Not everybody who pitches up at our hostel in Toronto is just a backpacker. We also get our share of business travelers; conventioneers; and people moving to; or planning to move to Canada.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free….” that is a portion of a Sonnet written by the 19th Century poet, Emma Lazarus, that is affixed inside the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.
Anyone who had tried to pull up a stakes and emigrate knows that statement isn’t exactly true any longer. In fact, moving to another country is a long and invloved process that has become more difficult even as travel itself has become easier.
So besides backpackers, we get a good many “conference attendees” (the Toronto Conference Centre a mere three blocks from our front door) as well as budget business travelers, especially during economic downturns.
We also get our fair share of individuals scoping out Toronto for work opportunites and possible immigration. And according to the U.N., Toronto is the most multi-cultural city on earth!
As a born-and-raised Torontonian (as well as being a member of a visible ethnic minority) I know that Toronto’s reputation for tolerance has been hard-earned and well-deserved.
But I am also acutely aware of our torridly humid summers and brutal winters.
We have a young “landed immigrant” in the hostel as I write this. He’s from the U.K. and he is a physician by profession. Quite a catch for Canada!
Other recent “immigrants” are the family of a crown prosecuter from London, England; a pharmacist from South Africa; a pscychiatric social worker from Chicago; and a para-medic from the U.K. via the French Foreign Legion.
Now this type of reverse brain-drain we can really use!
Dalbir (a physician from the U.K.) with Hailey(staff member from Canada) and Mika (from Japan).