Toronto is an extremely diverse city filled with people of all kinds of different races and ethnicities. We've got multicultural neighbourhoods like Greektown, Chinatown, and Koreatown, which is pretty wonderful. Apparently we even have six Chinatowns in Toronto? We're probably the most diverse city in all of the country.
There are currently over 530,000 Chinese Canadians living in the GTA, and us Chinese Canadians make up over 40% of the Asian Canadian population. Pretty crazy, right? There are also 50,000 Chinese-Vietnamese Canadians living in Toronto (holla). If you're Chinese and were born or raised here in Toronto, you've probably experienced some of these things. Everyone grows up differently and has their own different experiences, but this is what I've experienced as a Toronto-born Chinese/Vietnamese kid that some of you might be able to relate to.
1. You went to Chinatown a lot as a kid.
And had yum cha with all your relatives.
2. Walking by this freaked you out.
Photo cred – Eric Parker
3. Especially when it looked like this.
4. As a kid, you loved going to Dragon City and Chinatown Centre.
Hong Kong waffles, mmm.
5. Awkward family photos at every fam jam.
6. You were forced to go to school to learn Canto or Mando.
7. Your job options were either a doctor, lawyer or accountant.
Photo cred – Mike Tigas
8. At one point in your life, you were always at Pacific Mall.
9. You used to (and maybe still) get 3-hour long lectures about why you're always wrong.
10. You remember "Asian Avenue".
11. Pronouncing "pho" the way it looks instead of "phuh".
Or your non-Asian friends won't understand you.
13. If you're a girl on Tinder, you've gotten "I love Asians!" or "yes, my first Asian girl!" at least once.
*Cough* Yellow Fever.
Photo cred – VELD Music Festival Toronto
14. Your Asian friends' Snapchat stories: raving, raving, and more raving.
300 seconds of distorted audio and flashing lights.
15. The Asian glow.
Luckily, not all of us get it.
16. Despite all of us being Chinese, we have different distinguishers.
Saying this from a completely objective perspective. CBCs (Canadian-born Chinese) and FOBs (fresh off the boat). HK and Mainlanders. Canto and Mando.
Photo cred – Celine L.
17. Chatime is the Starbucks of Asian girls.
18. Winter uniform: Goose jacket, LV belt or bag, True Religion jeans or leggings.
Variations include Parajumpers, Moose Knuckles, and Mackages. You also know what an LG is. Enjoy.
19. Despite the diversity of the city, encountering people who talk to you like you're an alien.
"Ni hao! Where are you from? China? You're from Canada? No wonder your English is so good!"
20. You've been asked variations of "where are you from?" more than once.