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Why Toronto is a great city to watch the World Cup

Toronto, with its diverse neighbourhoods and large population of immigrants (we've got roughly 2.6 million foreign-born inhabitants), makes it an ideal place to watch the World Cup, says an article that appeared on cbc.ca. 

“In Toronto you can see an articulation of world events at street level,” says Shawn Micallef, former Yonge Street managing editor and author of the book Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto, in the article. 

"Toronto allows residents to understand and participate in events that transcend their own neighbourhoods— whether it's one of the many city-hosted cultural festivals, or more politically motivated events such as protests at area consulates," the article continues. 

With our Little Italy, Little Portugal, and various other neighbourhoods, Toronto truly is a hub of diverse culture that comes alive during the World Cup. 

Micallef recounts his many experiences during the World Cup finals over the years, and as a neighbourhood enthusiast has amassed one very strong piece of advice, especially if you don't tie yourself down too tight to one country:

“Walk around, find a random bar in the neighbourhood. You can always sit with the home team and, if they win, you get to share in the celebrations,” he says in the article. 

Read the full story here
Original source: CBC

New York Times explores our 'Ethnic Buffet'

"…The truth is that what I really like to do in Toronto — besides walking around and exploring — is to eat," writes Francine Prose in the New York Times
 
The travel section ran a lengthy and thorough piece last week discussing our city's vast array of multicultural food offerings and neighbourhoods, comparing it at times to that of New York and noting, at others, that the food is in and of itself enough of an attraction to warrant multiple trips to the city. Beyond this, the article notes that the food in Toronto echoes that of our diversity and heritage. 
 
"One paradox of Toronto is that even as the city enables new arrivals to assimilate into Canadian life — people talk about how a certain neighborhood was originally home to immigrants from one area, who then moved on to a more prosperous district, making room for the next wave of people from somewhere else — its ethnic neighborhoods are strongly evocative of their residents' countries of origin, and the shops (and most notably the restaurants) seem more authentic than they do in other cities to which immigrants have imported their culture and their cuisine," Prose writes. 
 
It explores Kensington and our many Chinatowns, Little Portugal to Koreatown, and points out emerging food hubs in the surrounding area. 
 
"Had I eaten in Little Iran, up in North York, or visited Mississauga, the near-suburb that has become home for a huge variety of Toronto's ethnic groups, and where the food — people kept telling me — was even better than it is nearer downtown? Had I been to Markham, where there was a newer Chinatown, and an Indian neighborhood that outdid the Bazaar?"
 
To which the reporter says, "I'll simply have to do all that, the next time I return."
 
Read the full article here
Original Source: The New York Times

Chance encounter in Toronto changes man's life, inspires him to help others

A man who got his start in entrepreneurship here in Toronto is speaking out about the very incident that changed his life. 
 
"It was a chance remark by a stranger in Toronto" that inspired Baljit Singh Sandhu to move back to India and start his own business, Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services Limited (WWICS), says an article that ran in the Business Standard.
 
Sandhu had been living in Toronto and working as a land surveyor with Canadian companies after moving here from India. He lived in Canada for 10 years and throughout this time kept meeting people in his neighbourhood who were from all over the world, but were living here as illegal migrants. 
 
"It was due to sheer ignorance on the part of these educated people and silly mistakes in their applications that they were treated as illegal migrants," Sandhu says in the article. He started advocating on their behalf through Canada's special courts for refugees and the court noticed. "One day, an officer asked me why I didn't help the foreign arrivals before they landed in Canada as illegal migrants, instead of wasting the court's time and energy after they arrived," he says. 
 
"It was this remark that was to change the course of my life. I returned to India in September 1998 and set up WWICS in October that year."
 
WWICS conducts seminars to "disseminate information" about jobs, resettlement options, and the "benefits of complete and accurate documentation in migration," the article says, working with aspirants to choose locations that match their skills. The company now has 40 locations throughout India and around the world, including here in Toronto. The article reports that WWICS has helped 100,000 families migrate in its 15 years of operation. 
 
Read the full story here
Original source: Business Standard

An overview of Toronto as Canada's largest city

Toronto's population has grown more than 100,000 in the past year "equivalent of a new city on its own," says an article that ran in Daily Commercial News exploring Canada's six largest cities, the home of one in every two Canadians. 
 
"Toronto has the highest population, 5.9 million, followed by Montreal (4.0 million), Vancouver (2.5 million), Calgary and Ottawa-Gatineau (each 1.3 million) and Edmonton (1.2 million)," the article says. 
 
The two-part series based their findings on population figures from Statistics Canada's census metropolitan areas (CMAS) which including downtown cores and "surrounding highly-integrated suburbs."
 
The findings reveal some interesting trends. "One in six Canadians lives in the Toronto CMA. Toronto is a 'behemoth' on the national scene," the article says. "Toronto has a strong financial sector, excellent academic institutions, vibrant broadcasting, communications and entertainment companies and ongoing manufacturing activity, with a solid base of auto assembly plants."
 
The article notes a few things that threaten Toronto on an international level, pointing out potential problems with the adoption of Michigan's "right to work" legislation which may threaten our province's auto industry, the article says. It also notes Mayor Rob Ford's media spectacles and the heavy construction activity in the city.
 
"The city is gearing up to host the 2015 PanAm Games, which will see the participation of more athletes than gather in one place during the Olympics."
 
One more interesting thing, according to the Statistics Toronto is a "largely business-oriented" population, compared to the West Coat's chill environmental and "artistic slant on life."
 
Read the full profiles here and here
Original source: Daily Commercial News

First immigrants under Federal Skilled Trades Program welcomed

On Friday, Canada welcomed the first permanent residents to stem from its new Federal Skilled Trades Program. The program is "designed do attract and retain skilled workers," Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says in an article that ran on South Asia Mail.
 
Of the new residents is Eric Byrne, originally from Ireland. He received his Ontario trades certificate of qualification last May and "currently works as a plumber for University Plumbing and Heating. He first arrived in Canada through the International Experience Canada program, which provides opportunities for international youth between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work in Canada," the article says.
 
"Canada is a great country and the people here have been exceptionally warm and welcoming," says Byrne in the article. "I am very pleased that I qualified for the Federal Skilled Trades Program as it recognizes the value of my skill set and has allowed me to stay in Canada and integrate seamlessly into my new status as a permanent resident."
 
The welcoming ceremony was held on August 16. The program was launched in January 2013. So far, successful applicants have come from India, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany and various others. 
 
Read the full story here
Original source: South Asia Mail 

Australia encourages students to study abroad in Toronto

An Australian news organization has posted an article encourage university and college students to study abroad in Canada, naming Toronto as one of the most ideal locations.
 
"Canada has both large and small universities, some at the heart of the country’s biggest and most vibrant urban areas; others are located in small cities with easy access to open spaces and natural beauty. Three Canadian cities – Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary – are among the world's top five most livable cities, according to The Economist 2012 list," the article says.
 
Zee News interviews a number of education professionals in the story who make cases for their respective cities. Greg Coelho, the associate director, International Centre at George Brown College, speaks to coop opportunities and workplace experience, not to mention Toronto's diverse makeup. 
 
“Toronto offers one of the most vibrant and diverse employment markets in Canada for students to add North American work experience to their resume," he says in the article. 
 
The article continues to discuss on-campus work opportunities and job possibilities. "It is opportunities such as these that make it worth for an international student to invest in a Canadian degree or diploma."  
 
Read the full story here
Original Source: Zee News

Skilled immigrants boost GTA companies’ fortunes

GTA employers who hire skilled immigrants have an easier time expanding locally and globally, according to survey funded by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). As reported by Canadian Manufacturing, 93 percent of the polled GTA business with skilled immigrants on their workforce responded that hiring immigrants is beneficial for international expansion. 

"The results of a recent survey in the Greater Toronto Area shows there are benefits to hiring skilled immigrants for manufacturers that do business abroad."
 
"Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), which advocates better integration of skilled immigrants into the local labour market, engaged research company EKOS to ask 461 Toronto area companies, mostly small and medium enterprises from a range of sectors, about their employment practices."
 
"The results show 20 percent of employers hired skilled immigrants to help expand globally and locally. Of these respondents, 93 percent feel the skilled immigrants hired have been effective doing so globally and 83 percent locally."
 
"One in 10 have hired a skilled immigrant because they discovered that competitors were benefiting from hiring skilled immigrants. Of those employers, 81 percent feel those hired have been effective."
 
read full story here
original source Canadian Manufacturing 


The New York Times on house hunting in Toronto

The New York Times writes on Toronto's "robust" real-estate market. The Toronto housing market--fuelled equally by long-standing Canadians and new immigrants--has, unlike many other major cities, managed to survive and grow despite the global economic downturn.
 
"Toronto's housing market is robust. 'People are investing here,' says Paul Dineen, a lawyer with the Toronto law firm Chapnick & Assoc. 'They see it's a good parking place.' The population is expected to increase by 1 million over the next 30 years, providing an ever-larger pool of prospective buyers. Mr. Dineen said that because the housing market hadn't been overpriced before the global downturn, Canada weathered the crisis when other countries had more difficulty. 'All it was here was a speed bump,' Mr. Robert said. 'The market took a deep breath for maybe four months, but then recorrected itself. We're just steaming ahead, moving forward.'"
 
"Buyers here include new immigrants, especially those from China, Hong Kong, India and Iran, as well as Canadians whose lineage goes back many generations. The city is attractive to many foreigners because it is considered safe, family friendly and multicultural."

read full story here
original source New York Times


Go north, young man, go north

Washington Times columnist James A. Bacon explains why Americans should be paying more attention to Canada. Bacon points out that not only did Canada weather the economic crises better than any other G-7 nation, it also boasts world class creative cities and an immigration tradition that attracts the most talented professionals from across the globe.

"Unless the Winter Olympics are on television or someone is clubbing baby seals, Americans don't pay much attention to what's happening in Canada. It's as if we live in a house with a set of quiet, orderly neighbors on one side and a bachelor pad with drunken parties, girls in the hot tub and occasional gunshot eruptions on the other. To whom would you pay more attention?"

"Look what's not happening in Canada. There is no real estate crisis. There is no banking crisis. There is no unemployment crisis. There is no sovereign debt crisis. Recent reports suggest that consumers are loading up too much debt, but Canada shares that problem with nearly every other country in the industrialized world."

"Among the Group of Seven nations, which also include the United States, France, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy, Canada's economic activity has come the closest to returning to the pre-recession peak. The country has recovered three-quarters of all jobs it lost. The International Monetary Fund estimates that Canada will be the only country among the G-7 to have achieved a balanced budget by 2015."

read full story here
original source Washington Times

Low-profile mentoring program gets results

The Toronto Star writes on Toronto's Centre for Youth Development and Mentoring Services, a non-profit mentoring program that works with youth vulnerable to gangs and drugs. Started by four friends -- Alihashi, Abdifatah Warsame, Ali Sheikh and Abdi Qami -- in 2006, the program has had tremendous success. None of the 300 teens who participated have dropped out of school and many have gone on to higher education.

"The program has carried on quietly for five years, keeping a low profile; but its results have been miraculous. None of the 300-odd teens who participated in the program have dropped out of school. Their grades have gone from low C's and D's to high B's and, in some cases, A's. And many have gone on to college and university."

"But most of all, the teens have stayed out of trouble — away from the street crime that has plagued the community."

It's a well-documented fact that children from Somali, Arab, Iranian, Portuguese and Vietnamese communities have a dropout rate two to three times greater than the national average.The four Somali-Canadian friends, in their 30s, could never wrap their heads around those numbers. Back in 2006, they chatted about how they could help teens in their community."

"They (teens) faced the same problems as we did," says Alihashi. "Poor neighbourhoods, low-income families. We made it through school and based on our experiences, we wanted to help other kids."

read full story here
original source Toronto Star
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