Non-English Mother Tongues in Toronto

Non-English Mother Tongues in TorontoMy mother tongue is English. In fact, it's the only language I speak fluently. Boring, isn't it?

According to this treemap, many Torontonians grow up speaking a language other than English. If you want to read the smaller boxes, here's the very interesting source PDF.


Did you grow up speaking a language other than English? If so, which language?

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My first language was Portuguese, but I quickly learned English (via TV) and was fluent by the time I began Kindergarden. fluent as a kid that age can be.

January 23, 2013 @ 11:14 AM


I know this is a bit of topic but why are third generation Italians now naming their kids Matteo, Gianluca, Alessandro and the like???

The parents have names like Michael, Matthew, James but they choose to use hardcore Italian first names.

January 23, 2013 @ 11:21 AM



Careful there... my cousin Guido might need to pay you a visit.

January 23, 2013 @ 12:38 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Arige - I grew up in a prodominantly Italian and Portugese are a of missisauga. I was one of the few kids in my class without a vowel at the end of my name. A lot of the Italian guys I went to school with were named Mike, Matt, James etc...because their parents came to Canada for a better life and wanted their kids to assimilate...the problem is that those boys were still raised in houses that held old world values (dad makes the money mom takes care of the house). Those boys are now men and are dealing with women who are not willing to fit into that mould, so they revert to old world ways, find an old world thinking woman, and give their kids traditional Italian names ans a way of holding on to the "better days". The number of times I heard in high school from these guys "man Canadian women need to learn their place..." or something to that effect.

I have an Italian kid that plays with my son, and he told me that he didn't need to listen to my wife in my house becuase she's a have to wonder what kind of example that kid's father is setting at home..

January 23, 2013 @ 1:11 PM



You dont need to listen to your wife either :)

January 23, 2013 @ 1:30 PM

Mississauga Phil

@ Argie - Try not to,but ya know..happy wife happy life...

Also, my apologies if I offended you last week. Calling you a racist was a bit heavy handed. I don't agree with your stance on certain things, but I may have crossed the line on that one.

Hope you'll accept the apology.

January 23, 2013 @ 3:49 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@Argie: I use to think the same thing about names, but have come to a point where I actually like to hear some of these traditional names(I'm a Scot so no conflict on the Italian names). Now if and when my kids have children I can convince them to name their first born son Hamish or Gairloch, something scottish sounding. On second thought it could become a boy named Sue situation.

January 23, 2013 @ 6:36 PM


No worries, Phil.

January 24, 2013 @ 3:21 PM


My mother tongue Malayalam has just 3005 speakers in Toronto. We need to add to that.

January 26, 2013 @ 12:16 AM


Honestly, I am surprised that many people in Toronto didn't initially speak English. I really thought that it is a place where most people naturally spoke the language. It is interesting too how there is a variety of mother languages according to the survey.

February 3, 2013 @ 1:22 AM

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