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When in Toronto | Culture, people, things to do and memorable brands
When in Toronto
Cultural Currents

Toronto is one of the most multicultural and multiracial cities in the world. Based on the last census, almost half of the population of the city are immigrants. You can see the vibrancy of the different cultures through the different ethnic neigbourhoods – Chinatown, Koreatown, Greektown, Little India, Little Italy and so on.

Locals can catch people who aren’t from Toronto very easily, simply by the way they pronounce the name of the city. If you’re from the city or the GTA (greater Toronto area), you don’t sound the second t, pronouncing it “Tuh-ron-noh”. Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t call the city ‘The Six’, even though it was popularised by Drake (in reference to the six boroughs that make up Toronto).

The arts are a big part of the city’s culture. The annual Toronto International Film Festival – one of the most well-respected festivals in North America – sees film buffs line up all across the city every September to watch movies and go celebrity spotting. Torontonians aren’t unfamiliar to seeing famous faces. The city is frequently used as a stand-in for New York or other famous American cities (Mean Girls, Chicago, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Good Will Hunting to name a few).

 
 
 
 

Toronto is one of the most multicultural and multiracial cities in the world. Based on the last census, almost half of the population of the city are immigrants. You can see the vibrancy of the different cultures through the different ethnic neigbourhoods – Chinatown, Koreatown, Greektown, Little India, Little Italy and so on.

Locals can catch people who aren’t from Toronto very easily, simply by the way they pronounce the name of the city. If you’re from the city or the GTA (greater Toronto area), you don’t sound the second t, pronouncing it “Tuh-ron-noh”. Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t call the city ‘The Six’, even though it was popularised by Drake (in reference to the six boroughs that make up Toronto).

The arts are a big part of the city’s culture. The annual Toronto International Film Festival – one of the most well-respected festivals in North America – sees film buffs line up all across the city every September to watch movies and go celebrity spotting. Torontonians aren’t unfamiliar to seeing famous faces. The city is frequently used as a stand-in for New York or other famous American cities (Mean Girls, Chicago, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Good Will Hunting to name a few).

an interesting thing to do

Toronto buzzes with activity in the summer and one of the highlights is ‘Shakespeare in High Park’. Each season the Canadian Stage Company puts on a tragedy and a comedy in the park which is very popular with all Torontonians. It’s an amazing experience to visit the park, walk through the gardens, have a picnic and end the day under the stars watching Shakespeare.


Toronto buzzes with activity in the summer and one of the highlights is ‘Shakespeare in High Park’. Each season the Canadian Stage Company puts on a tragedy and a comedy in the park which is very popular with all Torontonians. It’s an amazing experience to visit the park, walk through the gardens, have a picnic and end the day under the stars watching Shakespeare.

One local brand

Tim Hortons, started in Hamilton just outside of Toronto, is one of the most recognisable Canadian brands. Known affectionately by locals as Timmies, the brand has become a true Canadian cultural icon (to the delight, or chagrin, of many Canadians). One of the brand’s most popular ad campaigns is tied to the notion of overcoming Canadian homesickness by having a cup of Tim Hortons. Every February, Canadians wait for the company to launch their ‘Roll up the Rim to Win’ campaign which has been around since the 1980s. You’ll see people across Toronto frantically rolling up the rims of their special Timmies cups to see if they’ve won a prize – ranging from a free coffee to a car.

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With thanks to Hania Mattoo for her unique, cultural insights.