By Jillian Rago
Filipino migrants first arrived in Canada as early as the 1930s. However, it was not until the 1990s that immigration from the Philippines increased rapidly.
Toronto has the highest population of Filipinos, for a major city, while Vancouver and Winnipeg have the second and third largest Filipino communities.
Filipino culture is rooted in their value of the community. This is evident throughout many businesses, organizations, and events hosted in Toronto.
Nothing is more communal than sharing a meal together. These restaurants are a go-to for Filipino staples.
Lamesa is a popular Filipino restaurant bringing Filipino cuisine to Canadians. They offer classic Filipino dishes such as Lumpia Shanghai (Spring Rolls) and Beef Kare Kare (Beef cooked in a peanut and garlic-based sauce), with subtle variations. They strive to bring Filipino inspired dishes to the mainstream food market.
An established fast food restaurant in the Philippines and Internationally, Jollibee is making a name for itself in Toronto. Jollibee brings familiar fried chicken dishes with a bit of Filipino flare. Other fan favourites are the famous Filipino sweet spaghetti and sweet peach mango pies. With tons of seating, you can bring all your friends and family to Jollibee.
When it comes to fashion, design, and shopping Filipino women know best. These businesses are run by Filipino women with the idea that sustainability and ethical businesses are a priority in today’s fashion industry.
This high end custom clothing line is inspired by traditional Filipino attire. Founder Caroline Mangosing built her business with the goal of providing high quality products while ensuring workers and creatives are paid a living wage.
Gelaine and Jérôme created this platform to give women around the world access to Filipino crafts, fashion, and jewellery. All products are made and designed by Filipino women. Like, Vinta Gallery, Cambio & Co puts ethical practices above low prices. This ensures that the women involved in making the pieces are paid a fair, living wage.
For live performances, pageants, and more, check out these summer events showcasing Filipino culture.
This annual event attracts hundreds of visitors each year. Hosted by the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation, this event brings together all things Filipino. You will find live performances, cultural dances, pageants, and more. This event takes place on June 22, 2019, during the month of Philippine Independence Day.
This street festival takes place at the end of summer, August 17-18, 2019. The Bathurst and Wilson intersection is shut down for this event, where people of all backgrounds can try Filipino street food, while watching performances from Filipinos from around the world.
This festival has attracted some familiar faces, such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mayor John Tory.
If you are eager to try something new and want to learn more about one of Toronto’s largest minority groups, don’t forget to check out these businesses and events this year.