iva portugal. over 500 years!
- In 1501, Gaspar Corte-Real explored what was likely the Newfoundland coast, earning the title of the frst person of Portuguese descent to see Canada.
- Swallows are often seen on Portuguese ceramics because these migratory birds always seek to build their nests in the same place where they previously inhabited, becoming a symbol of family and home.
Ever tasted those amazing custard tarts you fnd in a Portuguese bakery? Pastel de nata is undoubtedly the most popular Portuguese dessert, especially among Torontonians, regardless of whether you are of Portuguese descent or not. Some foodies in the city even describe the making of such tarts by various Portuguese bakeries as a "competitive sport."
Te contribution of the Portuguese community to food in the city cannot be overstated. Just think of fresh fsh dishes, churrasco grilled meat, sardines, cod, octopus, and those mouth watering pastries!
But what also comes to mind is bright colours in tiles, beautiful ceramics, "fado" music, soccer, and a true love of life.
Little Portugal remains a distinct area in Toronto, south of College around Ossington Avenue. Many businesses have been there since the late 1960s – bakeries, grocery stores, religious goods, jewelry stores.
Tis is around the time when the community was in its early years. In 1955, Canada's Department of Citizenship and Immigration brought around 500 Portuguese workers from the Azores Islands to Canada to work in the mining, railway and farming sectors of northern Ontario. When their contracts expired, many Portuguese men made their way to larger cities, such as Toronto. Like other new Canadians in Toronto, they found seasonal work. Tese were many of the men who built the city's new infrastructure and many new buildings that would defne Toronto's landscape.
Given the location of Catholic churches close to Kensington Market, Portuguese migrants gravitated to this area, and over a few decades, left their mark on this unique part of Toronto's cityscape. Just walk up and down the streets in the area and admire the homes on Augusta Avenue, Baldwin Street and Nassau Street, all were transformed with gardens on front lawns and with freshly painted brick faCades.
Te area around Alexandra Park also became one of Toronto's Portuguese neighbourhoods. To this day, you can visit "Portugal Square" in the land around St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church on Bathurst and Adelaide Streets. Te old church, built in 1852, original intended to serve Irish parishioners, soon became a Portuguese centre of faith.
But perhaps, one of the most important contributions has been the role played by the Portuguese community in the implementation of new policies in Canada, and in Toronto, in order to celebrate what was a new concept in the 1970's, "multiculturalism". From the beginning, the First Portuguese Canadian Club, Portuguese teachers and Portuguese community leaders were deeply involved with the efforts of the federal government and Toronto to deal with issues of equity, and to recognize and support cultural diversity in the city.