To say Toronto is best known for it’s vibrant cultural
communities wouldn’t be a stretch by any means. From Italian, Irish, Iranian,
Indian and everywhere in between there is a pocket for everyone. Unfortunately
visitors into the city rarely get to experience this fabled part of the cities
identity. Pushed in to the suburbs by a rapidly gentrifying core, these
communities are less pronounced within the downtown limits.
The Toronto Indian community however has been making itself
heard and experienced for over 37 years with it’s annual Festival of India.
This annual parade route rubs shoulders with the most iconic area’s in city and
temporarily transforms the commerciality of the infamous Yonge Street into a
open public gathering and festival. Driving a cultural stake through Canada’s financial district
is a juxtaposition which is as unique as it is fun.
As the festival’s official photographers we got to
experience first hand the sights sounds and solidarity of this healthy
community. Traditional this parade route culminates with a weekend long
festival on Toronto’s Centre Island, however this years plans were altered due
to civic challenges. The change did not dampen the spirits of festival
organizers and attendees. A cavalcade of events featuring traditional songs,
dances, performances and plays were well attended.
The Indian hospitality was on display as the every exhibit,
performance and even the food was free anyone and everyone. The featured
highlight was the annual Yoga Meltdown. Free sessions of group yoga were
conducted with kids of all age coming together in the spirit of peace and
A remarkable festival, to which we would like to thank the organizers and the people for giving us a fun filled (albeit exhausting) weekend.
Below is a video snippet of the event by Rishi Kumar.