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Old 05-20-2012, 02:17 PM
 
265 posts, read 717,621 times
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Being born and raised in TO, I could never separate the Italian presence as being one of the most important aspects of TO's identity. In fact, for those of you who are linguistically aware, the TO accent spoken by many young people, mostly in the 90's and to some degree today, has a strong influence from Italian intonation and stress.

The reason why the "Italian" image is more pronounced in the US is two-fold. Because the US is assimilationist, cultural groups need to wear their ethnic heritage on their sleeves and over-emphasize characteristics that allow them to diverge or stand out from mainstream culture even more. It's a way of making them more obvious. In Canada, there is very little pressure to assimilate so you can live your life as you see comfortably fit as you did in Europe. Of course, families pass down this mentality through the generations. The second reason is that all of the Italian themed films from the US are consumed abroad, and thus the Italian-American culture has become mainstream. But does that mean that Italian-Canadians act the same? no.

Make no mistake about it, Italian-Canadians are very proud of their heritage and have their own way of being within the city. You can still feel some of that old school Italian culture on St. Clair which is nice, but it has all been pushed out into the suburbs.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:44 PM
 
265 posts, read 717,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhundred View Post
I've found that montreal's european enclaves seem to greater define the city's than toronto's. The greek and Italian influences on montreal not to mention jewish are more pronounced in the city than Toronto's it seems. Even though numerically toronto likely has more members.
Think about this way. In a society where your own ethnicity is more likely to be compromised (French Canada), the more reason you need to be overt with who you are. Because TO has less of that looming pressure from above, the less you find the need to be obvious about it. These notions are subtle, but fun to think about. I think the Greek and Italian presence in both cities is highly numerous so their nature if obvious and easy to observe. However, Quebec has forced a lot of smaller ethnic groups with less of a support network from their own ethnic groups to assimilate rapidly or leave the province.
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:51 PM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
1,328 posts, read 2,830,853 times
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The Strait of Toronto?
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:17 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 49,068,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a_jordania View Post
Being born and raised in TO, I could never separate the Italian presence as being one of the most important aspects of TO's identity. In fact, for those of you who are linguistically aware, the TO accent spoken by many young people, mostly in the 90's and to some degree today, has a strong influence from Italian intonation and stress.

The reason why the "Italian" image is more pronounced in the US is two-fold. Because the US is assimilationist, cultural groups need to wear their ethnic heritage on their sleeves and over-emphasize characteristics that allow them to diverge or stand out from mainstream culture even more. It's a way of making them more obvious. In Canada, there is very little pressure to assimilate so you can live your life as you see comfortably fit as you did in Europe. Of course, families pass down this mentality through the generations. The second reason is that all of the Italian themed films from the US are consumed abroad, and thus the Italian-American culture has become mainstream. But does that mean that Italian-Canadians act the same? no.

Make no mistake about it, Italian-Canadians are very proud of their heritage and have their own way of being within the city. You can still feel some of that old school Italian culture on St. Clair which is nice, but it has all been pushed out into the suburbs.
Indeed it was also overshadowed by the very large Italian concentrations in the Northeast as well. The Italian presence does link Toronto, Buffalo and Cleveland to the BosWash culturally speaking. But as you said, Canadians don't need to play up their heritage as much, although like here it seems Italians at least in the NE are more likely to draw attention to their ethnic identity than other groups.
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:31 PM
 
Location: CHicago, United States
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Originally Posted by scottyr View Post
So why is Toronto's Italian community have such a low profile?
I don't think it does. Never has had a "low profile."
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
24,335 posts, read 30,580,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a_jordania View Post
Think about this way. In a society where your own ethnicity is more likely to be compromised (French Canada), the more reason you need to be overt with who you are. Because TO has less of that looming pressure from above, the less you find the need to be obvious about it. These notions are subtle, but fun to think about. I think the Greek and Italian presence in both cities is highly numerous so their nature if obvious and easy to observe. However, Quebec has forced a lot of smaller ethnic groups with less of a support network from their own ethnic groups to assimilate rapidly or leave the province.
I think that the pressure in Montreal comes not just from the francophone side, but also from the anglo minority in the city, that also wants immigrants to come onto their side so that they can be more "Canadian" (sic) and less Québécois.

It's really this push and pull between French and English that has made many of the groups in Montreal decide to retain languages like Italian, Greek, etc. moreso than elsewhere on the continent, since then they don't have to pick sides in the quarrel.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:50 PM
 
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Last time I checked the GTA is the 5th largest Italian community in North America - behind New York/northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston, but #2 in terms of the number of people born in Italy or who speak Italian at home. The postwar immigration was modest in Philadelphia and Boston, larger in Chicago, and most significant in NY/NJ and Toronto.

Vaughan is not 70% Italian, more like 40% - but it is still a substantial concentration.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:52 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 3,070,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhundred View Post
I've found that montreal's european enclaves seem to greater define the city's than toronto's. The greek and Italian influences on montreal not to mention jewish are more pronounced in the city than Toronto's it seems. Even though numerically toronto likely has more members.
Part of the reason for the more visible Jewish enclave in Montreal is because it has a far larger Hasidic community.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Canada
4,758 posts, read 9,124,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I think that the pressure in Montreal comes not just from the francophone side, but also from the anglo minority in the city, that also wants immigrants to come onto their side so that they can be more "Canadian" (sic) and less Québécois.

It's really this push and pull between French and English that has made many of the groups in Montreal decide to retain languages like Italian, Greek, etc. moreso than elsewhere on the continent, since then they don't have to pick sides in the quarrel.
Pish posh! How would we be able to put pressure on anyone? We don't have any power. All we do is just go about our lives casually in English and if Italians want to speak it to us in it we're perfectly happy about it. We aren't actively working to assimilate anybody, that's just the paranoia of the Francophone press getting into your head and confusing us with assimilationists in Ontario.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:02 PM
 
455 posts, read 985,173 times
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I'm probably not exaggerating much when I say a trip through woodbridge would remind you of an episode of the jersey shore. Toronto is not too different from a lot of other large cities with italian populations that have mostly moved out to the burbs. I remember reading an article not too long ago about how the dominant language in the historical little italy of new york is now chinese.
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