New face of Iranian community in Toronto


by kingpillaroffaith

With this article, I don’t want to put down the entire Iranian community of Toronto. But I would like to present some trends that I have noticed in the past 3-4 years and that I find to be more and more common among Iranians. I just want to draw the attention of readers on how materialistic and selfish some Iranians have become, and how these attitudes have been strengthened in the past few years in Iran where class consciousness and corrupt economy are so prevalent, and then been brought here in Canada.

A big part of the Iranian community of Toronto lives in we can refer to as “Tehranto”, where there is also a heavy concentration of Iranian stores, restaurants and businesses. This area is along Yonge Street, from Highway 401 to the south all the way to Major Mackenzie to the north, and includes the area of Willowdale in North York, then Thornhill and Richmond Hill.

The heart of this area is between Finch and Steeles Avenues. That’s where you find the famous Shomal and Zaffron restaurants, the Gole Sorkh bakery, the Super Khorak, the “Plaza ye Iranian” with 10-15 stores stuck next to each other, from dentists to kabobfoorooshi to lawyer’s offices to butchery to pestefoorooshi to jewellery to bookstore...

Most Iranians in this area are new immigrants, having come to Canada in the past 5 years. The previous waves that came in the 80’s and 90’s are more integrated and live in farther suburbs, such as Richmond Hill, Aurora or Newmarket.

I find these new immigrants to be so different from the previous waves.

First of all, in terms of looks, the younger ones seem to come from a different planet. The guys have long hair with 5 kg of gel on it and 10-cm high spikes and these pointy shoes that could easily be used to kill someone, not mentioning the plucked eyebrows that look so obvious with a three-day beard. Then the girls, where should I start? At least 10 kg of makeup, all kinds of highlights and bleaches for the hair, the eternal nose jobs, which are the trademark that quickly tells me they are newcomers from Tehran and nowhere else!

Then, the attitudes! This is what really disappointed me! In stores, people have no shame and no care! They just want to get their stuff and go home. No consideration for others whatsoever! No sorry, no excuse me, no please, nothing! People don’t even know how to line up! And the store owners are not better! I have seen how some are arrogant and obviously do not seem to like what they are doing. No smile, no friendliness, just give the money and go!

And the worst is the parking and driving. In their luxury cars and SUV’s, they just do as they please. The Plaza’s parking lot looks so much like a section of Vali-Asr Avenue in the middle of peak hour! Cars come from everywhere; there is no respect for anyone, no patience for those pulling out of their spot, nothing!

Go to a video store: the movies are all copied from the internet with incredibly low quality. The DVD’s stall in the middle of the movie, and the quality and the sound are just appalling!

In restaurants, the service can be really irritating: most waiters are not properly trained to serve customers. If they make a mistake and bring you the wrong dish, they don’t always recognize it nor apologize and even sometimes, they tell you that this was your actual order, but that they will bring you what you have now just ordered instead! The restaurants are usually packed but lack the proper organization to have a fast and proper service.

Now about the social life in general: most Iranians who have recently come are either rich investors or spoiled children of millionaires from Northern Tehran! These people come here and buy their condos and luxury cars with cash money! Once the parents get their Canadian citizenship and the all-so coveted Canadian passport, they pack up and go back to Iran to return to their occupations, never to pay any tax to the Canadian government. The children come here to study and do not care a bit about what is going in this city or country. After all, why would they? They are only after their “mehmoonis”, concerts and “equips”. They go back to Iran 2 or 3 times a year thanks to the “moafi” that their daddies bought for them and that’s it. And there are so many of those who find school too boring and go for a quick certificate and become real estate agents or mortgage brokers. Not that I have anything against these jobs, but it just shows me that their main objective is to make quick money and drive nice cars, and not really to get an education.

At house parties, discussions hardly go beyond makeup, clothes and of course backstabbing others for girls; and about retard stuff for guys. The goal is to drink, to smoke and most of all, to show off.

At Persian “mehmoonis” and concerts, there are always fights. There is nothing about Persian culture that is celebrated in these events. They are called “Persian parties” but ask anyone attending about our culture and they will look at you with big eyes as if you come from another planet. It’s all about showing off the sluttiest dresses for girls, and how rich you are for guys. The music is always the latest crap that comes out of Los Angeles and Tehran, with male singers having voices that would make you throw up. Line ups are a disaster, and the worst is during the coat checkout. It’s just a mess altogether!

I hear of extravagant weddings where the rich daddy pays hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ceremony, or of young guys who waste thousands of dollars per night at Niagara Falls casino. Where does all this money come from? How come a 20-year kid is driving a BMW M6, and how come some of them go 3 or 4 times to Iran within the same year, only to party and see their friends?

I remember a few years ago, the general atmosphere within the community was friendlier and more pleasant. Iranians were more trustable and people had things to talk about and discuss. I feel that this is over. People who have recently come from Iran have turned this community into a money-loving and materialistic one, only preoccupied by looks, luxury cars and quick money. Just open any Iranian community paper and you’ll see for yourself: the ads are only about real estate agents and mortgage brokers with phony looks and names and whose reputations are extremely questionable.

These attitudes did not exist 10-15 years ago within the Iranian community of Toronto. These attitudes come directly from Iran, and actually the Iran that has emerged in the past few years where oil prices have gone up like crazy and where the economy is corrupt, where there is no social equality and where no one cares about the others, be it in driving, shopping, or doing any sort of business, and most of all, where there is no decent way to have fun, and the only fun is to do drugs, sleep around and get wasted in the rich villas of Shomal.

This only shows me how the general level of culture and social life in Iran has become low, and how people are careless about making any change in their lives there. Coming to Canada is not a way of improving their lives, but just a way of showing off to the others in Iran that they are something. It’s a class phenomenon once again: it is cool to move out of Iran, have a Western passport and come back to Tehran every year and brag about it.

Now, I would like to ask the readers what they think and if they have noticed similar trends where they live.




by fingfungfooyeee on

I would like to first state that I was raised in
Canada from the age of 4.  I had
never been to Iran and just recently went and now I know why Iranians are so
wealthy in Canada. Toronto has got nothing on Vancouver (where I live) new
Iranians and Chinese own 95% of all homes over 5 million and there are
thousands of them out here.  Iranians
(pooleh mofteh nafto) bring here and waste it. I honestly am absolutely
disgusted and embarrassed by Iranians and their retarded primitive mentality and
want nothing to do with them, their customs, behaviour, attitudes and
especially their second rate women, who will lick a fat, nasty hairy bald JAFAR
looking guy from Aladin from his nasty bald head to his nasty ass hairy feet if
his father is wealthy, over a well educated strong self made income earning
stud 9.8 times out of 10. That friends is pure prostitution 9.8 times out of
10 and seems to be very common among Iranians women. They even do it in Canada, where they have every single opportunity to earn
and become successful as a woman. Never have and never will date an Iranian
women. By the way 10s in Iran where killing themselves all day long to be with
me (I mean to Come to Canada) disgraceful mentality, old and young, rich and
poor. It is a shame. All they know how to do is scam, import money and if the
scams fail, import some more money. They would not last a day in this country
the legit way on their own 2. By the way, my father is very wealthy but has not
given me nor my bro a penny and wanted us to become men, unlike these (Baghali
Polo) kids who can’t even afford to pay the gas of their 250k cars without
their father’s oil money. Honestly, new immigrant Iranian’s behaviour and
attitudes are not different than Arabs from Saudi Arabia and yes that is a
serious insult. Canadians, look at Iranians as RICH ARABS and nothing more.
Only as good as the money they bring into my economy. PERIOD.  Do not kid yourselves folks, they do not give
a flying   9483  about your customs and Ayde Norooz.   Oh, by
the way to be very conservative, 70 percent of the time these Haj Aghas come to
Vancouver, buy a mansion 5 million and up, the wife goes to the first family
lawyer and files a divorce and gets the house in and around 90 percent of the


somehow true

by NaZ366 on

I too have been wondering why some of us are cold towards each other and don't really seem to care, or we are somehow kind of selfabsorbed or we tend to critize each other a lot. I agree with you on that matter. As for the young ,well, what do you expect? the name tells it all. Not only are they young but Iran and out, the West gives a great influence and a new culture. It's normal. It's a phase they go through. You cant expect perfection... As for education, a lot are still thinking about it since it's highly valued for Iranians. The ads you see in newspapers, maybe they dont have time to go back to school or their english is not good.


To Nel

by kingpillaroffaith on





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Thanks for your
feedback. Your tone seems to be more accusing rather than constructive...


I have never
claimed to represent a certain group of Iranians versus a group of newcomers or
FOBs as you are trying to put it. My intention was to share my views on the
wave of nouveaux riches immigrants that have come from Iran and seem to be a
rather numerous bunch compared to previous waves, let’s say before the year
2000, when immigrants were coming more from the professional and academic
backgrounds. I have never said that the professional ones have stopped coming. For
your info the Canadian government has, in recent years, adopted new rules for
immigration and it has made it more and more difficult for regular immigrants
(professionals and academics included) to come here, and it gives much more
preference to what we “investor immigrants”, who are basically people who have
$100,000 and want to invest it in a business here in Canada. Therefore, this is
the reason why we see more and more people from the “nouveau riche” category
coming here, especially people who have made huge amounts of money in the
housing market of Tehran.


Also, this was
in no way a sociology article. These are my daily observations on some changing
patterns within the Iranian community of Toronto, and judging by some comments posted
here previously, it seems that I am not the only one who has noticed them. It
is not hard to notice who is a newcomer and who is not. There are some areas
where Iranians of previous waves have settled, and you can only know that if
you live in Toronto, which obviously you don’t.


And I would also
add that you are not as informed as you think: thanks for pointing to my
awkward English, but maybe I should remind you that Canada is a bilingual
country and a lot of people speak French better than English, and I happen to
have lived many years in Quebec. I happen to be out of Iran for 25 years if
that can also help you!


As for the level
of culture in Iran: I happen to talk to people and inform myself on the
situation there by asking questions! It’s that simple, my friend! I also went to
Iran on several occasions. Most people who have recently moved from Iran and
whom I have talked to point out how social relations have become superficial,
how driving has become bad, how people have become rude and how corruption has
become more and more rampant? Should I continue?


One last thing
about the driving: a friend of my brother, who happens to the son of a rich
investor, is 22 and owns a BMW X-5 and was stopped driving 220 km/h on the
highway between Montreal and Toronto. He got his driving license revoked, but
still continues to drive around the city and has no worry whatsoever to be
caught. The reason? He is rich and his Dad will take care of it! I have heard
stories like this so many times in the past few years.





well said Flying solo

by Nel (not verified) on

to the writer of the piece:
uptight nags sitting on the fence are as annoying as bad-mannered showoffs

it's not just spoilt rich kids who have been getting out of Iran in the past years, but a large number of proper professionals who have lost hope of ever getting anywhere in Iran's bad economy, so your assumption about new comers all sharing the same background is wrong

the patronising been-there-longer-than-you-FOBs attitude is also similar to those, whose parents immigrated from shahrestan, looking down on new comers to Tehran

I find it hard to believe that all Iranian stores are as bad as you describe, on the other hand if the restaurant is packed already why improve the service!! maybe that's part of the flavour to be treated rudely!

as for the driving, well, the police can always give them a ticket. if they don't, so much for the Canadian traffic management

But the most amusing part of your piece is this---> "This only shows me how the general level of culture and social life in Iran has become low, and how people are careless about making any change in their lives there."

the English and the choice of words are not what I'd call authentic, it sounds translated from Farsi, so how long you said you were living there?

but this is not the point, my question is, are you a sociologist? are you quoting a reliable source? and how do you exactly measure the "level of culture"????
Iranians have changed a lot in the past three decades in certain ways, that could be and has been the subject of research
but it makes no sense to make such snap judgements about an entire nation by such fleeting glimpses of the diaspora

anonymous fish

Flying Solo

by anonymous fish on

Yes, I'm aware of the distinction.  :-)

I just think that "salad bowl" is more indicative of what I perceive the more positive and attractive aspects of America to be.

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on




i completely agree with this

by Anonymous989812323 (not verified) on

i completely agree with this artical,
the country we used have 50 years ago when Reza Shah was around was respected by every country in the world. nowadays you say your persian and people have no clue what it means to be persian.
this new attitude these FOB persians have when they get off luftansa and hope into the S-class and drive to westvan like a bunk of goofs
its a waste to see what people these days are becoming
but then again its not just persians
u can see it in asains and east indians to


Perspective of an Iranian in Toronto

by YMJ (not verified) on


I live in Thornhill, all those place's mentioned i've been to on numerous occasions.

I agree with most of the points in this article. I will however add, that i've also been to Tehran and Iran to play professional soccer for 3 years. I moved to Canada in 1994 and went back in 2003 when i was 18.

At first Tehran was a huge culture shock to me, because comming from Thornhill, a relativly quite and small city compared to Tehran. I also was not very Iranian!

Soon i realized that many of the customs i thought were not rude, were very rude to my Elders in Iran. As a professional player, i had to adapt to the culture of Iran so i would not seem rude.

Soon i realized that us Iranians have a very high class culture and that the people who run away from Iran and come to the west, are those who try to imitate western cultures.

Most of the Iranians here in Toronto , would be considered EXTREMELY rude in Iran.

This new class of Iranians are the one's who try to act out against the IR regime, but in turn give themselve's a bad name and the IR a good name because the IR warn's of this "rude and materialistic western culture" which are anti-islamic.


to FLying Solo

by kingpillaroffaith on

Ms. FS

 No, I totally disagree. In Canada, immigrants have to adapt to a certain way of behaving. Just because we accept immigrants from just about every country in the world does not mean they can bring their crooked manners here! PArti bazi, reshve, driving like in Tehran, not being able to line up properly or not being able to serve customers in a friendly manner, or not paying taxes are NOT acceptable in this country. 

Flying Solo

America the Melting Pot

by Flying Solo on

Anonymous Fish:

US Melting Pot is distinctly different from Canada's Salad Bowl.  America is a mindset - Canada is a country. 

anonymous fish


by anonymous fish on

how ironic.  we were just talking about this... how every ones calls the US a "melting pot" and we thought that "salad bowl" was so much more appropriate.  the US is made up of many different ingredients and is much more appealing than a pot of "nothing in particular".


Let's put it this way

by Iraonee (not verified) on

There is nothing wrong with having money and living luxury life . Fusses are from those who cannot compete or don't know how.Obviously those people are the most jealous ones.Good news is Iranian taking over ,Mashala.

Flying Solo


by Flying Solo on




> 100% right

by Another Lost Iranian in Paris (not verified) on

I totally agree with this article, damet garm vaghan. Finally, someone has pointed out the negative aspects of our 1/3 world culture exporting itself all around the world. A culture wich has been demolished by this regime,and let's face it : with the help the of iranian people .

As iranians care more about their nose shape, and their cars : this has a direct consequence in coutries where the ''new'' imigration waves land.

What you basically describe is very unique to Toronto : thanks to the generous Canadian immigration policies. All these nadid padid act the exact same way in Sweden, and in a less extend in Germany.

I've been travelling to the Greater TO area on a regular basis since my childhood. Many of my close relatives decided to leave a racist and conservative France in the mid-80s , for a better future. As a matter of fact, they made the right choice. But their communities have evolved into what they were escaping from Iran : backward attitudes, parti bazi networking, dumb ass people with no brain.


I somewhat agree with

by azadi55 (not verified) on

I somewhat agree with writer's comments. I have lived in Toronto since 86, and have seen a change in the Persian community in the recent years, I think it started in 2000. More rich Iranian started coming to Canada with fat valets, egos, and spoiled kids. Yeah, and the comment about guys with stupid haircut, don't get me started on that. I specially find the kids from these people annoying, they pay large sums of money to go to Iranian private schools, in hopes of getting their marks up to par for universities. Some these schools have got a bad rep now since they basically sell marks to these students so they could get into universities, a trend emerged as a large number of these fools got in and choked on the first term, the universities have smartened up in recent years.

A lot of these new comers with large amount of money think they can start a business here with irani bazi, and evade taxes in some shape and form, every once in a while some of them go up in smoke. the newspapers and magazines here a joke, they are just real estate and immigration ads. If a non-Iranian reads opens one of these papers they think that that's the only thing Iranian can do.

But other than this new crowd, and by no means I mean all of them, Toronto also has a solid Iranian population base with people who have branched out in different sectors of industry and made lots of strides.

And the girls with heavy make, and boys with flashy dress and big greasy hair, sitting in a smoke filled cafe smoking gheleyoon, don't ask how cheap that looks.

nonetheless, I am proud to be Iranian and living in Toronto. I love this city and wouldn't want to live elsewhere.


I'm not quite sure what

by TheMrs on

I'm not quite sure what this report about the new Toronto is about. Toronto has always sucked, basically for this same reason. Too many show offs. It's just that fashion trends were a little less "in your face" ten years ago. Also, the first wave of immigrants were adjusting and trying had to retain their culture. Now, the second wave isn't as scared anymore. The children can go out longer. Date more. Party hardy and so on. People like me had to fight for every priviledge and now opened the door for these other kids (sorry).

I've never been to Toronto and not returned with a sense of immense relief that I'm outta there! I went to an Andy concert once about 10 years ago (yes, I'm hanging my head down in shame now) and every girl was dressed like a ho and the guys were ALL THAT.

I think you are just noticing these things now because you're not part of that group and you can stand back as an observer. And I don't mean YOU per se, but the first wave.

LA, Toronto, Vancouver = Ogh


Mr/s kingpillaroffaith

by Souri on

"This only shows me how the general level of culture and social life in Iran has become low, and how people are careless about making any change in their lives there..."

As long as you see the problem and you see where it comes from, this is great!! So now, you know how to act to make a difference. Maybe you, as a true civilized Iranian could act differently to show them the best way of acting and thinking for the future of our country.


Dear observant khaleh

by IRANdokht on

I have a nagging suspiscion that what you mentioned is exactly the point behind the recent blogs...  

I have been to Toronto many times and it is not anywhere near what this article is claiming.




by SamSamIIII on


one of the reasons , I moved from TO , when the 1st wave of bacheh hajiis & hajii kebobi culture landed in the late 80,s . & soon will move to a Small farm town ... better to live among civilized horses and cows than deal with their id-less clones in Tehranto .Cheers!!!






I agree, but if u read my

by kingpillaroffaith on

I agree, but if u read my last paragraphs, I am explaining that the trends they have brought are slowly taking over the community.

Regards JJ

khaleh mosheh

Google News search

by khaleh mosheh on

Just performed a search on google  news using Iranian as a search term and this thread appeared.

I did feel a little embarrased with the content of the article appearing on google news search as the content feels a little bigoted- Is it just me?

I mean rich investors are found everywhere and often they are tax exiles as to not to pay too much tax in the country that they make their money. And whats wrong with kids receiving an education in another country. After all a large proportion of the Iranian diaspora left Iran to get an advanced education.

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

It takes time to shed odd and inappropriate behavior learned in the old country.

Meanwhile you should stay away from these newcomers. Chera khodeto herss meedee? :o)

anonymous fish

to be perfectly fair...

by anonymous fish on

i don't think it's about "iranians" as much as it is the generation.

superficiality and greed are the motto of the day.  however, i don't live in canada so i'm obviously not qualified to speak of that in particular.

souri khanoom... where are you????