Toronto Times 4 – Mosaic
An MSc student biology is embarking on an adventure to do a research internship in Toronto, Canada. For nine months. A leap of faith into a new world. In nine short, monthly pieces, he gives an impression of what it's like.
Toronto is often compared to New York. Welcome to the NY of Canada, I was once told. A few days ago, I learned from a Reddit post that some movies that are supposedly set in New York City, are actually shot in the streets of downtown Toronto. You can’t even tell the difference. I spoke to a graduate student about this the other day, and she nodded in affirmation. Being from Manhattan, she felt Toronto felt similar in many regards. ‘However’, she told me, ‘there is a striking difference between the two: New York is a melting pot, while Toronto is a mosaic.’
The more I think about her mosaic metaphor, the more I realize how accurate it is. Cultural communities in New York City tend to blend together, while those in Toronto retain their unique identities on a small scale. Toronto is dotted with these ethnic enclaves. There is a Little Italy, Greektown, Portugal Village, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, Little Poland, a handful of Chinatowns, what have you. Well, I’m sure you can find them all listed in travel guides. What I personally like about them is how gracefully they are woven into the fabric of the city. Not overly marketed or hyped up. Just a vibrant, harmonious mosaic. From what I’ve seen so far, Toronto is truly next-level multicultural.
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