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SolarCity is building the biggest solar panel production facility in the Western Hemisphere in Buffalo. It's supposed to open next year, so that will probably bring another boost to the city's economy.
 
Dyngus Day (Easter Monday) is a big deal in Buffalo. I've been the last two years and will be heading there again this weekend. I really enjoy the parade through Polonia not to mention the Polish food, beer and music.
 
It looks like from the responses in this thread and peoples' familiarity with the city, that the link to Buffalo among many Torontonians in terms of firsthand experience is still pretty thriving and vibrant.
 
Dyngus Day (Easter Monday) is a big deal in Buffalo. I've been the last two years and will be heading there again this weekend. I really enjoy the parade through Polonia not to mention the Polish food, beer and music.

Indeed.


Buffalo has a very big Polish American population. They're descended from the 1890-1920 wave, so there's more of a sentimental to Polish peasant "folk culture."
 
Indeed.


Buffalo has a very big Polish American population. They're descended from the 1890-1920 wave, so there's more of a sentimental to Polish peasant "folk culture."

Polish Buffalonians seem to have retained a strong sense of tradition/pride despite having moved from the "old country" about a century ago. In Chicago I've still met some young people who speak Polish but in Chicago the Polish communities span many different waves of immigration even up to less than a generation ago.
 
Chicago is the Polish capital of the continent, with Polish immigration waves going on for over a century (1890-1920, postwar and 1980s/1990s). At this point I believe the old Polish neighborhoods in NW Chicago and adjacent inner suburbs are largely made up of immigrants; third and fourth generation Polish Americans have moved to the further flung suburbs.

ETA: A book on differences between Polish Americans vs. Polish immigrants in 1980s Chicago:

https://books.google.ca/books?id=3zPchRriRIwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=opposite+poles+chicago&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiJnfTUn9rLAhXryIMKHdy5AYQQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=opposite poles chicago&f=false
 
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That's interesting. The contrast with descendants of one already established generation of an ethnic group, versus recent immigrants from the same place of origin, and how they don't always feel like they all belong with one another despite being lumped together by "outsiders" seems to be a recurring theme of the American/Canadian immigrant experience for many groups alike. It only seems like it takes one generation before many feel a rift, as the generation is born and raised fully in the new country.

I wonder how Toronto's Polish community compares -- I feel like a sizable community being from the 1980s/90s in Toronto is still memorable/salient to me as I had many friends and classmates in elementary school who could still speak some Eastern European languages with family and also even remember eating traditional food when invited over.

I feel Chicago and Toronto are almost pretty similar in this regard as compared to places where Eastern Europeans are no longer recent immigrants or have been for a while.
 
Roncesvalles Village, which is Toronto's Polish neighbourhood, underwent significant gentrification.

Poles in Buffalo tend to retain Polish customs much better than Poles in Toronto.

Interestingly enough, Roncesvalles Village holds the largest Polish festival in North America, larger than that of Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, or Buffalo.
 
More Poles live in Etobicoke and Mississauga nowadays.

They were centered around Queen and Bathurst until around 1960 or so. Then the community shifted to the Parkdale-High Park area and into the western suburbs.

Toronto has a very large Polish population, the third largest Polish immigrant population in North America after Chicago and NY/NJ. However they're just one group among many, while in Buffalo about 15% of the population I believe is of Polish descent, about the same size as the Italian American community there.

ETA: The suburb of Cheektowaga is about 40% Polish American.
 
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Since language retention is often reflective of keeping customs alive, I wonder how Buffalo's Polish community does in that regard.

Toronto has over 33,000 Polish speakers in the 2011 NHS, and based on this while the city of Chicago itself has over 80 000, the Metro area itself has around 182, 000 speakers.

So we've got 182 000 language speakers, compared to 139 000 Polish immigrants in Metro Chicago, while there's 33, 000 Polish language speakers compared to 24 000 Polish immigrants in Toronto. So in general, the percentage of language speakers who are immigrants vs. native born seems to be not too far off. So both cities probably didn't differ too much in how much the language was passed on to the second and later generations.

Despite Chicago and Toronto both being major destinations for the post-Soviet wave of Polish immigrants, Chicago's Polish immigrants still make up a lower proportion (about 15%) of the total claiming Polish ancestry in the city and its surroundings (over 900,000 or close to a million) than Toronto which has more like 100,000 with Polish roots but a quarter are immigrants.

As to Buffalo, I'm not sure where to find stats. New York state as a whole has about 95, 000 language speakers but probably a lot of that is NYC itself, and I'm not sure how many Polish Buffalonians speak the language.
 
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Despite Chicago and Toronto both being major destinations for the post-Soviet wave of Polish immigrants, Chicago's Polish immigrants still make up a lower proportion (about 15%) of the total claiming Polish ancestry in the city and its surroundings (over 900,000 or close to a million) than Toronto which has more like 100,000 with Polish roots but a quarter are immigrants.

Not surprising given that the recent Polish immigrants in Chicago were adding to an already very large Polish population.

There are 144,000 Polish speakers in Cook County.

As to Buffalo, I'm not sure where to find stats. New York state as a whole has about 95, 000 language speakers but probably a lot of that is NYC itself, and I'm not sure how many Polish Buffalonians speak the language.

There are around 8,000 Polish speakers in Erie County.

https://apps.mla.org/map_data
 
There are around 8,000 Polish speakers in Erie County.

https://apps.mla.org/map_data

Still a pretty decent number compared to Toronto's 33 000 considering how much smaller Buffalo is than Toronto and how most Polish might be something like third generation by now.
I suppose if you set aside the 24 000 people born in Poland, the number of non-immigrant Polish speakers is about 9 000 in Toronto which is comparable but still likely largely newer (in terms of their ancestors' immigrant roots than the 8 000 Polish speakers in Erie county).

So this does support the point I guess about Buffalonians retaining cultural/linguistic ties to their Polish roots longer.
 
Buffalo also has a large Black/African American community -- about 39% in 2010, compared to 30% in 1990. I wonder how much of that is due to recent immigration -- there are now sizable Somali and I think maybe other African immigrant populations in the city, though I think that most in Buffalo are native born African Americans. I don't know if the recent African immigrants to Buffalo have any ties/family connections north of the border to Toronto's.

Buffalo too I think is receiving a small but noticeable refugee/immigrant population from various parts of the world that may help thwart the population decline and revitalize the city.
 
Buffalo also has a large Black/African American community -- about 39% in 2010, compared to 30% in 1990. I wonder how much of that is due to recent immigration -- there are now sizable Somali and I think maybe other African immigrant populations in the city, though I think that most in Buffalo are native born African Americans. I don't know if the recent African immigrants to Buffalo have any ties/family connections north of the border to Toronto's.

Buffalo too I think is receiving a small but noticeable refugee/immigrant population from various parts of the world that may help thwart the population decline and revitalize the city.

The Black percentage has grown, but Buffalo's population has shrunk quite a bit since 1990.
 

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