This is the story of a Sri Lankan who has an outstanding career record in three continents, “Impressions of my new country.”
It is always a challenge to settle down in a new country when one is in the late thirties. This is compounded by the fact that this particular human being already had completed nearly two decades in a very comfortable employment in two continents. These negative aspects are enhanced by the responsibilities of a family with growing off-spring.
This was my situation when I landed in Canada in a city called Montreal in 1985 August. The decision was swayed by the civil unrest in my birth country. I have visited this beautiful country of Canada as a tourist. But holidaying in a nation and settling down are two different ball games. The country of Canada belongs to the club of opulent nations in the organization called the G7. Hence the competition, technical know-how and knowledge are on a different level. Continuous education and training together with physical fitness are essential for survival. It is true that the social service net here prevents a person from going completely under, but that would push a person into the physical and mental doldrums.
We settled down in a town called Scarborough in the province of Ontario. The original Scarborough, in North Yorkshire, England, is a Victorian seaside resort town famous for its limestone cliffs. The modern city was built around a natural spa discovered in the 17th century and its Viking name is derived from the Scandinavian word “Skarðaborg,” meaning stronghold. At that time there were several municipalities existing like North York, Toronto, East York and Etobicoke. They were all amalgamated into a municipality called Toronto. They are all now called the city of Toronto. We still refer to the place we live as Scarborough.
This is a large multicultural area that contains the Scarborough Bluffs, huge Cliffs overlooking Lake Ontario, lines with parks, beaches and hiking trails. Inland the sprawling Toronto Zoo features global animal pavilions, close-up encounters, and a wildlife health center.
The area is also known for its diverse spread of restaurants, including regional Southeast Asian, Chinese and Indian cuisine. We have a population of approximately 700,000 in an area of 187.7km2 . We have now lived here around 35years. Life was hectic at the start. Both had to work almost seven days a week, retrain, I had to go to Colleges and Universities but still had time to play tennis one of my favorite games. It is now our home. I retired after working for nearly 33 years and my wife Maureen retired after working for 25years. We have a daughter and four grand-daughters. This country remains an immigrant’s dream. It rewards honesty and hard work. This is my personal opinion and my family shares it with me. We have an excellent medical system. I have personal knowledge of it as I went through prostate and heart operations here. This country respects human freedoms and respect and enshrined them in its constitution.
May God bless this Land and its people.