ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting 'Little Bangladesh', East York: a vibrant community in Toronto, Ontario

Updated on February 20, 2015
Flag of Ontario
Flag of Ontario | Source
Danforth Avenue's roadsigns
Danforth Avenue's roadsigns | Source
The Bangladeshi flag is widely seen flying in East York's 'Little Bangladesh'.
The Bangladeshi flag is widely seen flying in East York's 'Little Bangladesh'. | Source
Map location of East York within Toronto, Ontario
Map location of East York within Toronto, Ontario | Source

Distinctive green and red flags indicate Bengali businesses

If you have an interest in Bengali culture and in the Bangladeshi community, come to East York's 'Little Bangladesh' .

If you see many green and red flags in East York, the chances are that you have arrived.

Bengali-owned businesses

Danforth Avenue between its intersections with Main and Victoria Park contains a particular concentration of Bengali-owned businesses. In Bangladesh itself many people are employed in the garment industry and this is also reflected in the sizable proportion of businesses selling clothes on East York's Danforth Avenue. Bangladeshi-Canadian Community Services has a base on Danforth Avenue. Bengali cuisine is served at various restaurants along the Danforth.

As well as the distinctive national flag, it is not unusual for Bengali-owned businesses along the Danforth to display etchings of what I recognized as Bangladesh's national monument in Dhaka.

The Bengali language and Tagore

Bangladesh alone has a population exceeding 150 million people and neighbouring India also has a huge Bengali-speaking community. It is reckoned that well over 15,000 Bengali-speaking people live in Ontario, many of them in Toronto. Bengali is the 7th largest language group in the world in terms of speakers: if considered carefully, this is a profoundly moving statistic .

The Bengali language may be studied at the University of Toronto. It has produced writers such as Rabindranath Tagore, who in 1913 won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the centenary of which event will be remembered in 2013. In 'Little Bangladesh' the Anyamela Bookstore supplies works of Tagore, plus hundreds of other Bengali titles.Tagore wrote the words of both the Indian and Bangladeshi national anthems.

These are the opening lines of the latter anthem:

'My Bengal of Gold,

I love you.

For ever your skies,

Your air set my heart in tune,

As if it were a flute.'

'My beloved Bengal ', Rabindranath Tagore, tr.Syed Ali Ahsan.

...

How to get there: To get to 'Little Bangladesh' from the centre of Toronto, TTC streetcar 506 to Main Street; Lakeshore East GO Train to Danforth; Subway, Bloor-Danforth line east to Main Street. For travel between Toronto Pearson Airport and Dhaka, Bangladesh, Jet Airways flies to Dhaka via London Heathrow and Mumbai or Delhi. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR

      MJFenn 

      7 years ago

      Charlinex: Tagore defied easy categorization, in fact. Thank-you for your comment.

    • profile image

      Charlinex 

      7 years ago

      That's a very interesting hub. Tagore is one of my favorite poets, yet I only knew him as an Indian poet. I definitely will check 'Little Bangladesh' out this summer.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)