Born in Incheon, South Korea |
At the age of eleven, John’s family left South Korea, in search of “better opportunities” for him and his brother. John explains how South Korea at the time was still a developing nation with limited opportunities. He says growing up in the city he has been heavily influenced by “Toronto culture” and is an intense Maple Leafs fan. John states that all of his friends are here, and he really can’t imagine living anywhere else. After returning from a trip he says he gets “that warm feeling”. Currently John is working as a criminal lawyer.
Toronto as Home
John wanted to be photographed wearing his barrister’s robe in front of Osgoode Hall, which houses the Law Society of Upper Canada. According to John, joining the ranks of Toronto’s legal community validates that it is a “city of opportunity”. It was also important to his parents that he gives back to society. He says it is ironic that he didn’t speak a word of English when he first arrived in Canada, but now as a lawyer he gets to “advocate for others who need to be heard”.
Connection with the Past
John is holding his “Dan Card”. He remembers how Tae Kwon Do, the Korean form of martial arts, was popular when he was as a young boy – comparing its popularity to hockey in Canada. John received the first dan (“first degree”) black belt in 1988, just before coming to Canada. He says “every once in a while when [he looks] at this card, [he] is reminded of [his] days in South Korea.”