As a newcomer to Canada, it’s natural to occasionally miss your home country and crave things that remind you of home. One of the advantages of being in a country as diverse as Canada is that, no matter which city you’re in, you can always find a taste of home.
As you settle in Canada, staying in touch with your cultural roots can help you overcome homesickness, forge connections with other newcomers in your community, and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Toronto is the most multicultural city in Canada. If you’re an Indian living in Toronto or the GTA, you’ll find lots of options for Indian food and culture. Toronto even has entire neighbourhoods dedicated to all things Indian. To help you better adapt to life in Toronto while staying connected to your roots, we asked Indians living in Toronto and the GTA to list their favourite locations for food, shopping, cultural gatherings, faith, and general support. Here’s what they shared with us:
In this article:
- Indian restaurants in Toronto and the GTA
- Indian grocery stores in Toronto
- Indian shopping and cultural events in Toronto
- Places to worship across Toronto
- Finding daily support in Toronto
While there are a host of Indian restaurants and food options in and around Toronto, the following favourites come highly recommended:
For North Indian food:
- Moti Mahal, Gerrard Street, Toronto
- Parathe Wali Gali, Brampton
- Sher e Punjab, Danforth avenue, Toronto
For South Indian food:
- Sarvana Bhavan, Scarborough and Mississauga
- Coconut Grove, Scarborough and Mississauga
- Thanima, Mississauga
- Udupi Madras Cafe, Mississauga
- Dosa Twist, Etobicoke
- Taste of Malayalees, Mississauga
- Nammude Kada, Brampton
For Gujarati and vegetarian cuisine:
- Shreeji Catering and Takeout, Brampton
For Indo-Chinese food:
- Super Hakka, Scarborough
Many of the large grocery chains in Toronto and the GTA have dedicated aisles for Indian products. For instance, you might be able to find many of the items needed for Indian cooking in grocery stores like FreshCo, No Frills, and Walmart.
For harder to find items, specialized Indian grocery stores include:
- Panchvati, multiple locations
- Motherland, Brampton and Scarborough
- Om India, Etobicoke
- Subzi Mandi, Brampton
- Queen Supermarket, Downtown Toronto
- Kerala Groceries, Brampton
If you prefer to buy groceries online, you can also visit:
Several Diwali and Eid celebrations happen across Toronto and its suburbs, such as Brampton, Scarborough, and Mississauga. Local temples, mosques, and community centres usually have information on these gatherings. Gerrard Street in the south-east end of Toronto also hosts many Indian festivals.
If you’re looking for Indian clothing or jewelry, Brampton or the Indian Bazaar at Gerrard Street are the places to visit.
Toronto’s focus on multiculturalism means you have plenty of options for worshiping in your faith. As a newcomer from India, depending on where you live in Toronto or the GTA, you might even be able to find places of worship where prayers and ceremonies are conducted in your first language.
Here are some places of worship frequented by Indian newcomers from various religions:
- ISKCON Hindu Temple, Midtown Toronto
- Hindu Sabbha Mandir, Brampton
- Vishnu Temple, Richmond Hill
- Pape Gurdwara, Toronto
- Dashmesh Darbar Gurdwara, Brampton
- Dixie Gurdwara, Mississauga
- Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Mississauga
- Jame Makki Masjid, Brampton
- Jannatul Ferdous Mosque, Etobicoke
- Many across the GTA with services in Malayalam and other languages
As you transition into your new life in Canada, it’s good to know where to go for general support and information. Employment support, accommodation advice, personal finance programs, and language classes for children are just some of the services offered by the organizations listed below:
- Regional school boards organize free language classes for children in many Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, etc.
- Toronto Public Library is a great resource for newcomer services such as access to settlement workers, personal finance programs, 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.
- CultureLink Settlement and Community Services offers Newcomer Settlement Programs for both adults and youth, ranging from mentorship and job search support to programs specifically designed to overcome settlement barriers.
- Indian Women Circle (GTA) is a trusted community for Indian women in GTA. You can find advice on everything from entrepreneurship and network building to raising children in Canada.