Why a dialect of Arabic was the Junctions second language in the 70’s though the 90’s



Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam – 2015, http://torontoplaques.com/Pages/Maltese_Community.html

Maltese was a most common language spoken in the Junction, by residents and shop keepers, for decades.


The Maltese language is an Arabic dialects, it sounds like Arabic with a sprinkling of English phrases.

The main linguistic transformation came in around 1050, when the ruling Arabs absorbed the existing community and, through force of numbers, replaced the local tongue with their own. The Sicilians and the Knights of Malta followed. Sicilian, Latin and Italian, which was later declared the country’s official language, enjoyed high status for centuries – but Arabic persisted.

Professor Joseph Brincat, who teaches linguistics at the University of Malta, says it is too early to say whether Maltese will survive as a,


Eurobarometer poll in 2012, some 90% of the island’s population speak English. Another 36% speak Italian. Half of the subjects in the country’s schools and almost all of its university courses are taught in English. Shop signs and menus are in English and Italian; newspapers in English and Maltese.

After the read more link, Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam – Posted June, 2015


A small number of immigrants from Malta first arrived in Toronto in the late 19th century. By 1916, having fled overpopulation and unemployment, some 200 Maltese had established themselves in Toronto in two communities. One was the area of Dundas and McCaul Streets, and the other here in The Junction, near present-day Malta Park. Many worked in this district’s meat packing industry that was generated by the nearby Union Stock Yards (since demolished). The Maltese-Canadian Society of Toronto, established in 1922, supported the two growing communities.
Predominantly Roman Catholics, the Maltese living in The Junction first attended nearby St. Cecilia Church. In 1930, with aid from the Maltese-Canadian Society of Toronto, the community built St. Paul the Apostle Church on Dundas Street West. It was one of the first Maltese churches in North America. After the Second World War, more Maltese emigrated to Canada and settled in this neighbourhood. The resulting density of Maltese homes, businesses, and community organizations gave this area the name “Little Malta”.

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