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Toronto/Hello, just some Qs


Dear Sir,

WOuld you mind answering these?

1. What makes Canadian art so different from anything else in the world ?

2. What makes the ongoing developing ethnicity in Toronto different than any other multicultural societies ?(should there be any difference)

3. Are there any ghost towns in Ontario like there are in other parts of Canada due to lack of population ?

4. Why is it Cities like Hamilton, Guelph and Kitchener waterloo look pretty much simple and mind you primitive while Toronto is so robust and alive ? Is it because they are actually towns ?

5. Why are there so many Chinese in Hamilton ?

Excuse me for the many questions here...

6. Why do you say "Anyways" in Canadian while -Anyway- in Britsh English ? I bet you also use "anyway" in Canadian ?

Yours sincerely,


Hi Jake,

Some great questions, and honestly, none of them can be answered in a short description, but I'm going to try at answer at least a couple.

Canadian Art: Well, going back into the late 19th Century, there were already some prominent Canadian artists, but these usually used a style very much like the European masters. The so-called "Canadian Style" started at the beginning of the 20th Century with a group of talented artists that formed an association among themselves called the Group of Seven. Some of these were World War One artists who were right out there on the battlefield, and captured scenes that later would become world famous because of their realistic nature and use of unique colours and techniques. After the war, artists like Arthur Lismer, A. Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris and others formed the Group that featured art that had broad, stylized landscapes and used colour to help enhance the mood of a painting. Tom Thompson is considered one of the most famous of the group, but this is an error, as he died before the Group was actually formed. His landscape paintings are unusual and unique in their treatment of trees and water. I haven't mentioned my own personal early Canadian favourite, Emily Carr. Her paintings should be seen to be appreciated - Use of many shades of one colour - green, for example - give her works a depth that wasn't seen before.

Toronto's Ethnic Mix: This is a fairly recent development, say in the last 30 years or so. In the 1960's, Toronto had very large resident Italian, Portuguese, Greek and Jewish communities, and they all had their distinct neighbourhoods. In addition, there were smaller Chinese, Norwegian, Japanese, Polish and other groups represented. In the years since, and especially since the 1970's, when the Province of Quebec toyed with the idea of Sovereignty, over a million people moved from Montreal to Toronto, making the latter the largest city in Canada.

Conflicts around the world, and the vision of Canada being a haven for people who wanted a "better life", (and Toronto especially, because of its world-famous ethnic makeup,) attracted people from India, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Vietnam, the Philippines and Hong Kong among others.

It's calculated that over 56% of Toronto's population were born in other countries. In the recent World Cup, every single nation taking part was represented by a different Toronto neighbourhood. And Toronto is huge - fourth largest city in area and population in North America. It's honestly like no other city in the world.

And yes, I use "Anyway"... eh?

Sorry I couldn't answer all your questions, and the ones I did answer would normally take a couple of hours to fully explain, over a cup of Tim Horton's coffee. Or poutine. Or butter tarts.



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Paul Caplin


I can answer most questions about Toronto, its history, culture, lifestyle and it's ongoing developing ethnicity. I'm also able to answer questions on the Province of Ontario in general, the history of "Upper Canada", its settlers and communities, and the importance of this province to Canada. I also am an expert on the history of some of the pro sports teams in the Toronto area, and can answer questions on the football Argonauts, hockey Maple Leafs and baseball Blue Jays. I can also answer questions pretaining to Canadian Visual Art, the Group of Seven, and what makes Canadian art so different from anything else in the world.


Born and raised in Toronto, there probably isn't a side street I haven't walked, a restaurant I haven't been in, a neighbourhood I haven't toured or a streetcar I haven't taken. I've seen communities come and go, buildings built and torn down, to be replaced by others, and seen the growth of Toronto that has become the incredible ethnic mix that it is today, more than any other city in the world.

Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, Bachelor of Education from University of Toronto, Associateship of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Retired music, art, Canadian history and drama teacher at the secondary school level for 35 years (31 in the same school).

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