I was in Toronto recently visiting my brother Jason. He happens to live pretty near Toronto’s Koreatown, so I spent a good bit of the trip in and around the area. Toronto’s Koreatown runs along Bloor Street from around Bloor & Bathurst (where the Honest Ed’s store is on the corner) to Bloor & Christie Street. K-Town Toronto is a lot like smaller neighborhoods of Seoul with its two or three-story brick buildings.
Here’s some photo notes. A gallery of all my Koreatown Toronto photos can also be seen here.
1. A few street views of K-Town Toronto
2. Predictably, there’s a lot of study abroad centers here. The keywords are 국제 (international) and 유학 (study abr0ad).
This one is named after the famous road in Seoul, Jongno Road.
3. This hair salon is called ‘Great Lake’. Toronto is located on one of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario. The Korean word for the Great Lakes is 오대호 (five-great-lake).
4. Toronto-based Koreans seem to share the fixation with all things Ivy League (ie. the major American universities). This looks like a Korean-style hagwon. Can they really get you into Yale?
5. Of course, spelling and grammar mistakes abound. Beef becomes ‘beep’ on this sign.The Korean language doesn’t have an ‘f’ sound.
This store, Morning Glory, is a big chain in Korea, so it’s noteworthy that it has a Toronto location. They claim to have a lot of ‘stationeries’ on the sign, but As far as I know, stationery isn’t countable.
This 노래방 norebang (karaoke box) has new managemen (no ‘T’). Later this day, we spotted celebrity Canadian actress Rachel McAdams (of Sherlock Holmes fame) at a K-Town karaoke box (can’t remember if it was this exact location though).
6.This restaurant is named after Myeongdong, a famous area of Seoul. The English sign makes it appear that it is a sushi restaurant, but the Korean sign says that it specializes in spicy tofu soup (순두부). Sushi seems to remain the cash cow fish for Korean restaurants in Canada.
7. Of course, there’s lots of PC bangs.
8.The Korean word for thumb is 엄지 (eomji). I’m not sure if a fast food restaurant should really be named ‘thumb’. 뷴식 (bunshik) restaurants sell Korean fast food, such as instant noodles, 만두 (mandu) dumplings, and 떡볶이 (deokbokki) rice cakes in spicy sauce.
9. This guy is making 호두 (hodu) walnut cakes, a popular Korean snack. The shop most certainly had the machine sent over from Korea.
10. Basically, Koreatown Toronto is a lot like Seoul, but there’s a lot more graffiti here in TO.