The place of culture in urban development has been always meaningful. This article focuses on a variety of Jewish cultural expressions in the public sphere of the largest urban area at the north of metropolitan Toronto, Canada. These expressions mainly refer to street names, signs and symbols using Jewish-Israeli motifs in the city of Vaughan at the north of Toronto. They hardly exist in the city of Toronto itself. The very creation of "Jewish Toronto", that is, the salient presence of Jewish motifs in the urban public realm including house and car numbers, flags of Israel and signage, some in Hebrew - has been enabled due to a combination of factors, both 'Jewish' and 'Canadian-Torontonian'. Among the 'Jewish' factors are: a considerable Jewish (partly also Israeli) demographic concentration at the north of the metropolitan area, characterised in its tolerance and vibrant religio-cultural identity; its economic and political power; and its creation of extensive land reserves and related entrepreneurship activity in the construction of residential units and institutions on these lands. Among the 'Canadian-Torontonian' factors are: Canadian policies of multiculturalism and municipal acts enabling the construction entrepreneurs to decide about the names of streets. Important as well is the tolerance of the Torontonian society to visual external ethnic/national representations, influenced by Canada's multicultural environment. The northern area of metropolitan Toronto exemplifies thus the creation of islands of cultural representations of ethnic minorities within the public realm. This process is possible not only because of the aspirations, of the minority group; but mainly because of the flexibility and tolerance of the majority group/governance.
|Translated title of the contribution||"Jewish Toronto": Its Expression in Street Names, Symbols and Signs in the North of the Metropolis|
|State||Published - 2013|