City Life

This project also analyzed the role of the city in terms of creating a home-based identity for International Students. As a sort of implicit counterbalance to culture shock, Toronto offers a unique environment to the dislocation felt by new arrivals thanks to the various cultures that reside within the city. The sort of accepting nature of Toronto is due to the city’s early adoption of a multiculturalism policy (1971) the goal of which is to ensure

the freedom of all members of Canadian society to preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage…to ensure all individuals receive equal treatment and equal protection under the law, while respecting their diversity….to encourage and assist the social and inclusive nature of Canada’s multicultural character (Qadeer 22).

The interviewees stated that it was thanks to the multicultural aspect of the City that they had been able to acclimate and become comfortable with their host country. This accepting atmosphere meant that the students either had none or minimal issues with acclimatizing to Toronto culture. This is likely due to the fact that much of Toronto’s population itself is comprised of minority cultures and, because of this, Mohammed Abdul Qadeer argues that minorities are able to shape the social norms and practices seen in the city.

It allows them to tie together communities through the creation of common grounds, that being grounds all citizens agree upon in the city, while also allowing for minorities to own the values and norms, therefore creating a sense of belonging that may apply to any migrant entering the city (30-31).