Canada for Kids: Living in Toronto, Canada’s Most Diverse City
Welcome to Canada! In this Go With Nugget for Kids podcast episode we’re headed to Toronto, Canada’s biggest and most culturally diverse city. With the help of 14-year-old Cameron, we’ll learn about Canada’s two official languages and the many different types of foods Toronto has to offer. We’ll explore Maple Leaf Square (also known as Jurassic Park) and have dinner in a revolving restaurant high in the sky. We’ll also learn about when Cameron got to meet a real-life astronaut and the prime minister of Canada. If you love food, basketball and space, you’ll love this episode all about Toronto, Canada for kids!
FUN FACTS ABOUT CANADA: TWO OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
One of the things that makes Canada unique is that there are two official languages, English and French. Everything you see and read has both French and English writing on it — like street signs, groceries and even a tub of peanut butter. Most children in Canada learn French in school starting in kindergarten, and some schools start off all in French and then gradually add more classes in English as the children get older. This is called a French Immersion school and is the kind of elementary school that Cameron went to in Toronto.
Signs in Canada are usually in English and French.
Photo: IG Canada
Bilingual stop sign in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.
Photo: MPD01605 on Flickr.
Check out this bilingual tub of peanut butter.
Photo: Veronique Langlois Kinsey.
FUN FACTS ABOUT CANADA: TORONTO IS CANADA’S MOST MULTICULTURAL CITY
Although Canada has two official languages, about 20% of the population of Canada speaks a language other than English or French at home. This is because Canada has a large population of immigrants from other countries, and Toronto is the most culturally diverse city in Canada and the world! There are over 250 ethnicities and 170 languages in Toronto. Cameron has neighbors with cultural heritage from all around the world, including Greece, Malaysia, Italy, Vietnam and Southeast Asia. This diversity of cultures is one of the things that makes Toronto such a wonderful place to grow up.
Cameron’s school recently celebrated Tamil Heritage month. Tamil Heritage month celebrates the contributions that Tamil-Canadians have made to Canadian society. The Tamil people are originally from southern India and northern Sri Lanka. During this celebration, the students learned about the Tamil language and culture, and Cameron even got to shake hands with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau!
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeting kids during Tamil Heritage Month.
Photo: Lanka Reporter.
CANADA FOR KIDS: EXPLORING DIFFERENT FOODS IN KENSINGTON MARKET
One of Cameron’s favorite places to explore in Toronto is Kensington Market. It is a wonderful place to see, hear, smell and taste the diversity of the city. Kensington Market is a neighborhood filled with restaurants, shops and cafes where you can taste the cuisine of so many different cultures. Cameron’s favorites are Chinese dim sum (steamed dumplings), Indian food, especially a curry dish he calls butter chicken (similar to Chicken Tikka Masala) with naan bread, and Jamaican patties. Yum!
Ready for some yummy noodles and dim sum.
Photo: Heather Greenwood Davis.
CANADA FOR KIDS: EXPLORING TORONTO
View of Toronto from the annual summer Canadian National Exhibition.
ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS IN TORONTO: CN TOWER
The CN Tower is one of Canada’s national landmarks. Over 2 million people visit the tower every year to get a bird’s-eye view of all of Toronto, Lake Ontario and the Toronto islands. On a clear day, you can even see all the way to the state of New York! The CN Tower is the 9th tallest freestanding structure and it’s 553 meters high. That’s 1,814 feet! For those brave enough, you can get to the observation deck, a 360-degree rotating restaurant and a glass floor from one of the six glass elevators in just 58 seconds!
Cameron is ready to head up the CN Tower. Photo: Heather Greenwood Davis
Way up high is the observation deck.
Photo: Glenn Slingsby from Pixabay
ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS IN TORONTO: MAPLE LEAF SQUARE
Maple Leaf Square is a public space in Toronto where fans get together to watch live hockey and basketball games on the big, big screen. Toronto is home to NHL hockey team the Maple Leafs and NBA basketball team the Raptors (the 2019 NBA Finals champions). When the Raptors are playing, Maple Leaf Square is called Jurassic Park. He loves the energy and excitement of watching the games there with the crowds of fans. Cameron plays on his school’s basketball team and is a huge fan of the Raptors. Whenever he can, he goes to the games with his father and older brother.
ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS IN TORONTO: CENTRE ISLAND & CENTREVILLE
View of Toronto from the ferry to Centre Island.
Photo: Heather Greenwood Davis.
When you arrive on Centre Island, you’ll find parks, fountains, gardens, picnic areas and a great beach where Cameron likes to go swimming on a hot summer day. You can rent bikes or quadricycles and explore the island. There is a fun amusement park called Centreville with rides and games, as well as Far Enough Farm, where you can get up close to over 40 species of farm animals and exotic birds. Spending time on Centre Island makes you feel like you’re not in Canada’s biggest and busiest city, but instead on a beautiful, peaceful island in the middle of a lake!
ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS IN TORONTO: ONTARIO SCIENCE CENTRE
Another one of Cameron’s top places to go to in Toronto is the Ontario Science Centre. There are over 500 interactive experiences, as well as live science demonstrations and an IMAXⓇ Dome theatre.
Outside the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.
Photo: Ontario Science Centre.
In this Go With Nugget for Kids podcast episode, Cameron tells us about when he visited the Space Hall and Planetarium, where he got to meet Canada’s first female astronaut, Roberta Bondar. Roberta Bondar is a neurologist and a pioneer of space medicine research. She was one of the very first Canadian astronauts and flew on the American space shuttle Discovery in 1992. As a neurologist, she went to space to research how the human nervous system adapted to low gravity. Gravity is what keeps us on Earth from floating up off the ground — in space, there is little to no gravity. So, this research was important to help future space missions.
TORONTO FOR KIDS: A BIT ABOUT CAMERON
Cameron loves living in Toronto — he thinks it’s an amazing place to grow up and would love for kids everywhere to come and explore his hometown of Toronto, Canada. One of the reasons he really appreciates where he lives, is that he and his family have travelled together to over 47 countries! His favorite was learning about all the culture and history of China.
Cameron feels that his travels have made him more open-minded and willing to try new things. He was so inspired by his travels, and even started his own YouTube channel called Cameron Travels, where he encourages kids to get out of their comfort zone and explore! Check it out!
Here is his YouTube video about his top 5 things to do in Toronto. Enjoy!
This episode would not have been possible without the help and generosity of Cameron’s mother, Heather Greenwood Davis, for sharing their travels and the places they love to visit in their city. Heather is also a writer and editor for National Geographic Traveler and The Globe and Mail, a TV Travel Expert on The Social on CTV and founder of Globetrotting Mama.
Go With Nugget for Kids is a proud member of Kids Listen, an international organization of advocates for high quality audio content for children. If you love kids podcast, go check them out!
Go With Nugget for Kids is part of Nugget, a global community for parents to share and discover unique travel itineraries for memorable family vacations.
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