11 Struggles Of Growing Up Caribbean In Toronto
Every-ting is a struggle.
Toronto is home to many, coming from different cultural backgrounds and ways of living. Many of us or our parents came from different countries, and with that being said our cultures are also brought over.
Since Toronto has much space for those cultures, such as the Caribbean culture, we end up living in a similar way to that of our backgrounds despite living in Toronto. So if you're Caribbean (or even if you're not) you can relate to some of these struggles of growing up in Toronto.
1. Toronto Slang Is Rooted From Caribbean Languages
Any word you hear coming out of a Toronto teens mouth has probably been rooted from Caribbean slang. Yes, we do primarily speak English but we have our own way of saying things like ting instead of thing, or bat-tree instead of battery.
2. Your Parents Passing McDonald's
Yea I'm sure many of us have been through this regardless, but when your parents promise you that you'll enjoy the goat roti from Ali's Roti Shop more than a happy meal, as a kid you were very upset.
3. Going to Sheridan, Woodbine, Yorkgate, Albion or Jane and Finch Malls
These malls are most notorious for being most useful for their extensive selections in the food courts. And there's usually that one spot that has amazing rice and peas or curry chicken that is just incomparable.
4. Weekend Trips To The Local Flea Market
Many weekends as a child probably began with your parents waking you up extra early just to go to the closest flea market. Whether it was Dr. Flea's, 747 or the Toronto Weston flea market, you went there super early and it was super crowded. If you were lucky, your parents got you a treat of some sort, either sugar cane juice, cotton candy or the Trinidadian delicacy known as doubles.
5. Choosing Luxy over EFS
When you finally became legal, you decided to experiment with clubs opting for posh clubs downtown, but when it came to familiarity you craved something more. Despite a club like Luxy's suburban location and casual vibe, the music is what made you choose it over those expensive downtown clubs, over and over again.
6. Hiding From The Harsh Winter Weather
Toronto winters are no game. And the weather is entirely different from that of your tropical point of origin. By the time November comes around, you're totally ready to book yourself a one-way ticket back to the Caribbean.
7. Family Dinner Is Usually At Mandarin
If you're Caribbean, your family's idea of a fancy dinner is probably at Mandarin. With so many buffet options they know there will be something for everyone, and a classy upscale dinner with small portions would have your parents wondering when the rest of the food is arriving.
8. Someone You Know Is A Popular Toronto DJ
When you're Caribbean, everyone has a knack for music. So given that, many people get into the music business, the Caribbean way, by becoming a DJ. Spinning the best in dancehall, reggae, soca, hip-hop and top 40, they can be pretty great, except that there's a lot of them. It's more than likely you personally know a few popular Caribbean DJs from Toronto.
9. Going To Local Grocery Shops To Buy Food No One Else Knows About
Instead of going to an ordinary grocery or department store, your parents have been taking you to the West Indian corner store since you were three, and that's where you can get a lot of unique things Walmart won't have at all. From tropical fruits, to your favourite Caribbean soft drinks the best and most exclusive snacks are found here.
10. Being Deprived Of Toronto Caribbean Carnival Until You're Older
You probably still refer to it as Caribana anyways, but growing up you've always wanted to see the costumes and hear the loud music, but your parents knew of another side to carnival (the one you know of now) and forbade you from going. And if you did go, you probably didn't see much because it was so crowded and reminded you of those Sunday mornings at the flea market.
11. Watching Toronto Artists Mainstream Dancehall and Soca
The music you grew up listening to and didn't want to listen to when boybands and LL Cool J were the craze, is now mainstream and everyone's jumping on the bandwagon. Popular Toronto artists like Drake, Ramriddlz, J-Soul and Tory Lanez have used dancehall and soca sounds as the inspo behind some of their latest and most popular tracks.