Toronto, Canada

Why 13 hours in Toronto, Canada was a really bad choice!

Diversity. That’s the first word that popped up in my head when Luis and I arrived at the Pearson International Airport, Toronto, Canada. My eyes found numerous societies around and people talking in various English accents. I felt that I am not a stranger in here, I am one of them. I can easily feel this is a country for immigrants, where you can find a blond girl walking next to a girl wearing hijab and no one judges them.

Our first impression was nice, based on what we felt at Toronto’s airport. All organized, clean and most of the people were direct and easy-going. Outside, we were welcomed with fresh air of a summer day. We were lucky though… because Medeiros’s family said the day before was a gloomy day in Toronto.

Medeiros family

So, Medeiros’s family is Portuguese and they are living in Canada since the ’60s. Monique Medeiros has been following the project since ever, and they become friends over the internet. Once she knew that we would transit through Toronto, after Luís asked for some help, she offered us to stayed with her family. Since she is an artist too, was really nice to see her works! You can follow her on Instagram.

On that same night, Jorge and Maria (Monique’s Parents) took us to Marine Parade, where we enjoyed the sunset with Ontario Lake and Toronto’s Downtown as the view. It was indeed the best view we could have for the town, it was wonderful!!

This area was really nice with people cycling, jogging, or just hanging around. After we had dinner, they drove us Downtown. I can say that even if it was a Tuesday, the city was quite busy. Because was difficult to find a parking lot, Jorge dropped us at the center so we could take some pictures.

Whats Canadian food look like?

Fact that there are so many cultures brought by the immigrants, we realized it is quite difficult to learn what is a typical Canadian food. As you can imagine, there is a lot of community from various countries, and so there are multiple dishes that you can easily find in various neighborhoods in this city. But, our question got the answer when we went to the city hall. We saw food trucks selling local food. At that moment, we found out, with Monique’s help, that one of the typical Canadian food is poutine. Poutine is a Quebecois dish made with french fries and cheese curd, topped with light brown gravy. We didn’t try but sounds yummy but fat!

Toronto is well known as the city of neighborhoods.

On the way back home, Jorge drove us through to Chinatown, Little Portugal, Little Japan, Little Tibet, and so on… We saw that every street had its own character and how it helps to integrate an immigrant in Canada. We saw instead of English/France sign, we found Mandarin signs in Chinatown. For instance, when we passed Little Portugal, all the names were in Portuguese or at least they were easy for a Portuguese to understand. And of course the Portuguese’s Mascot Barcelos rooster was a must along with the country flag.

On our way to the airport, Jorge said that the day is going to be great and how pity it is we couldn’t stay one more day, so he could drive us to Niagara falls… what a shame! But who knows we will come one day and grow up roots in such an environment!

Luís Simões
Luís Simões

In 2012 I started a World Sketching Tour and since then, this has been my lifestyle. More intense, more for others, more open on how to look and judge. The tour made me get out of routines and safe places, which often leave me numb just seeing life go by slowly. Sketching has aroused my curiosity for “what will it be like on the other side of the mountain?”.

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