Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hometown Memories: Delightful Diversity

“Embracing diversity is one adventure after another, opening new paths of discovery that connect an
understanding to caring, listening, and sharing with others who are different than ourselves.”
- April Holland -

I was born and raised in my hometown of Montreal, and spent 44 years of my life there, and although I enjoyed living in a big city in my youth, I grew tired of the congestion, the nerve-racking traffic, the flood of tall buildings, the crowds, the noise, the impatient (and oftentimes rude) people and the frantic pace as I grew older. My husband felt the same, and in 2009 we packed up and moved to Kingston, a much smaller area with a fraction of the population. And we love it here.

The neighbourhood I grew up in is one of Canada's most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods,
representing many continents of the world. It is visually interesting, and full of character.

But even though I’d never opt to live in the big city of Montreal again, I do love visiting it for the same reason I enjoy visiting other big cities near us: the multiculturalism. As Canada’s second largest city, my hometown is ethnically diverse. And when I’m immersed in its cultural mosaic, it is exhilarating. From a photographer’s perspective, a culturally diverse population is more visually interesting, and from a personal perspective, it is enlightening. I feel more connected to the world when I mingle with a wide array of people with differing beliefs, mother tongues, histories, traditions and ancestries.

Spending time downtown is a great way to get a feel for the city's diverse population.

Aside from being near my family, this mix of people is the only thing I miss about living in a big city. And one of the reasons we visit Montreal, and the other cities nearby by, from time to time. To get our multicultural fix.

Do you live, or have you ever lived, in a diverse area?

27 comments:

  1. Well..................as you know I live here and love every single thing about it ( except for the language issues - which I think is the main reason why people leave to be honest with you )
    I LOVE the diversity AND the congestion LOL
    I could live in Manhattan in a heartbeat!
    xoxo

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    1. And yet, you moved into an off-island suburb! What the hell are you doing, girl? I expected you'd get a condo or rent an apartment right smack in the downtown area!

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  2. I live in very diverse Toronto...my favorite part is having access to any kind of food in the world!

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    1. I love visiting, Toronto. We do that just about every year. It's always a joy to see all that diversity.

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  3. I am most definitely a small-town boy at heart, though I love visiting the big cities and seeing all they have to offer :)

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    1. That's the point in my life I'm at. I enjoy visiting big cities; I just don't want to live there!

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  4. I have been to Montreal a long time ago and loved the city but I think you made a good choice moving to Kingston ... from all the photos you have shared it looks so beautiful...

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    1. We love Kingston! Best decision we ever made was to move here. I think we say that every few days or so! LOL...

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  5. I think most larger Canadian cities are relatively diverse, although the bigger they are, the more diversity there is of course, simply because of the larger population base. Canada has always depended on immigration for our population growth and the cultural and racial diversity it brings is a good thing. I'm very proud of how we have created the Canadian cultural value of tolerance (even if we're not perfect all the time and yes, it was a long and hard journey to get to this point). Other parts of the world desperately need to learn that value from us.

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    1. I totally agree with you, Debra. Canada is a great example of tolerance. We have some areas to iron out but I think we're doing very well. What an incredible country we live in. So peaceful. So progressive. Makes me so darn proud.

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  6. I live in a rural area but before this, the east coast. Very busy, hectic and loud. Also kind of smelly.

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    1. I've never lived in a rural area, but the city we're in now is much MUCH smaller, so we have a small-town feeling but with all the big city amenities. Very cool.

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    2. That is very cool. We too can get easily to markets, stores and so forth. Which is nice. But where we live is more tucked away. The only bad bit is the road we live on is not safe to walk the pups or ourselves. No bikes either, unless you don't mind being road toast.

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  7. Enjoyed my year in Notre Dame de Grace - walked all over the city!! Nice photos, Martha!

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    1. I love doing that, Franice...just waling all over the city. I do that whenever I visit my family in Montreal. And take oodles of photos, too! So much to see and do.

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  8. I live in Portland, Oregon and love it's diversity!

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    1. From your photos, it looks like an amazing part of the world!

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  9. Multiculturalism is very necessary for us to be exposed to a wider vision of the world we live in. You certainly do well with multiculturalism.

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  10. it's sort of diverse here I guess

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  11. I totally get it, Martha, about big city atmosphere.....nothing better at times.
    Halifax is just starting to show (over last 15 years or so) some diversity of ethnic backgrounds. The universities bring in students from all over the world and this can only add to the atmosphere of this city.

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    1. Sometimes a big city fix is exactly what's needed. I love the vibrancy, the diversity and all the sights and sounds. But I don't want to live there anymore. Just visit. From your photos, it looks like Halifax is quite similar to Kingston. There isn't enough diversity here, so we get that fix in the bigger areas.

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  12. My husband and I visited Montreal a few years ago. One of the things that surprised me the most is how often drivers used their car horns. We would try to see if one full minute would go by without a horn blasting. It didn't happen. That said, we were only there for three days.

    I currently live in a city of 86, 000. It is far, far too big for me. I want to move and soon!

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    1. Montreal drivers are VERY rude and aggressive. I used to hate driving there. Still do. It's like driving through a video game where you're trying to stay alive. I can only imagine how stressful it is for people that come from smaller areas that are not used to that.

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  13. Hate the traffic and especially the construction, but I sure do love the food in Mtl, and miss it dearly.

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    1. Oh yeah, the construction! I was in Montreal yesterday, and it was everywhere. It seems that it's happening 365 days a year!

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