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Tsugumi (Japan)

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  Born in Tokyo, Japan | Tsugumi left Japan in 2000 to study architecture and urban design in the Netherlands at the Berlage Institute of Rotterdam. Although she found the country to be beautiful, she struggled with the language, always feeling out of place, “like a Japanese foreigner.” After four years at school, she decided…

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Lubica (Slovakia)

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  Born in Presov, Slovakia | Drawn by the warm weather and beautiful beaches, it was her husband’s dream to live in Florida. But when their efforts to acquire a Green Card failed, Lubica spoke to a friend who told her that he was planning to immigrate to Canada with his family, and she began…

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Jean (Ivory Coast)

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  Born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) | Jean has always had a passion for the arts. He attended Ivory Coast’s National Institute of the Arts in the late 1980s, and in the early 90s studied at the Ivory Coast’s International School of Dance and Cultural Exchange. His studies complete, he was invited to…

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Nava (Israel)

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  Born in Beer-shava, Israel | Immigrating to Canada in 2003, Nava followed her husband who had lived most of his life here. For Nava, leaving Israel was a life-changing event, and she left without knowing whether she was departing from her homeland for good – while for her husband it was simply “returning home”….

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Fotis (Greece)

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  Born in Vrachati, Greece | To put it simply, Fotis came to Canada for work. He arrived in the late 1970s as a professional musician. He would play the songs of the many distinguished Greek composers who have written music based on Greece’s history, rich culture and modern political landscape, like: Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hatzidakis and…

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Mona (Cyprus)

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  Born in Nicosia, Cyprus | Mona moved around a lot before settling here in Toronto. She first landed in Montreal to pursue an international education, not unlike many others of her generation from Cyprus and Lebanon. After attending Concordia University, and recognizing Toronto as a “boomtown for advertising”, Mona relocated here to specialize and…

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Nilofar (Tajikistan)

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  Born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan | Nilofar’s family came to Canada because Tajikistan was going through a Civil War. Tajikistan was part of the Soviet Union, so in 1991 it broke away, becoming an independent state. As like any parents, Nilofar’s wanted what was best for their children and that is growing up in a…

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Nicolas (Uruguay)

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  Born in Ciudad de la Costa, Uruguay | Although born in Uruguay, Toronto is where Nicolas grew up, and it is where he became who is today. Looking to leave Uruguay’s economic and political crisis, Nicolas’ parents came to Toronto. At first a brief stay before returning to Uruguay, they made the permanent move…

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Wendii (Netherlands)

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  Born in Velp, Netherlands | Wendii recalls her childhood in Holland with fondness and nostalgia – a safe place full of nature that suited her personality and her imagination. Her father, who was a textile engineer, was transferred back to Canada, and at the age of ten Wendii and the family moved to Cowansville,…

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Desirée (Bahamas)

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  Born in Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas | Desirée was born to a Canadian mother and a Bahamian father. She remembers her first ten years in the Bahamas as wonderful. When her mother became pregnant with her little brother after previously losing one child at birth, she decided she wanted to return to Canada to have…

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Leila (Azerbaijan)

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  Born in Baku, Azerbaijan | In 2008, after waiting seven years to join her Dad, Leila and the rest of her family arrived in Canada. She explains how her “broken family reunited again”. At the age of 14 she says the process of adaptation was very difficult and stressful. Speaking English was a challenge,…

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Rossy (Panama)

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  Born in Panama City, Panama | “Canada gave me the opportunity to learn how to be independent, self-sufficient in a stable and safe environment.” Because of this Rossy says she has nothing but love for Toronto. Having arrived in Canada to visit friends and family on a Christmas vacation in 1987 she decided to…

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Eli (Austria)

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  Born in Vienna, Austria | In 1939, and at the age of 15, Eli escaped Vienna leaving behind his family, and his home. Eli would never see them again, as they would fall victims to the Nazis, including his sister who had schizophrenia and was euthanized. Eli was living in an American organized camp…

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Selma (São Tomé and Príncipe)

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  Born in Trindade, São Tomé and Príncipe | After leaving her home to study in Taiwan, Selma moved with her then-husband to Canada first to Montreal then Toronto. She came to Canada with many dreams and desires but things did not work as she had hoped. Still she remains confident that she will succeed…

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Jamie (Barbados)

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  Born in Bridgetown, Barbados | At 18, Jamie left Barbados to attend Queen’s University in Kingston. During her studies she met her now-husband Jay, and as he was from the GTA they moved back to the area together. For Jamie her connection to Toronto is all about the people. She feels fortunate to have…

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