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 to consider the move as well. She remembers making the decision to immigrate to Canada while washing dishes. They were comfortable in Slovakia, with a beautiful home, good jobs and a wonderful circle of friends and family, and the decision surprised her husband. To this day she is unsure why, exactly, she wanted to leave, but says that she is an adventurous person. Once the decision was made, she took a fast-track English course, preparing for the job interviews that were to come. When the family arrived in Toronto in 2000, Lubica says that they didn’t experience much initial cultural shock.
“Many things in Slovakia are similar to Canada, but Toronto, was like a stranger.”
Our new life in Canada was “challenging and almost unbearable because of the language barrier”. To overcome this, her whole family went back to school. However, her husband felt the need to support the family immediately, and took a job working at a Russian company where English was not required. He never learnt English, and after five years he left Canada, and has not returned permanently. Lubica herself tried to go back to Slovakia, but found that their relationship wasn’t the same, so she returned to Canada where she truly felt at home. Her daughter recently graduated from university, Lubica and her son graduated from college, and together they have secured jobs that are helping them build a solid foundation for a better life.
Toronto as Home
Lubica feels a special connection to Prague Restaurant in Scarborough. With a traditional décor that provides her with a sense of home, the restaurant serves famous Czech and Slovak cuisine, such as bryndzove halusky (potato dumplings with bryndza sheep cheese and bacon), vepro-knedlo-zelo (roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut) or palacinky (sweet pancakes with various fillings). Her daughter was recently married here in the restaurant, and Lubica is happy that her family is growing.
Connection with the Past
This photo of Lubica’s friends and family was taken on her 40th birthday in Slovakia, ten years ago. Her best friends offered their house for this special celebration, and prepared a feast for the celebration. Lubica loves looking at this picture that hangs in her living room here in Canada.
“Time may change us, but our friendships are everlasting.”
Whenever Lubica visits Slovakia, she makes sure to see her lifelong friends.