I just finished reading the book, “Arrival Village” by Doug Saunders.
A lot of my friends have been been come to Canada from other countries and others like myself came to Toronto from another province in Canada.
Toronto has always been the economic engine of Canada.
When I arrived in 1964 a number of big companies had head offices in Montreal but because of the English/French crisis that led to
corporations leaving Montreal Bay St. grew bigger and stronger.
“Arrival City ” is a book that explains how many countries have dealt with the rural folks either of their country or from another country settling on the edge of urban areas by forming shanty towns or settling in a tough part of the city that didn’t have the full services of the city to support them to own homes and built businesses so they could create wealth and usually within a ten year period move into the middle class of their new society.
The books talks a great length about how some countries -Toronto, being one of them , have done it right -identifying the new comers needs and providing them with the tools and opportunity for upward mobility because at the end or the day that is the name of the game.
It also talks about other countries notably France, Germany , Turkey and countries in Latin and South America who did not do it right and suffered greatly for it.
France and Germany are still not understanding the concept that is causing a big issue in both countries.
Toronto is a city of neighborhoods that work. We have so many ethnic neighborhoods that are integrated smoothly into the city as a whole. Thorncliffe Park is as an example of an Arrival City that worked well from the beginning and continues to work well as a model Arrival City.
A Philipino expert is quoted as saying that a five story structure with stores in the bottom and residences on top is the perfect density for an Arrival City. This is needed to create a critical of people to from a diverse and supportive community.
Having moved from a French neighborhood to an English neighborhood when I was 6 years old makes me identify to some degree with these people. I did not speak any English when we moved and there was only one French family in the new community who didn’t speak French.
Perhaps it is why I feel comfortable as a Global Traveler being a perpetual outsider -sympathetic and understanding of the new people I meet in my travels.
I highly recommend this book to all open minded people who have not had the struggle of being a transplant to a new country.
One stat that keeps coming up. Twice the number children of new comers go on to university as those who are native born. This illustrate how motivated they are to succeed in their chosen country and take advantage of opportunity presented to them by their adopted country.