Coming to Canada 53rd Anniversary

February 4th marks the 53rd anniversary of leaving my home in São Miguel, Azores for Toronto, Canada. Fifty-three years in the life of a sixty-two-year-old means that the balance of time is weighed heavily on the side of Toronto with only a few years of life in the city of Ponta Delgada.

Yet, it’s the balance of my younger life that in some ways weighs the most. I have already written enough about my inner journey of discovery and self-exploration; what it means for me to be someone who came from an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean to settle by the shores of Lake Ontario.  The parallel between these two landscapes has continued to be a geographical mirror reflecting where I came from with where I live.

In 2008, I wrote Coming to Canada to celebrate my 40th anniversary with the intent of sharing my journey of immigration with my family and especially the younger generation; namely, my nieces (and later my nephews) and my cousins’ children all of whom were born in Canada. They were not immigrants but instead first-generation Portuguese Canadians.

I think all children’s stories of their immigration experience are important and I wish more people told their stories so that our collective diasporic memory gets documented and shared. I have said it often, but I’ll repeat it now on this anniversary date: Coming to Canada was the best thing my parents could have done for all of us.

Still, I miss my visits to São Miguel but I hope to return when the world health situation allows. Visiting the Azores is a gentle reunion with a place I love which still has the familiarity of home and yet is not home anymore.

I already posted Coming to Canada on my blog years ago, but here it is again, for anyone who is interested in reading it:

Part 1: My Azorean Childhood

Part 2: Leaving for Toronto

Part 3: Arriving in Toronto

Part 4: To the Azores and Back!

Where the road goes, I go…

About thetorzorean

The musings of a torontonian azorean on identity and belonging. You can find me at
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5 Responses to Coming to Canada 53rd Anniversary

  1. So glad you came. Looking forward to reading the back stories again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathie B says:

    I suspect that whether we stay or leave our birthplaces, we experience both gains and losses.

    At least some of us are lucky enough to have had the luxury of having contact with our roots (in my case, both in my California hometown, and discovering my paternal family’s buried ancestry in the Azores).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol Wells says:

    And we are so happy that your parents made the decision to come to Canada, specifically to Toronto thereby allowing us to know you and our family to embrace you. You are such a wonderful son-in-law to me and partner to my son. Congratulations on this special anniversary. With love❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ilda says:

    Hi Emanuel, I celebrated my 53rd in 2019, and like you, I treasure both places. The only difference is that I consider myself and my parents, the first generation of Portuguese-Canadians. Happy anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nuno França says:

    Muito bom! Já lá vão muitos anos! 🙂
    E a parte mais interessante da história é que, apesar de mais anos no Canadá, continua a sentir-se um verdadeiro Açoriano! 😀

    Grande abraço

    Liked by 1 person

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