96 episodes

The Immigrants of Toronto podcast is a place to listen to stories of immigration from people who, at any point in time, decided to call Toronto their home.

You will find stories from people that just arrived, or also from others who have been living here most of their lives. But all these people share something in common, they were born somewhere else in the world, and now live in Toronto.

So if you're curious to listen to what the life of an immigrant is, you're in the right place.

Learn more about the project at immigrantsoftoronto.com

Immigrants of Toronto Oscar Cecena

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 20 Ratings

The Immigrants of Toronto podcast is a place to listen to stories of immigration from people who, at any point in time, decided to call Toronto their home.

You will find stories from people that just arrived, or also from others who have been living here most of their lives. But all these people share something in common, they were born somewhere else in the world, and now live in Toronto.

So if you're curious to listen to what the life of an immigrant is, you're in the right place.

Learn more about the project at immigrantsoftoronto.com

    The Value of Mentorship with Alan Middleton (England)

    The Value of Mentorship with Alan Middleton (England)

    Alan Middleton has been mentoring immigrants for quite some time. As an immigrant from England to Canada, he identifies with the struggles that newcomers face.



    In this episode, Alan shares his experience as a mentor as well as some valuable advice for new Canadians.



    Note: Due to issues with my microphone when recording, the audio on this episode is below the standard quality. I apologize for it; I hope you enjoy the episode.



    Subscribe to the Podcast



    If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn.



    Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form.



    Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena, and this is Immigrants of Toronto.



    Learn more about Alan Middleton



    Alan Middleton



    Alan C. Middleton is a long-time professor at the Schulich School of Business, York University, independent consultant, author and speaker on marketing and mentorship.



    He was inducted into Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends in 2004 in the mentorship category and has been a long-time mentor and advisory committee member at the Mentor Exchange, operated by AMA Toronto. Recently, he released his latest book, Mentorship Matters: Now More Than Ever! that delivers a timely look at mentorship programs in the post-pandemic workplace.



    Middleton has experience empowering new Canadians by helping them understand local business culture, identifying employment opportunities, and enhancing their networking and interview skills.







    Get in touch with Alan



    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/alan-c-middleton-phd-8a253a9/Read Alan's book: Mentorship Matters: Now More Than Ever!

    • 39 min
    Seeking a better life for my kids with Maria Martinez (Peru)

    Seeking a better life for my kids with Maria Martinez (Peru)

    Maria Martinez is my first guest from Peru. I’m very excited to have her as a guest. She moved from Peru in 2017with her husband and her two children. She came as a student at Humber and, to force herself to practice her English, joined a Toastmasters club.



    Even with all her professional experience, she found it challenging to get the job she wanted. However, she joined a bridging program at Rottman and was able to get that job in just a couple of months after starting.



    Subscribe to the Podcast



    If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn.



    Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form.



    Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena, and this is Immigrants of Toronto.



    Learn more about Maria Martinez



    Maria Martinez



    Maria moved from Peru to Toronto in February 2017 with her husband Julio and two kids: Val, 15 and Maria Julia, 12.



    She received some great pieces of advice and some terrible ones before coming here and wants to share what worked for her and her family.







    Get in touch with Maria



    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/mariavmg/Instagram: @mariavalvaneramgTwitter: @MariaValvaMG

    • 31 min
    Improve your English by engaging in authentic conversations with Jessica Beck (USA)

    Improve your English by engaging in authentic conversations with Jessica Beck (USA)

    Jessica Beck, host of the IELTS Energy podcast, joins me today to talk about the importance of preparing for the English proficiency test. She works at All Ears English Education, and today she shares excellent advice on how to improve your English by engaging in authentic conversations.



    Jessica featured me in her podcast as well; you can listen to it here: https://www.allearsenglish.com/ielts-energy-1079-life-after-ielts-oscars-3-tips-to-thrive-in-canada/



    The best advice she gave is: Be your authentic self in English.



    Subscribe to the Podcast



    If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn.



    Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form.



    Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena, and this is Immigrants of Toronto.



    Learn more about Jessica Beck



    Jessica Beck



    I have been in the ESL world for nearly two decades. In that time, I have written 16 ESL textbooks, implemented Taiwan’s first TESOL teacher-training program, and taught in three countries. For 14 years, I was also an IELTS Examiner.



    Currently, I am Director of IELTS Training for All Ears English. In this role, I host a top-ranked test prep podcast, IELTS Energy TV, and co-host the All Ears English podcast, downloaded over 200 million times since its launch. Additionally, I have designed and project-managed the creation process for all three of our successful online courses.



    From time to time, I act as a curriculum consultant for various ESL organizations.







    Get in touch with Jessica



    Website: allearsenglish.comLinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jessica-beck-aee/Instagram: @all_ears_english

    • 28 min
    Remembrance Day: Four immigrant soldiers who fought for Canada in WWI

    Remembrance Day: Four immigrant soldiers who fought for Canada in WWI

    Today is Remembrance Day. And to commemorate the occasion, I'm joined by Rodrigo Königs. He's a good friend of mine and also a WWI enthusiast.



    We recorded this episode at Prospect Cemetery while visiting the tombstones of four immigrant soldiers who fought for Canada during the Great War.



    This episode aims to honour the memory of the soldiers who, even though they weren't born in this country, decided to go to war for it.



    Here are the four soldiers that we mention in this episode:



    Captain Walter L. RayfieldPrivate Wesley CoweckPrivate Curley ChristianSergeant Major Colin F. Barron



    Captain Walter L. Rayfield



    Private Wesley Coweck



    Private Curley Christian



    Sergeant Major Colin F. Barron



    Subscribe to the Podcast



    If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn.



    Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form.



    Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena, and this is Immigrants of Toronto.



    Learn more about Rodrigo Königs



    Rodrigo Königs



    After 18 years living in Canada, Rodrigo has lived in four different Canadian cities (Ottawa, Victoria, Edmonton, and Toronto), and has developed a career in the social services and nonprofit sectors.



    He is married and has two children. He manages an online page about World War I called “Century Flow: Stories of the Great War” and he founded a community for Mexican professionals in Ontario that now has over 2,000 members.







    Get in touch with Rodrigo



    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/rodrigo-konigs-ma-cmp-a23a6324/Twitter @RKonigsInstagram: @rodrigo.konigsCentury Flow: Stories from the Great WarFacebook community for Mexican professionals

    • 24 min
    The world seemed brighter when I set foot in Canada with Vadim Lidich (Ukraine)

    The world seemed brighter when I set foot in Canada with Vadim Lidich (Ukraine)

    Vadim Lidich joins the podcast today to talk about his experience of moving to Canada at a very young age by himself. His family saved enough money to send him here to give him better opportunities.



    Subscribe to the Podcast



    If you enjoyed listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. And make sure to follow the show on Instagram and LinkedIn.



    Lastly, if you’re an immigrant and want to share your story on the show, go to immigrantsoftoronto.com/join and fill out the form.



    Thanks for listening, I’m Oscar Cecena, and this is Immigrants of Toronto.



    Learn more about Vadim Lidich



    Vadim Lidich



    Startup founder & product architect with experience in LegalTech, PropTech, Fintech, VC Tech, and eSports. Passionate about SMB SaaS and about building solutions for the underserved segments in the market.



    Co-founder & CTO @ Paperstack, where we help millions of e-commerce sellers across North America with bookkeeping, categorize all their expenses, and provide actionable insights to help them grow their online store.



    Mentor & startup advisor at Gener8tor, Founder Institute (Ukraine), The Forge (McMaster U), Ingenuity (Lakehead U), and through communities like TeaClub and MapleMaker. Podcast host.







    Get in touch with Vadim



    LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/vadimlidichInstagram: @vadimlidichWebsite: paperstack.us

    • 23 min
    Where does Halloween come from?

    Where does Halloween come from?

    I want to talk about Halloween. It may be a common topic, but in the last week, I had conversations with three different newcomers who not only don’t celebrate Halloween, but they think it’s just an American holiday.



    I’ve always loved history. And I find ancient cultures fascinating, especially the Celts. And that’s why I decided to make this episode.



    Basically, the Celts were a collection of tribes that shared a similar language, tradition, and culture. It’s believed that their civilization started as early as 1,200 BC. They spread to most Western Europe but mainly lived in what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and the north of France. They celebrated their new year on November 1st. Yes, their year ended with the summer.



    And this is where we start talking about Halloween.



    The Celts had a celebration called Samhain (“SAH-win”) to mark the end of summer, welcome the harvest and mark the beginning of what they called “the dark half of the year,” which is basically the winter when we get only a few hours of light.



    Anyway, during that celebration, the Celts believed that the boundaries between the physical world and the spirit world broke, allowing spirits of the dead to roam freely in the land of the living.



    And because the barrier between the dead and the living was broken, they prepared offerings left outside their villages in an attempt to satisfy the spirits and make sure they didn’t enter.



    However, they believed that some spirits would still go inside their villages. Especially their ancestors, so the living dressed up as animals, using furs and branches, so the dead couldn’t recognize and take them to the otherworld where the dead dwell.



    By the year 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had already conquered most Celtic territory, and during the four centuries that they ruled the land, a Roman festival called Feralia was combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain. Feralia was when the Romans commemorated the passing of the dead, and it was celebrated in late October.



    Then, many centuries later, Pope Gregory III moved the All Martyrs Day that was initially celebrated on May 13th to November 1st. And renamed it All Saints day.



    By the 9th century, Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with older Celtic rites and traditions. Then in the year 1000, the church named November 2nd All Soul’s Day, also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.



    Halloween in this continent



    Before the mid 19th century in North America, Halloween was not widely celebrated. It was until the second half of the 19th century when North America was flooded with new immigrants, especially Irish immigrants, that popularized Halloween on this side of the globe.



    Most of the celebrations we have today in Canada come from traditions outside this country. And even though Halloween is now a night to go trick or treating and have fun with friends, it’s good to know that hundreds of years ago, people dressed up not to have fun but because they feared the spirits of the dead.



    As I said in the beginning, I love history. So if you enjoyed this episode, let me know, and I’ll be happy to add a few of these here and there to talk about traditions or historical events that forged this country that we decided to call home.







    Subscribe & Follow!



    Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts! And, if you haven’t done so already, follow Immigrants of Toronto on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.



    If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on social media, I reply to every message I receive.



    If this podcast has helped you in any way, I really want to hear about

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

TheNewcomerCollective ,

A place for true and honest inspiration

Oscar has created such a safe and magical place for immigrants to share their inspiring stories. It is clear that we are all in this together, that we can achieve so much, and that we can learn a lot from each other. Keep up the great work!

Ehgirl79 ,

Story of unsung heroes of their own lives

I don’t do podcast (I just don’t do) but I quite enjoy this podcast because of the genuine storytelling. You can tell both Oscar, the interviewer and guests are real people and you can relate to their stories as an “ordinary person”. In many cases, social media tends to highlight people with “extraordinary job titles/accomplishments; however, this podcast focuses on those unsung heroes of their own lives, who have taken the roadless traveled. You can only imagine what it takes to be an immigrant/newcomer — I deeply appreciate their stories which truly make me feel humble and empowered, because I believe that those ordinary people are real change makers who shape the future of our community.

“A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things” - Barack Obama

Marcela Chein ,

A relatable podcast to immigrants

I like listening to the stories of different immigrants and realize that all of us share similar experiences while trying to adapt to a new life.

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