Task force member reflects on travelling, fulfilling dreams and inspiring harmony in the community
Living 15 years in Vaughan, Canada allows my family and me to reflect on what Canada means to us. Arriving in 2002 with three children (aged 14, nine and two) to pursue our professional careers, we dreamed big dreams! Nothing really prepared us for the biggest good surprise: a welcoming community awaiting us in Vaughan in particular, and in Canada in general.
Immigration has so many aspects and experiences that one can be challenged with: family, education, jobs, housing, community and so much more. We arrived to the city of Vaughan where the community is so multicultural and colourful. This phenomenon immediately found a warm place in our hearts, allowing us to show and share our cultural background. There is nothing more fascinating and interesting than living in harmony among so many cultures and ethnic backgrounds. We felt very much lucky and comfortable soon after our arrival.
Our two older boys (our youngest was only two years old) engaged in community activities and festivities such as basketball, music concerts, youth movements, ski trips and community volunteering. They were happy kids who felt good! My husband and I were engaged in fulfilling our own professional and academic dreams. The overall community atmosphere was one of support and inclusion. I must admit that in my experience while at university, I discovered a whole new level of excitement, while interacting with scholars from all over the world! This is a huge bonus for any academic career in any field! Also, soon enough I found myself involved in what I care so much about…community volunteering! I was leading the establishment of a new community association in my own new, young, vibrant and growing neighborhood. We did great work for five years with great achievements for the community, such as a new public library. No doubt this contributed to my overall feeling of contribution to my new community in Vaughan. And so I continued to participate in various volunteer positions for the last 13 years.
The icing on the cake is no doubt exploring and travelling Canada and its various communities! We have made it a habit to travel Canada with our kids from east to west as much as time permits. In the east we were fascinated by Quebec and Quebec City, Ottawa and the Ottawa River, Montreal, Halifax in Nova Scotia, London, Windsor, Algonquin Park and North Bay. Equipped with a rental RV for the west, over the years we saw the Rockies, Victoria Island, Vancouver, Whistler and more. Canada’s nature is no doubt some of the most beautiful in the world. We do plan to continue to explore Canada in 2017 for Canada’s 150th celebration. We already have our free 2017 Parks Canada family passes! Did you order yours already?
To sum up, Canada for our family is all about peace, tolerance, multiculturalism, inclusion and so many opportunities! Thank you, Canada! And happy 150th birthday!
Canada 150 Task Force Member
For more information about Canada 150 in Vaughan, please visit vaughan.ca/Canada150.
Do you have a personal story that defines your vision for/of Canada? Share it in the comment section below.