Toronto Newcomers Day

Community News & Features Jun 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm
Photos: Donna Cooke

Photos: Donna Cooke

By Donna Cooke

Toronto Newcomers Day 2017 was a hit with great weather and over 50 exhibitors participating in the city´s third annual event showcasing Toronto’s diverse communities. The festival, which was held May 15 at Nathan Phillips Square, welcomes and celebrates new Torontonians and included gardening activities, free guided City Hall tours, drama, reading and musical activities for kids 0-5 by the Young People’s Theatre and Toronto Public Library, a newcomer marketplace and roaming storytellers. There was also a formal stage program and proclamation with captivating performances from local newcomers and first nations artists as well as a citizenship ceremony. Over 50 agencies took part in the information fair to promote programs and services available to newcomers in Toronto. FoodShare’s Mobile Good Food Market was on-site-it offers low cost, high quality produce and supports communities that are not well served by grocery stores.

There are indeed plenty of things to be proud of as a new Canadian and a newcomer to Toronto, in particular. In 2016 Canada was ranked only second to Switzerland as the best country in the world in a survey by U.S. News and World Report, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of business, and global brand consultants BAV Consulting. Canada, the survey said, welcomes immigrants and celebrates diversity, draws some of its national identity from its expansive wilderness, has produced a long list of accomplished writers and artists, and is a high-tech industrial society with a high standard of living. The study was rated 60 countries across 24 categories.

IMG_5823In another study by the Reputation Institute, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for reputation, Canada came out as the “most admired” country with the “best reputation” in the world for four times in six consecutive years from 2011 to 2015. An annual survey ranked the reputations of developed nations across the globe with Norway placing second in 2015, followed by Sweden, Switzerland, and Australia. It surveyed around 48,000 residents of G8 countries who were asked to rank the 55 wealthiest nations (based on GDP) in a variety of categories. Canada was praised for its friendly and welcoming people, effective government, absence of corruption and welfare support system.

Toronto welcomes its newcomers with great amenities that include social services/support and its City of Toronto’s Welcome Policy. This policy provides a fee subsidy to help low income individuals and families attend recreation programs for free. Check out all newcomer amenities at the brochure found at

As 2017 is Canada´s 150-year anniversary, all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas offer free admission. National parks are protected natural spaces that represent distinct geographical regions of the nation and allow for public enjoyment without compromise for future generations, including the management of wildlife and habitat within the ecosystems of each park. Three of Ontario´s top national parks are only about three hours away: Thousand Islands, Bruce Peninsula and Georgian Bay Islands National Parks.