Do we take multiculturalism for granted here in Canada?

Reviews / Canada

Why hello, there.

I just finished reading J.C. Davies’ book, I Got The Fever.  If you’ve ever wanted to know, but were too shy/PC to ask, Davies exposes what it’s really like to date someone of the following cultures:  Latino, Asian, Black, Indian, & Jewish.

Having dabbled in online dating and not really seeing race as a barrier, I knew that I had to read it!  I was curious to see if my experiences matched up (or not) to what was written in b&w.

Aside from curiosity, another reason developed for reading the book:  I wanted to know if it was going to tell me anything that I didn’t know about the above ethnicities.  The answer?  There were 2 new things that I learned, I counted.

I grew up in Mississauga, in a neighbourhood that was primarily Italian/Portuguese. At my all-girls Catholic high, Caucasians seemed like the minorities.  And not meeting any Jewish, as I was educated in Catholic schools up ’til high school, I made up for that by going to York U…where even Gentiles had the High Holidays off!

So getting back to the topic of interracial dating, is “who’s coming to dinner” even an issue here in Canada?

Currently, I Got The Fever is only available through

42 responses to “Do we take multiculturalism for granted here in Canada?”

  1. amber says:

    I’m a Caucasian female 32. I grew up in Chatham , on small town almost all Caucasians. Now live in North York. Took me years to figure out being in a small town and such who I am attacked to. But for the last few years all I am interested in dating is Asian guys….. Everyone is different!

  2. lola stars says:

    i’m from mississauga and i went to an all girls catholic high school…did you go to holy name by any chance?

  3. mandee says:

    i was wondering this too, since i went to holy name (:

  4. Stephania says:

    Yes, Home Of No Men alum! 😉

  5. Peaches says:

    This thread is so racist. Only a white person would post something like this and think it is okay. Somehow non-white people are exotic? This is pathetic.

  6. KM says:

    What,you’re taking a poll!! I agree with Peaches.

  7. Stephania says:

    1. The last I checked, I’m not White.
    2. The word “exotic” is NOT mentioned at all, so no idea where that’s coming from.

  8. Sally says:

    Whos said Stephanias white? We don’t know that.

    So how is it racist? It’s racist to date different races? Or to even discuss it?

  9. amanda says:

    take it from me, as a black girl dating a tamil guy.
    it’s hard, not so much with canadians, but with the families that come from other countries and are used to tradition.

    canadians don’t bat an eye though..

  10. Maui says:

    Mississauga? Holy Name of Mary? York U? I think you are me, and I accidentally forgot that I admin this awesome website!

    On a side note, York no longer observes Jewish holidays. At least this is what I’m told. I graduated before they made this revision.

  11. mandee says:

    too bad our highschool (hnm)doesn’t exist anymore! ):

  12. casey says:

    mmmm the men in the picture are yummy looking 😉

  13. pjf says:

    i found that most people in the ‘newer’ generation last 35-40 yrs-ish wont bat an eye at all – in fact think it’s a bit wierd that it’s brought up at all – but most of the questions my husband and i got from older (parent aged people >50) when we started dating was…of the “how are you two dating!?” to the point that national tv and newspapers interviewed us for the same reason when we got married. bizarre. it’s such a non issue now. that said, agree with amanda – immigrants can be pretty racist. and casey-…yum-my indeed!

  14. M says:

    Ummmm, how are immigrants any more racist than ‘Canadians’? A non-white friend of mine dated a white man ad his parents treated her like dirt and that was the end of their relationship. I had a smilar experience. You cannot really know what this is like unless you have experienced it yourself. Also, just because someone identifies as a person of colour and says they have not experienced racism, or perceived to have, that doesn’t mean that all people of colour do not. And when many do, they try to explain it away because it is often too painful to admit. I think racism is so complex and manifests itself in all kinds of ways, often subtle ones.
    This book does seem racist. It seems to exoticize certain ethnicities…it certainly essentializes them. Dating one person of a particular ethnic group does not tell you anything about the entire ethnic group…and we have to be careful about categorizing people in the first place. Race is, after all, a social construction.

  15. Jay says:

    As Canadian we are pretty open to the idea of dating other races but when most of immigrants come to country they start at bottom, leaving in the neighborhood where worst of the generalization built for all races (come across some bad apples) and also they have certain expectations from their kids…other hand kids are more open because they are out in Canadian culture. The problem is elder people are enclosed within their “own community” be it Tamil, Caucasian, Chines, black etc. they don’t accept change as easily as younger ones. And there is that superiority complex that some people have that they are better than others because they were here before or they belong to certain race… its two way street you can blame only immigrants or born Canadians only for racism.

  16. Chud says:

    Heh, I’d think it make her look promiscuous more then racist. But i’m an old married fuddy duddy. Hahah.

  17. Cee says:

    “Do we take multiculturalism for granted”? Of course we do, and we SHOULD. If we didn’t take it for granted, there would be a pretty big problem.

    Who the hell keeps writing these ridiculous articles? You need to take a journalism course…and actually PASS IT if possible.

  18. Peachy says:

    Wow…I think this topic is being taken way to seriously. Personally, we are fooling ourselves when we say we are all the same. Yes we are all human beings and should be treated equally, have the same rights etc. But lets be real, someone born and raised jewish is going to be different than someone born and raised as Sikh. Someone raised with a jamican back ground will have different experience growing up as someone raise with and irish background.

    I think we all need to deep breath and relax a little, nothing wrong with having a different opinion, but at least be respectful of each other when you express yourself.

    I think the book would be interesting, but haven’t read it to pass judgement. The original post is not some great news article put out there for people to critize but is someones blog about the book she is reading and wanting if people feel that “cabin fever” is still an issue for people. Give her a break!

  19. Another Stupid Blog says:

    Once again another great piece from Stephania…”NOT!!!”

  20. Michelle says:

    @Maui: I think York still serves Jewish holidays. The classes were postponed a week last fall. But again it’s my bf who goes there.

  21. iwannadeal says:

    I think anyone living in the big cities would take multiculturalism for granted. But I know from my own experience that animosity often comes from the side of the immigrants–they don’t like ‘Canadian'(their word) customs or even the people. They feel their own way of live is superior. This is from many years of living and working in TO.

  22. alex says:

    Canada does make it hard for immigrants, I have been turned down for multiple jobs because I am not a perm. res of Canada but am working towards it. No one believes I am legal to work here and no one trusts my word that I am. They are willing to hire me, then they realize I am not Canadian and they back out. Also, just because I am not physically a different skin colour or look different to many Canadians, they don’t think it is racist when the make fun of my accent, or my country, or call me names based on my country of origin, i see this every day being an immigrant.

  23. kelly25 says:

    I can’t say for every Canadian but I think racism doesn’t exist in the big cities. I’m from Montreal and never saw a difference other then a man is a male and a woman is a female other then that we all have red hearts. I will say that when we visit my husband’s family who live far up Quebec in small villages they looked at me like an alien because I’m English.

  24. Lily says:

    You know, about 10-20 years ago this thread would have better meaning. But now we are at the 2nd-3rd generation of Canadian born non-Caucasian people.

    I am one of them. I have met many asians, greeks, arabs, jamaican adults that do not understand a word of their ethnic language and don’t know much about the country their forefathers grew up in. This thread isn’t racist, that’s too strong a word. But i get when some of you say it makes ethnic groups “exotic”.

    In reality, the “Jim Wu” next door may be the same culturally speaking as any Canadian. The only difference is the skin color, the face and perhaps the name. I don’t like that we’re pinning these people (and myself in the process) as “different”.

  25. Lily says:

    I’d like to add that if you replace all references of “different ethnic group” to “different cultures”, the entire article, and the book, would make more sense.

  26. Heather says:

    This is an interesting topic, and well worth discussing, thanks for the comments and experiences everyone. I recently moved from Toronto to London, and I’m finding attitudes a bit different now that I’m in a smaller city. In downtown Toronto where I lived, you see lots of visible minorities, lots of mixed couples, and it is definitely no big deal. I never noticed any racial tensions or comments when I was there. But I’m white, so my experience is obviously different from that of visible minorities. Now that I’m in London, there is a different vibe that I can’t quite put my finger on. I have also heard some very racist comments from my extended family here, unfortunately. I try to put in my two cents with them, but it is so hard with family, you need to get along even if you don’t see eye to eye. I still think racism (and homophobia) are present in Canadian culture, and that we need to continue to fight it and educate ourselves and our children about it.

  27. hmmm says:

    Anyone who says “racism” no longer exists must be living under a rock. I have worked in both small towns and big cities, and trust me it’s out there ! I hear racist words from old and young people, caucasian, indian, italian, lebanese, you name it, I’ve heard it all. Actually, last year I worked with youth in a southern Ontario city and I was truly shocked by the things that came out of their mouths regarding people’s ethnicities and religions. Racism isn’t something that just “goes away”. It’s alive and well…it comes in many different forms, some more obvious than others.

  28. alex says:

    I think one of the issues in Canada, is that they don’t believe they have an issue. They always tell me, everyone here is an immigrant so we accept everyone, but I know first hand this isn’t true. All my friends and are all non Canadians, and are as diverse as a Benitton ad, and on certain occasions my non-white friends have spoke to me about feeling like they stand out, they haven’t had any words said to them, or anything but it is just a feeling they have had in certain towns along our travels. This is something I cannot relate to as people haven’t judged me based on how I look or my colour, but find that people make fun of my accent. Maybe if I was a different colour or looked different they wouldn’t do this because they would realize it was racism, but because I am white, they don’t think there is anything wrong with making fun of the way I speak. I now refuse to go to drive thrus or talk on the phone to companies because of this. Canada has made me feel very self conscious about my culture, and i find myself trying to disguise my accent. I am in what you would call a multi-cultural relationship I guess, and I find that my boyfriend, and my non-canadian friends are the only people who don’t poke fun or tease based on accents, or colours, or cultures.

  29. curious... says:

    can we just stick to the deals? this is a deal site. i love this site but i feel like you’re diluting your brand. if a newcomer, hunting for deals, were to come to this site for the first time and this was the post they saw, they wouldnt stay. im not saying this isn’t an interesting topic but i dont think this should be the place for it.

  30. AD says:

    Hubby also grew up in Mississauga, one of only a few jews in his high school!

  31. confused... says:

    I have to admit that I generally don’t pay attention to the off-topic blog posts, but as a mother of bi-racial children, married to a man who is a visible minority, having grown up as a visible minority myself, I was put off by the nature of the blog post. I don’t view this site as political in nature and I don’t want to be confronted by such a potentially offensive topic when I am searching for deals. My family has had many negative experiences due to our cultural identity as a family and I’m not sure I want to be reminded of that right before I leave for the grocery store. I wouldn’t visit a website that raised topics such as these. My experiences are more than enough. I just hate that this site that I have truly enjoyed is becoming one that I don’t believe that I will continue to visit in the future. Given the nature of the website, it isn’t productive to my day and leaves me feeling negative, rather than positive about any deals that I have found. It is nice, however, to see people interacting positively given the potential for this topic to become quite inflamed. Still, not quite enough to take the bad taste out of my mouth.

  32. vibrantflame says:

    Personally, I’m not sure how this blog post is offensive. The book, and the author of this blog post, is talking about dating people of different cultures, not different ethnic groups. I think we all realize that just because someone looks “Chinese” or “Latin” or whatever does not mean that they are, they may in fact identify themselves simply as Canadian, because they are 2nd or 3rd or whatever generation. However, it is (in my opinion) silly to say that we can’t discuss dating people of different cultures because it is not PC. It’s not about being “racist”, it’s about accepting that people DO have cultural differences and that CAN be a factor when it comes to dating.

    For example: In some cultures, people are raised that they must do everything their parents say always. Even as an adult, parents have the final say on all issues and if you do not obey your parents or you disagree with them, it is considered that you do not respect them. Now I was raised that once you are old enough to leave home, you make your own decisions (and live with the consequences). I personally would have big issues dating someone who still submitted to their parents on things, especially on major issues. NOT saying that everyone necessarily follows their cultural traditions though.

  33. vibrantflame says:

    In regards to the original post and the question whether we take multiculturalism for granted, I think that differs between provinces and cities, even between people. I used to live in a small town near North Bay, and there were a lot of people there that I would classify as racist, they used racist nicknames to describe people of other certain cultures, they told racist jokes, etc. I have also noticed (partially from observation, partially from personal experience) that there is prejudice or racism between Canadians and French-Canadians, not all the time and not everyone, but it is there and it does exist, some provinces and areas more then others. Personally, I take multiculturalism seriously, as in I am interested in learning about different cultures and their ways, not in a racist or prejudiced way.

  34. Stephania says:

    @vibrantflame – THANK YOU for bringing this thread back on topic!

    Not many people touched upon this, but how do people feel about interracial dating? Do you see colour/race/cultures when dating?

  35. Josh says:

    There is lots of people here in America. They can be found in the local Walmarts.

  36. SuperM says:

    I dont think the differences lie in ethnicity – but the values (including religion) we grow up with.

  37. Cigale says:

    My parents often argued about their difference and they were both French (one from Canada and one from France so they shared similar histories and had the same religion!).

    My hubby (born in India) and I get along much better.

  38. Hockeymom73 says:

    Stephania, I have no problem with interracial dating. I am black and grew up in Ottawa and have dated white, asian, European, etc. I married a French Canadian and it didnt work out. I will probably continue to interracially date since I find it hard to identify with some black men. Which ironically enough, many of my white friends dated in high school.

  39. kelly25 says:

    I’m sorry hmmmm but I thought the point was to give our opinion on the subject and not insult others opinions. So NO I don’t live under a rock otherwise I’d probably have no manners to the point of belittling others. I don’t know how hard or not it is to be a mix race couple but I do know how hard it is to come from two different cultures and languages. Have I ever seen racism in the big city? No, not once! Not in Montreal or Ottawa!

  40. hmmmmmm says:


    Actually, I don’t believe I even read your original comment. I don’t know why you decided to call me “rude” and state that i have “no manners”. That’s very insulting and uncalled for. I was saying in GENERAL a person must be living under a rock to think racism does not exist in Canada. Trust me it exists in ALL cities, big or small. By the way, I know people who have lived in Montreal who stated they experienced racism there…so there you go, now you can’t say it doesn’t exist in Montreal. Have a wonderful day 🙂

  41. David L. says:

    Montreal rocks!But it has its issues.Remember the Marseille case?

    Two neo-Nazi skinheads punched and stabbed a black man outside a Montreal bar, turned on their heels and made a Nazi salute as Evens Marseille, then 26, fell to the ground, clutching at the 13-cm. wound to his stomach.

    In a precedent-setting case, Marseille was awarded the largest financial settlement for a hate crime in the province by the Quebec Human Rights Commission last summer.

    With regards to interracial dating, there will always be those that frown on it.Ignore them.

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