (150th anniversary of the Charlottetown meeting leading to Confederation) Lots of additional activities and yet you would still have the quaint fishing villages and harbours , like Launching, and the, at times, confusing road signage!

    • Yikes! Thanks for sharing this observation that I had not picked up. In the U.S. we use the term “melting pot” loosely and I see the distinction you note. Based on this, I’m indebted for your clarification and updated the post slightly.

  2. Personally, I don’t see the multi-cultural mix in big Canadian cities as melting pots. That’s more of an American concept. I see the Canadian scene as more of a mosaic. The ethnic neighbourhoods seem more closed and inwardly focused, and new arrivals to Canada, especially older ones, like the parents of recent immigrants and new citizens, rarely engage in broader society. The pressure on ethnic minorities to conform to some mythologized ideal of citizenship is not nearly as strong here. Yet new Canadians are often as intensely patriotic as native-born citizens. Mosaic vs melting pot. There are big differences. Its probably fair for American visitors to see things through the lens they are equipped with. But take a second look at this. I think you will see it differently.

    • Brian, thanks very much for noting this point and sharing these further details. Another commenter (Barbara) earlier also clarified this for me, as a result of which I modified the reference some. Best, Brett

    • Thanks and there’s certainly a great deal to see wandering around Toronto! Glad to have made the update and learned another perspective — good cross-culture sharing and learning!

  3. I found your blog through Wildsherkin. This is a great site! I am from Quebec so we have that love/hate relationship with Toronto (silly, I know!) You’ve made me want to take time to really visit Toronto and not just pass through! Thanks for that and I will definitely be following you!

    • Hi, Dale, and thanks for your comments. I’ve heard about and witnessed the love/hate relationship you mention, and I sort of get that. Having been to both provinces, though, there’s a lot going for each and their distinctive takes on what it means to be Canadian.

  4. You were busy to cover all those areas in Toronto. Another term Canadians like to use is salad bowl instead of melting pot. All the ingredients retain their individual identities while contributing to society as a whole.

  5. As a lifelong Toronto resident, I unfortunately have taken the unique aspects of the city totally for granted. The last few years, our city has come to be centre stage, not because of its ecclectic neighbourhoods, but because of Rob Ford, our previous mayor. Anyway, there’s no such thing as bad publicity!

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