Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toronto.pl

Since I arrived to Toronto on Saturday, my state of mind is nothing short of amazement and awe, mixed with pride and respect for the people I have met in this city. So sad, that Polish community or better, Polish diaspora, in the United States of America stole a mainstream of news on Poles in North America. Polish community in Canada - in my humble opinion - has been living far too long in the shadow of its mighty big brother from the States and somehow deprived of its due glory and credit for its amazing history...

Already overwhelmed by the wonderful welcome I experienced in the vibrant Polish community in Montreal, the hospitality and care I have been shown since the very first moment of my arrival to Toronto added to it with great intensity. My Polish hosts in Toronto are just awesome!

I had no idea, prior to my arrival to Canada, how well organized, how vibrant, how rich in history and human talents, ingenuity and resources is Polish community in Toronto and Canada at large. I wrote a bit on this topic already when I was in Montreal, but being in Toronto.pl is just being on another planet! Yes, it should be renamed to Toronto.pl! 300,000 strong Polish diaspora in Toronto, with its nucleus in and around Roncesvalles makes for a very large city in Polish terms (in comparison to other Polish cities in our homeland). I am scared to imagine how it will be when I get to Chicago with over a million strong Polonia there? Judging from my present experience of Toronto with three times smaller community, I guess I may forget there that I am in USA, as I have to keep reminding me that I am still in Canada here!

With a plethora or diverse organizations, groups, movements, most of them living and acting in  close connection to Polish parishes, Polish bank, Polish TV and radio stations, myriad of Polish schools, businesses, you name it, it just makes me feel so proud to be Polish myself!

It has been a bit sad comparison to me when I see such a powerful display of Polish national pride and love for our country and its history - here in Canada, when I feel this strong sense of national identity and belonging to our homeland being in Canada among my compatriots, and sometimes - back home in Poland you feel as if some of Poles feel ashamed of their nationality and work on destroying our history and national identity... 

Here, in Toronto, it feels so good to be Pole. It feels so good to marvel at the hard work of so many generations of our predecessors who arrived to Canada since 19th century and others followed in waves sent overseas from our homeland by waves of violence, wars, persecutions and other economical or political factors...

I just picked up a few links and YouTube videos on Toronto and Polish community in Toronto and elsewhere, just to give you an idea of how it looks like being a Pole in Toronto and how proud we all should be of our compatriots who gave their all to make Canada a better place and share their charisma, talents and love for their new homeland, never forgetting of who they are and where they came from... God bless Poland! God bless Canada! God bless Poles in Canada!






I saw Stella Polonia 'in action' last Sunday at the thanksgiving dinner prepared by the Knights of Columbus at Our Lady of Czestochowa in Scarborough, Toronto.


And now, the Polish Kashuby, with Vilno its 'capital city', where the first Polish settlers arrived in 19th century...





 It's so cool to be a Pole in Toronto!



2 comments:

  1. Polish community aside,...so long as you don't become a Leafs fan,.we're okay! ;)

    ReplyDelete