Last Thursday, my daughter and I went biking around our neighborhood as we usually do some summer mornings. We happen to pass by the area library, so we decided to stop by to rest a while and look around for something to borrow.
For those who don’t know it, in Toronto, most public libraries are filled with not only books, magazines, newspapers and other printed materials – it is also a repository of many audio and video materials that any Toronto resident can borrow and bring home to watch or listen to. And that includes movies. When I say movies, I mean movies that are of different genres – from Hollywood blockbusters, to documentaries, French language movies, Chinese language movies, etc. If you’re an information buff, you’ll never run out of topic to read or watch or listen to just by dropping by the nearest library.
It has been a habit of ours to borrow at least 5 DVD’s from the library whenever we stop by and for this day, I happen to find a National Film Board of Canada documentary on Flemingdon Park – a place in Toronto very special to me and my family because this is where we really started our humble beginning in Canada – on our own.
I borrowed the film and watched it the next morning.
After finishing the film, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Flemingdon Park’s history was that colorful. Also, if not for the information from the movie, I never really noticed how diversely stretched from a lot of different countries the people are living in the area. Imagine only a two and a half square kilometer (1 square mile) community in Canada where a hundred different nationalities live and co-existed with each other?
While we still live there, we’ve got to know some neighbors who were from Pakistan and India, but once in a mix like Flemingdon Park, you are not so sure if the black guy you’re talking to is from Guyana or Trinidad because it’s not easy to distinguish just from their accents – except of course a Jamaican, which has become commonly known by most because of Hollywood movies.
Or how do you distinguish a Russian from a Ukranian? And if you only see people here mingling side by side, its difficult even to guess from where a person originated from based on just color of their skin or even with their English accent. The claim of one former resident in the documentary about the village is true – that if you live in Flemingdon Park, you don’t view people of other nationality anymore different from yourself. You see them just like you – just trying to make life work in your new home.
It was really amazing to know that I was lucky to have lived in a multi-cultural community like Flemo (as my kids call the area). Unfortunately for me and my wife, we did not fully took advantage of the opportunity to immerse ourselves within the community because like most immigrant Filipinos who are new in Canada, the first and foremost course of action was to get busy to make a living for the family. But at least our kids were able to live in this kind of environment, which I think will enable them to learn to be more tolerable to a culture different from their own.
If you’re from the Philippines or even if you’re from any country who’s moving to Toronto and have not decided where to stay yet, try living in Flemingdon Park and experience what living in a global environment really is. It’s not going to be easy interacting with people of different cultures, but that’s what living in Canada is all about. It’s also an experience worth going through.
As for apartments, here are some around the area: 1 Deauville Lane (that’s where we lived), 100 Leeward Glenway, 7 St. Dennis Drive, 10 St. Dennis Drive, 5 Dufresne Court and so many others. Here’s a Google Map of the area apartments and for more information, just search using Google or Yahoo with the phrase “Flemingdon park apartments”.