In 1983, there were fewer than 5,000 Tamils living in Toronto. Today, the community is one of the city’s largest with 150,000 members. Serving the needs of Tamils are 19 publications, four business directories, more than 100 restaurants and caterers, and five Canadian Tamil Broadcasting Corporations, which provides 24 hours a day of radio programming.
Back in the early 1960s, there were only a few Tamil families living in Canada. Large-scale immigration began in the early 1980s, when thousands fled Sri Lanka after riots in the capital city. By 1988, there were more Tamils living in Canada than in Australia, New Zealand, or any country in Europe.
The community formed its first organization in 1976. It is now the Tamil Eelam Society, an organization that helps members adjust to life in Canada. Tamil restaurants and businesses are located at most major intersections in Toronto’s east end.
Christian and Muslim religious days are celebrated by some Tamils.
NEW YEAR’S, January 1, is celebrated with midnight prayers in Hindu temples. However, Tamil New Year falls on April 14 each year and their first obligation is to visit temples and renew their vows and make New Year resolutions which guide them to achieve their goals in life.
HINDU FESTIVAL DAYS are Thai-Pongal, Tamil New Year, and Deepavali.
See Holidays and Celebrations.
CANADIAN TAMIL BROADCASTING CORPORATION, (Tel. 416-429-2822, www.ctbc.com, 86 Laird Dr). Provides 24 hours of radio programming. Contact: Kandi Sivasothy.
CANADIAN TAMIL RADIO, (CTR-24hrs)(Tel. 416-264-0699, 2401 Eglinton Ave. E).
CANADIAN THAMIL OSAI RADIO, (Tel. 416-292-2262, 30 Loggerhead Grv).
POTHIKAI, (Tel. 416-961-4691, 2347 Eglinton Ave. E). Editor: Nirupa Thangavetpillai.
TAMILS’ GUIDE, (Tel. 416-615-4646, www.tamilguide.com, 2390 Eglinton Ave. E., Suite 203).
TVI TAMIL TELEVISION, (Tel. 416-593-9300, 501 Passmore Ave., Unit 34).
WORLD TAMIL, CJMR 1320, (Tel. 416-461-5991, 64 Eaton Ave). Everyday, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
VOICE OF TAMILS, c/o World Tamil Movement, (Tel. 416-335-0622, 39 Cosentino Dr). A bi-weekly newspaper published by the World Tamil Movement. Editor: Kamal Vasan.
ACADEMY OF TAMIL ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY, (Tel. 416-757-9601, 2130 Lawrence Ave. E., Suite 200B).
CANADIAN MOVEMENT FOR TAMIL CULTURE, (Tel. 905-848-5633).
FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF CANADIAN TAMILS, (Tel. 416-498-3228, 2191 Warden Ave., No. 202).
SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN’S CENTRE, (Tel. 416-537-2276, 1332 Bloor St. W). Provides counselling to South Asian women.
TAMIL EELAM SOCIETY OF CANADA, (Tel. 416-265-0514, 3150 Eglinton Ave. E., Unit 6; and Tel. 416-536-5678, 1212 Bloor St. W). An organization helping Tamils with immigration, the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada program, counselling workshops, seminars, and other matters. President: Mr. Thambipillai Puvananathan.
TORONTO TAMIL SENIORS ASSOCIATION, (Tel. 416-323-9086, 275 Bleecker St).
WORLD TAMIL MOVEMENT, (Tel. 416-335-0622, 39 Cosentino Dr).