Korean

Korean

Korean
Subtitle
The Korean Community

Lined with restaurants, herb stores, acupuncture centres, and shops selling imported giftware from Seoul, Toronto’s Koreatown bustles with the activity of an Asian sidewalk market. The neighbourhood, located along Bloor Street West, between Bathurst and Christie streets, was one of the community’s first areas of settlement. Today, few Koreans live in the area but it still contains the highest concentration of Korean restaurants and shops in the city. One of the city’s two Korean banks and a credit union are open for business, while offices along the strip bear the names of Korean lawyers, doctors, and other professionals who have made Toronto their home.


Canada and Korea officially opened their diplomatic relations in 1963, but the first association between the two countries began as early as 1888 through the Christian missionary system. By the 1940s, church-sponsored students who had come to Canada to study began changing their status from student to landed immigrant. In the late 1960s and the early ’70s, the first large wave of Koreans arrived in Canada.
A collective effort by the community resulted in the establishment of a church, and in 1967, the first Korean Sunday service was held at St. Luke’s United Church on Sherbourne Street. The parish was named the Toronto Korean United Church and became the centre for community activity, sponsoring lectures, a Korean language school, and the Toronto Korean- Canadian Choir.


Today, the 100,000-member Toronto Korean community boasts highly skilled workers, professionals, and small business entrepreneurs who operate drycleaning depots, fast food outlets, delicatessens, print shops, and real estate and insurance agencies. More than 76 percent of the grocery and variety stores in Toronto are owned and operated by Koreans.


Koreans have widened Toronto’s cultural range with dance, music, arts, sports, and martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do (the art of self defence). Korean companies such as Korean Airlines, Hyundai Corporation and Gia Masters (automobile manufacturers), KIA Motors, LG electronics, and Samsung Electronics, have established regional offices in the city.


South Koreans remember with gratitude the 20,000 Canadian soldiers who were sent to help rescue South Korea from invading North Korean forces during the Korean War. Koreans across Canada donated more than $50,000 to the Federation of Korean Canadians to help erect the Korea Veterans’ National Wall of Remembrance in Brampton on July 27, 1997. A bond between the two cultures is also reflected by replicas of granite pagodas located on the grounds of Victoria College at the University of Toronto. The pagodas were dedicated by the graduates of Victoria Medical College in memory of Dr. O.R. Avison, a graduate of the college who founded the first occidental-style hospital and medical college in Seoul in 1893.

Holidays and Celebrations
NEW YEAR’S.
Day
1
Month
January

  NEW YEAR’S. Although Koreans observe New Year’s Day by the solar and lunar calendars, most Korean Canadians follow the solar calendar and celebrate it on January 1st. It is customary to wear new clothing at this time and to prepare a traditional dish called ttogguk (a soup with rice cake). To wish their elders health, happiness, and a long life, the younger Koreans kneel and touch their foreheads to the floor. This special act of respect is called sebae. The elders respond with gifts of money and food.

NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY
Day
1
Month
March

  NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY, March 1, commemorates the day in 1919 that Koreans attempted to gain independence from Japan. The uprising lasted approximately two months before being suppressed.

BUDDHA’S BIRTHDAY

  BUDDHA’S BIRTHDAY usually falls in April or May. Korean Buddhists celebrate the day similarly to Christmas with colourful festivities at their three Toronto temples.

LIBERATION DAY
Day
15
Month
August

  LIBERATION DAY, August 15, celebrates the day in 1945 that Korea was liberated from Japan after 36 years of colonial rule.

CHOOSUK (MOON FESTIVAL DAY)

  CHOOSUK (MOON FESTIVAL DAY), a celebration similar to Thanksgiving Day, is celebrated on the same day as Liberation Day by the lunar calendar. It is considered the second most important holiday for Koreans.

MAY FESTIVAL (DAN-O)

  MAY FESTIVAL (DAN-O) is the largest festival of the Korean community. About 5,000 Koreans attend this festival every year, where Korean foods, gifts, clothing, etc., are sold. Traditional Korean games are played. Held annually on the first Saturday of June at Christie Park.

FESTIVITIES ON OCTOBER 3

  FESTIVITIES ON OCTOBER 3 celebrate Korean Heritage Day and Korean Foundation Day in Ontario. The community also commemorates the day Korea was founded 4,000 years ago.

Media
KOREA CENTRAL DAILY
Address
655 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 1L1
Phone
416-671-9213

  KOREA CENTRAL DAILY, (Tel. 416-533-5533, Fax 416-533-5500, 655 Bloor St. W). Publisher: Hyo Kim.

AII TV
Address
1133 Leslie St, North York, ON M3C 2J6
Phone
416-538-2211

  AII TV, (Tel. 416-538-2211, Fax 416-588-6550, 1133 Leslie St., Suite 213).

Korean youth at Nathan Phillips Square.

ARIRANG KOREA
Address
100 Sheppard Avenue West, Suite 102 Toronto, ON. M2N 1M6
Phone
416 840 7015

  ARIRANG KOREA, OMNI-TV, (Tel. 416-260-0060, 545 Lakeshore Blvd. W). Entertainment and music from Korea, Saturday, 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Organizations
Foundation for Korean Studies

The Foundation for Korean Studies at the University of Toronto has established a chair. Toronto’s Koreans belong to a number of alumni organizations.

Korean Canadian Cultural Association Of Metropolitan Toronto
Address
1133 Leslie St, North York, ON M3C 2J6
Phone
(416) 383-0777
Web Site
https://www.eng.koreancentre.on.ca/

  KOREAN-CANADIAN ASSOCIATIONS, (Tel. 416-383-0777, Fax 416-383-1113, 1133 Leslie St). An umbrella organization that provides cultural and social activities for the Korean community. President: Samghoon Lee.

KCWA Family and Social Services
Address
5075 Yonge St suite 401, North York, ON M2N 6C6
Phone
(416) 340-1234
Web Site
http://www.kcwa.net/

  KOREAN CANADIAN WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION, (Tel. 416-340-1234, 27 Madison Ave), which provides language classes and other classes to help the new immigrants settle in Canada. President: Linda Yoo.

Ontario Korean Businessmen's Association
Address
175 The West Mall, Etobicoke, ON M9C 1C2
Phone
(416) 789-7891
Web Site
http://okba.net/index.php?popup=no

  ONTARIO KOREAN BUSINESSMEN’S ASSOCIATION, (Tel. 416-789-7891, 130 Orfus Rd). This organization also operates its own co-op in three locations in Toronto to serve its members. Its annual revenue tops $60 million. A business and professional organization with 2,000 members. Eighty percent of the members are convenience store owners. President: Jong Sil Yoon.

ASSOCIATION OF KOREAN CANADIAN SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS
Address
1133 Leslie Street, Suite #206, North York, ON, M3C 2J6 CANADA
Phone
(416)-449-5204
Web Site
http://akcse.ca

  ASSOCIATION OF KOREAN CANADIAN SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS, (Tel. 416-449-5204, Fax 416-449-2875, 1133 Leslie St., #206).

Korean Senior Citizens Society
Address
476 Grace St, Toronto, ON M6G 1L5
Phone
(416) 532-8257
Web Site
http://kscst.ca/

  KOREAN SENIOR CITIZENS ASSOCIATION, (Tel. 416-532-8077, 476 Grace St). Executive Director: Hangim Kim.

KOREAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION EASTERN CHAPTER OF CANADA
Web Site
http://www.kvacanada.com/dec07newsletter.htm

  KOREAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION EASTERN CHAPTER OF CANADA, (Tel. 416-769-8739, Fax 416-763-3257, 285 St. John’s Rd).

Korean Canadian Cultural Association Of Metropolitan Toronto
Address
1133 Leslie St, North York, ON M3C 2J6
Phone
(416) 383-0777

  KOREAN COMMUNITY CENTRE, (Tel. 416-538-9412, 721 Bloor St. W).

Korean Community Centre for Multiculturalism
Address
224 Brownridge Dr Thornhill, ON L4J 7G1
Phone
905-738-5675

  ONTARIO KOREAN LIBERAL PARTY ASSOCIATION, (224 Brownridge Dr., Thornhill). President: Robert Pak.

Physically Challenged Korean Adult Community Centre
Address
260 Av High Park Toronto, ON M6P 2S6
Phone
(416) 604-7845

  PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED KOREAN ADULT COMMUNITY CENTRE, (Tel. 416-604-7845, 139 Bond Ave).

Languages
Population
210000