By Jesse Zimmerman
Growing up in this area (in this city in this country), I began to discern a noticeable difference between the world outside my door and the world presented on television. Whereas on television I mostly saw white faces, outside I saw many colours and shades. Having grown up in this unique blend of peoples and cultures, I feel privileged first and foremost. A multicultural society has given me an in depth look and understanding into the very human experience. I might be sounding a little bit extreme, but that's honestly just how I feel on this matter.
Truth is, whether you enjoy this cultural and racial diversity (like me) or not, it is something we all need to get used to. I say this because I have just finished reading an interesting special report in today's Toronto Star on the future look of the Greater Toronto Area. In this present time visible minorities (peoples of non-European heritage) make up only 36.5% of our city's population. According to the report by 2017 visible "minorities" will make up 50.6% of Torontonians. By that year also one fifth (between 6.3 million and 8.5 million) of Canadians will be under the category of visible minorities, mostly in the Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal areas. Canadian culture is all about diversity and exchange of ideas. Immigration is a part of all of our roots and it continues to be an important factor in our nation, for all Canadians can trace back their ancestry far enough to find this truth (Aboriginal Canadians even immigrated from north-eastern Asia, but that's another story). Our diversity is our strength and an essential part of the Canadian identity. It is something to be cherished.
Few people know this but Toronto is the capital of the world for racial diversity. We have more ethnic and cultural groups in this city than any other municipality. Even fewer people realize that the York West region (that's Jane & Finch by the way) is the most multi-cultural area in the city, therefore also the world! So, let Canada continue to welcome new citizens from around the globe and continuing to be an inspiration of tolerance to the world. And let our community continue to be an inspiration for Canada.