Alexandra Orlando
Alexandra Orlando

What does it actually mean to be a Torontonian?

Recently, the issue of identity has been on my mind lately. When I read through the newspaper and catch the on-line headlines that seem to continuously flash before my eyes, issues and events are defined in certain perspectives; the liberal perspective, the conservative perspective, the global consciousness, national interest, municipal benefits. Each article identifies with a certain group of people, beliefs and ideology.

So when we talk about Toronto and what we want to see our city become, is it really for the collective good or individual? We are an extremely multicultural city and will always be very proud of the number of languages and cultures that fill our city streets.

I feel that we need to think about what actually brings us all together. What connects our city? Leafs nation is still going strong (don’t ask me how or why), but let’s face it, although it’s a big group of people it still doesn’t define our city.

My vision for the future of Toronto is finding our identity and embodying what it means to be a Torontonian. What are our values? We all know what our own values are, but as a community what do we stand for?

Is it too radical to suggest we should have community animators in every part of the city strengthening the bond that holds us all together through local centres, libraries, schools and businesses.

I’m not talking about pricey government supported programs, which I truly believe we need more of, but going back to grass roots; people helping people. Whether this is a “learn to play” night for kids at the local community centre or a book/movie exchange at the library, the importance is consistency.

We must continue to bring people together and I believe and would expect my provincial government and those who govern us to do just that.