As you start getting settled in Canada, amidst the excitement of starting a new phase of your life, there may be some times when you miss your home country and culture. One advantage of living in Canada is that it’s a cultural melting pot and you’ll always be able to find a taste of home around you.
Toronto is especially unique because it’s one of the most multicultural cities in the world. As a Filipino newcomer, you’ll be able to easily connect with your community and enjoy experiences you normally associate with home. We spoke to newcomers from the Philippines living in Toronto and asked them to share their recommendations for great Filipino restaurants, places to shop and enjoy culture, and places to find the daily support needed to adapt to life in Canada.
In this article:
- Filipino restaurants in Toronto and the GTA
- Filipino grocery stores in Toronto and the GTA
- Filipino shopping and culture in Toronto and the GTA
- Places to worship in Toronto
- Find daily support in Toronto
Toronto is an incredible city for all kinds of food and its Filipino food selection is second to none. Here are some local favourites that come highly recommended:
- Casa Manila (Try their Kare Kare)
- Kanto by Tita Flips
- B’s Sizzling Kitchen, Etobicoke
- Jollibee, multiple locations
Most large grocery store chains carry at least the basic ingredients used in Filipino cooking. However, if you’re looking for items that are harder to find, here are some Filipino grocery stores you can visit:
When it comes to celebrating Filipino culture in Toronto, there are many events happening all year round across the city. The Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show is one of the biggest indoor events for Filipinos in North America. For outdoor festivities, Taste Of Manila is the largest Filipino festival outside of the Philippines, featuring authentic Filipino food, cultural events, and even shopping. There’s also a new Winter Festival called Pasko Sa Kultura, which is dedicated to the culture of the Philippines.
If you’re more interested in recreational services or fun workshops, then the Filipino Centre Toronto is a great place to start. You can stay up to date on events or participate in some of their weekly activities.
As a newcomer from the Philippines, you’ll find several places of worship in and around Toronto that hold prayer ceremonies in your language. Here are some places frequented by Filipino newcomers:
- First Filipino Baptist Church, 382 Lippincott St
- Filipino Alliance Church Of Toronto, 3250 Finch Ave E, Scarborough
- Faith Filipino Seventh day Adventist Church, 452 College St
In your first few months in Canada, you may need some support to help ease your transition into your new life and city. You may require services that help you build your job skills, offer language classes for you or your children, and provide support to help you adapt to your community. Here are some places that provide services to newcomers:
- Filipino Centre Toronto offers employment services, educational programs, financial services, and a platform for networking with others in the Filipino community.
- Kababayan Multicultural Centre offers community programs for youth, women, seniors and young women. They also offer a broad range of settlement services for newcomers such as interpretation and translation services, employment services, and computer training.
- The Neighbourhood Organization offers settlement resources and programs, including Child And Family Programs and Housing Services, to support you in this new phase of your life in Toronto.
- The Centre For Immigration and Community Services (CICS) is a valuable resource for helping to get you settled in Toronto. Along with employment and early childhood services, they also offer opportunities for community and volunteer engagement.
- Toronto Public Library is a great resource for newcomer services, such as access to settlement workers, personal finance programs, English as a Second Language workshops, and for community building.
- ACCES Employment offers career guidance, including workshops on creating a Canadian-style resume and preparing for job interviews.
COSTI Settlement Services offers online employment workshops, language training, and skill building services to help newcomers prepare for the workforce.