This lively collection is an overview of the history of Italian Canadians in Toronto from the 1960s to the present. The author deals with particular moments of community development, starting with a period of disorganization and individual effort, then marking the achievements as a community from participation in many aspects of daily life: church, unions, sports, culture, business, and political activism. The author writes from his perspective as a witness and as a participant in community institutions such as the Federation of Associations of Canadian Italians (FACI); the National Congress of Italian Canadians; Villa Colombo and Villa Charities; and many other organizations. The author also looks at how these events coincide with particular moments in Canadian society: the Centennial celebrations in 1967; the Trudeau years and multiculturalism; the repatriation of the Canadian constitution in 1982, with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; and the evolution of Canadian identity in the late 20th and early 21st century.
Born in 1945 in Italy, Alberto Di Giovanni came to Canada in 1964. He was founder and Director of Centro Scuola e Cultura Italiana, the Canadian Centre for Italian Culture and Education. Centro Scuola began with the mandate of promoting Italian language and culture in Canada. Over the span of 40 years, he continued to lead activities that showcased the talents of young people from the community. Working with school boards, he established secondary school Summer Credit Courses and Fall Semester Courses in Italy. With Italian Canadians: Citizenship and Nationality, he shares his insider’s view of the dynamic Italian community in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area from the 1960s to the present.