The cities evolution depends on a permanently
shifting sense of identity and authenticity, an
expansion of self concept.
Research reveals that
Toronto doesn’t resonate
globally in a distinct and
meaningful way. One way
of looking at it is, If Toronto
is an ingredient, what does
it add to the mix or what
are the flavors of
Torontoness? For example if
you don’t know what
eggplant taste like, you’ll
never exclaim, “Wow! I love
this soup! It’s full of
eggplant!”, if you can’t
identify Torontoness, your
ability to appreciate or
value it will be impaired.
I don’t know
don’t have a lot of
and associations with
the city and “Toronto”
doesn’t conjure many
For example: Italy, where the
combination of historic art,
contemporary design, soccer and
la dolce vita land the nation a top
spot on the cultural index, as the
best example of what culture does
for a country. “It gives pleasure
and pride to the populace,” he
says, “and a distinctive edge
internationally.” -Simon Anholt,
Place Identity consultant
Place and self-respect
are linked. You like
your place, you feel
good about yourself.
Beyond merely nourishing the spirit,
culture can can inspire and strengthen the
bonds between individuals, communities,
and even an entire city like Toronto.
New research suggests when people “love” the
culture of their towns, economic prosperity
follows. In a three-year Gallup survey of 26 U.S.
cities, researchers learned the communities
with highest levels of resident attachment — a
person's passion for where he or she lives —
also had the highest rates of GDP growth over
Culture enhances local communities!
So what is Toronto’s true
genius that puts the city
in a class of it’s own?
What is the
Toronto that we and the
world should recognize?
Toronto has had the most globally comprehensive diversity in human history for the
past 30 years or so. This has unknowingly been cultivating a unique kind of ‘global mindset’ and
creativity which can only exist in this city. In other words, it is our psychology that is unique. We
now have to make this legible for ourselves and others. People need be able to easily recognize
this cities profound culture which is still a recent and under recognized phenomenon.
The creative challenge for Toronto is to accelerate its organic evolution from a
multicultural city of fragmented differences, to a co-created intercultural city that makes the
very most of it’s diversity! This can only be done through ‘symbolic actions’, action always
speaks louder than words, not slogans or communication campaigns. Learn more at
Culture is the most powerful symbolic
actionCulture is a distinct and uncopiable aspect of every society. Culture has the power to
communicate a places true spirit and essence and works in many different ways as a metaphor
for personality and character. When you think of a place, for example Italy, usually the first
associations that pop in mind are cultural, such as food, language, music, art and so forth.
Renowned gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said it best “Tell me what you
eat, and I’ll tell you who you are”. A good start is food. Food is one of the most powerful
elements of every strong culture. Toronto being extremely culturally abundant for many
decades, makes it poised to develop a unique fusion cuisine that symbolizes it’s global diversity
intermingling in meaningful and creative ways.
Toronto is full of raw materials for a rich, varied and attractive cultural life which are
just lying around, waiting to be assembled in a new way. What Toronto needs are the people
with the imagination, the ambition, the creativity and the energy to make these connections,
give them life, and make extraordinary things happen. Its already happening in Toronto,
however; we need to amplify it with more original approaches.
Toronto is poised to invent heritage or culture to make it a more magnetic place.
There's nothing at all shameful or dishonest about inventing heritage, (as long as one doesn’t
make false claims about its origins, of course): after all. Even old things were new once, and part
of the art of being a good ancestor is starting lots of valuable traditions in ones own life time so
that one’s descendants can benefit from them later.
Characteristics of Toronto cuisine
Culturally rooted to local foods and cultures.
Intercultural food that is a fusion of only two different cultural flavors. The dish can’t
contain more than 2 because then the dish become “confusion cuisine”
The dish must still allow each cultural flavors to retain its integrity and authentic flavor.
This is the tricky element of Toronto cuisine which will actually be the true genius of it.
Creative dishes and drinks. Message behind the food.
Overall symbolizes the “Torontoness” of Toronto. Cuisine is a testament to the richness
and vibrancy of a culture.
The unusual interactions are limitless! With
cities and nations creatively colliding
This is a creative dish that is firmly
connected to Toronto’ cultural
roots and the region:
• Toronto has huge Italian and Indian
• Many Indian families make pizza at
home with an Indian twist on it.
• Many Indian restaurants in the
Toronto area serve Indian style pizza.
• This pizza is made on a whole
wheat naan bread which was first
created by a bakery in the Toronto
region and then commercialized by
• Some of the toppings on the pizza
are freshly grown in Ontario.
• Its called “peeza” instead of “pizza”
because Indian families actually
pronounce it like that within there
homes. This adds even more
authenticity to it.
Italy meets India
(veg and non-veg)
This is sausage is firmly rooted to
Toronto cultural roots and the
• Toronto spice is the key
• Toronto used to be known as
hog town because it used sell
many pork products.
• Toronto has Polish, Italian,
Hungarian, German and many
other communities that culturally
• Toronto is already known t have
very good sausage hot dogs.
A sticker of the Toronto
cuisine logo will let
people know which
restaurants serve some
of the authentic
Toronto food will be elaborated
throughout the city: touristy
locations (hotels, ROM, CN
Tower, etc) restaurants all over
the city, street vendors, home
recipes, served to celebrities at
TIFF, and much more.
Panel of chefs will
commission a maximum of
20 “intercultural” recipes
every year based on a strict
criteria which symbolizes