The Top 10 Most Widely Spoken Languages in Toronto
Travelling abroad can be exciting. Places to go, people to meet, and food to eat! Each country has its own unique lifestyle for you to immerse yourself in. Why not immerse yourself in a place that has more cultures to offer than you could ever dream of! Toronto is often considered to be the most diverse city in the world!
You may be wondering just how multicultural this city is. Well, let’s take a look! Here’s a list of the 10 most spoken languages across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA):
10. Russian – Mostly situated in North York, the Russian community isn’t something you can stumble upon like the more prevalent cultures but it is there if you look for it! Take a look at restaurants such as Imperator (http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2012/07/russian_restaurants_in_toronto/) and taste Russian delicacies such as smoked sprats and liver pate!
9. Persian (Farsi) – Located within the Greater Toronto Area, Persians have made themselves at home in many areas of the city. Similar to the Russian community, they group together in smaller areas rather than have one concentrated nighbourhood. Shomal, or North, is considered one of the best Persian restaurants in Toronto. These people know how to work the grill! Their generous portions and deliciously marinated kebabs can be enjoyed over the live music they play. It’s a great way to discover their cultural traditions and values.
8. Portuguese – Located west of Ossington Ave. and south of College St. is Little Portugal. The surrounding area mostly consists of Portuguese, and recently, people of Brazilian backgrounds have been flooding the neighbourhood. For those who want to experience the essential qualities of Portuguese culture should head down to the McCormick Recreation Center, where most of the youth spend their time. Also, if you get hungry, there’s a wonderful Portuguese restaurant on the edge of Little Portugal, called Enoteca Sociale.
7. Italian – Little Italy may only cover a small geographic area of the city but the people there are very lively and outgoing! Italians are known for their love of food, something that becomes obvious when you visit this pleasant part of town. For instance, the Black Hoof is considered one of the top restaurants in all of Toronto! Serving experimental dishes from horse tartar to foie & pork liver parfait, this small Italian gem will have you coming back for more!
6. Tagalog – This community has been one of the fastest growing communities on this list. Some say that the Filipinos believe Canada to be their new land of opportunities; whatever the reason though, we are happy to share the city with them! Near the centre of the Tagalog speaking community is the Kapisanan Philippine Centre where visitors can familiarize themselves with standard Filipino traditions by participating in cultural activities! Feel free to drop by whenever you’re in the area!
5. Spanish – Spanish and Portuguese are somewhat similar in terms of temperament and attitude, so it makes sense they’re located near one another in Toronto. The Spanish are known for their outward friendliness so ask them to point you in the direction of one of the city’s highest rated restaurants, Bar Isabel! This Spanish-style snack bar owned by ex-Black Hoof chef Grant Van Gameren is a must visit for anybody spending time in Toronto.
4. Tamil – Within the past 30 years, the Tamil community has become one of the largest visible minority groups, located within the Greater Toronto Area!
3 & 2. Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese)– The Chinese community is so prevalent in Toronto that they have two towns with pockets of mini communities located throughout the Greater Toronto Area. They also have one of the largest indoor shopping centers (Pacific Mall) of all cultural groups. Chinatown, located between Queen St and College St is considered to be one of the largest concentrations of Chinese outside of China.
1. English – While it may be obvious, it’s still important to point out that English is the most spoken language in Toronto. Most of the people that speak other languages are bilingual and can speak English fluently! Toronto is known as a hub of mega cultures still looking for an overt and widely accepted identity. Many residents believe Toronto’s true identity is the mixture of all the different cultures that form the city’s fabric.
While the languages and cultures outlined on this list comprise the most visibly and widely spoken, it is important to note that over 150 languages and cultures are active across the city, accentuating the notion that Toronto is truly a city of cultural diversity!