The more names we give something, the more we love it. That explains Toronto, a.k.a. Queen City, Hogtown, TO, the T-Dot, and the 6ix. It recently surpassed Chicago to become the 3rd most populous city in North America, and it has so much to love! What ultimately makes Toronto the most welcoming city on the planet is its people. The city motto is “Diversity our strength,” a reference to its population, which speaks more than 150 different languages. It’s this diversity that makes Toronto a must-see city.
Having a population representative of almost every nation on Earth makes for a lot of ethnic eateries. Toronto supports a Polishtown, a Jamaicatown, an Indiatown, a Greektown, a Koreatown, a Portugaltown, 6 Chinatowns and 2 Little Italies. And you know why they call it Hogtown? Toronto was once the largest pork-packing city in Canada. It’s the home of something called peameal bacon, cured ham coated in crushed cornmeal and served with what else but fresh maple syrup.
On one hand, Toronto is a financial center, home to the headquarters of Canada’s largest banks and the world’s 2nd largest stock exchange. On the other hand, it’s a center for alternative lifestyles and Bohemian culture. The city hosts one of the largest gay pride festivals in the world. And it recently appointed a Director of Sustainable Transportation, whose job is to make Toronto greener and more bike-friendly.
Prince Edward County is the Napa of the North. This agricultural heaven 3 hours east of Toronto has attracted some of the world’s best chefs, sustainable farmers and wine makers. Recently, the PEC received Canada’s latest Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) Designation, recognizing the area’s unique terroir, which produces superior pinot noir, chardonnay and cabernet franc.
The Huffington Post reports that Toronto is building more new high rises than New York City. But as successful as it is, T-Dot always welcomes more. Even if you’re not already a Canadian citizen, they want you! Don’t believe it? A website for a group called APNA Toronto, which serves the Toronto business community, even offers a practice test to help newly arrives transplants study for the Canadian citizenship test.
With so many nationalities at work in Canada’s biggest city, it’s no wonder Toronto has a reputation for being the world capital of multiculturalism. And based on its growth and prosperity, it has much to teach about the strength in diversity.