Why living in Timmins? Interview with Roberto de Farias, an entrepreneur

Podcast Ontario Beyond Toronto (English transcript): In this episode, we spoke with a young entrepreneur, author of two books, who has been living in the city of Timmins for over seven years.

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Audio in Portuguese. Read the English transcript below.

The city of Timmins – Location

Why living in Timmins? Interview with Roberto de Farias, an entrepreneur
Transcripts (Automatic English translation – unedited)

Hi. I’m Christian Pedersen. Welcome to another episode of Ontario beyond Toronto, a podcast of Brazilian Wave Canada. In this episode, we’ll talk to Roberto de Farias who lives up there in the city of Timmins. Timmins is the country’s second-largest city, by area, and is about 684 km north of the capital of Ontario, which is Toronto. And speaking of Roberto, he is a young entrepreneur, author of two books, who has lived in the city for more than seven years, along with his partner, who is Canadian. So, in this episode we want to know: why did Roberto go to live in Timmins?

Christian: Hi Roberto, how are you?

Roberto: Hi, how are you?

Christian: Everything’s great! Thank you for participating in our podcast.

Roberto: I thank you for the opportunity.

Christian: Even for those who live here in Toronto, Timmins is a curious place that few people know about. Roberto, why did you choose Canada?

Roberto: It all started in 2008, more or less. I worked at Banco do Brasil, in São Paulo, and decided to set up a Chinese food bistro in the south of São Paulo. My partner and I ended up acquiring this space and fulfilled our entrepreneurial dream in Brazil. In less than a year, we were robbed three times. Then, because of the robberies (they were very violent!) I ended up getting very nervous, developing a skin problem. I said: no, it’s not possible anymore !. And I ended up deciding to leave Brazil. My intention was not to go to Canada: it was to go anywhere! Then it worked. Canada was closer and I already spoke English. For me, the intention was to be as close, as accessible as possible to Brazil and then I came to Canada. My arrival in Canada was through Quebec. I arrived in Montreal (I lived in Montreal for two years) and, from there, in those two years, I was studying: what am I going to do here in Canada ?. Because when we get here, our lives start over, right? It is as if you are born again. And then I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had training in Brazil, only the study as a beautician in cosmetology at Senac de São Paulo (which is not recognized in Canada). So, it was to start over, literally, twice: professionally, too. Then I said: I can’t go back to school to start the beautician again. Especially because here in Canada, a beautician has nothing to do with a beautician in Brazil. There, we do lymphatic drainage, shaping massage. Not here! Here is nail and hair. Which has nothing to do. Here is a hairdresser, a thing of beauty. I spent those two years studying the possibilities of developing in Canada.

Christian: The difference is impressive. From the Chinese restaurant on the south side of São Paulo and ends up going to [Quebec]….

Roberto: Right. Get off the bench, go to the restaurant. Get out of finances, go to the restaurant. Graduated in aesthetics, in cosmetology, and will study mineralogy in northern Quebec.

Christian: Did you already speak French?

Roberto: I already spoke French . Because when I did the immigration process to Canada, I received a letter. I thought, in my head, that in Canada everyone spoke English. So, for me, it was great! Then I applied for Montreal (because Montreal is the most beautiful city in Canada! So, I wanted to live there!). When I received the letter of invitation, the letter said that I needed to have at least the French intermediary. Then I was desperate, right? I went to take a French course!

Christian: We think Montreal is a bit radical. But, the interior is even more radical with French….

Roberto: Look, I’ll be very honest with you. When I received the letter of convocation, like this … it gave a certain peace in my heart. And then, for me, French was not a problem. Because I wanted to come to Canada so badly, that for me, it was my motivation. So, I hired a French teacher (from France) who taught in São Paulo. We took classes 5 times a week, 3 hours a day, every day. From that day on, I only watched movies in French, I only listened to music in French. So, I did an immersion in French, you know? When I got here, my only difficulty was adapting to Quebec’s French accent. Because I learned French from France. Even today, when I speak, people think I’m French … from France !. When someone insults me asking if I am French, (because you can see on their faces that they are insulting, right?) I even receive it as a compliment. But for me, I’ll be honest, it wasn’t that difficult, no. It was just difficult at first, for me to adapt to their own accent. But, after I adapted, that’s it! In fact, I went to study in the North in Rouyn-Noranda (which is just north of Quebec, more at the time of Timmins, but on the Quebec side), where the accent is good. So, you have to get used to it, you have nothing to do.

Christian: How was it to leave São Paulo and end up in Montreal? Then, suddenly, he went to study mining in northern Quebec, which, even for Montreal, is an end of the world too …

Roberto: Actually, leaving São Paulo and arriving in Montreal, for me, it was a huge reality shock. Because I lived in São Paulo for 5 years. And, in those 5 years, I saw many things that made me want to never want to stay in São Paulo again. I wanted to move inland. I wanted to move anywhere but São Paulo! But, I think it’s more because of trauma. Because São Paulo is a very cool city. It is a city that has many things to do. But I ended up being traumatized, so I wanted to get out of there! When I arrived in Montreal, we see another end of the thing, which is also a developed city: it has nightlife, it has life for 24 hours, it has everything to do all week and it is safe. So, you are much more comfortable and, with time, you no longer want to leave. When I arrived in Rouyn-Noranda it was another impact of reality! Because Rouyn-Noranda is a city of 40 thousand inhabitants. They are predominantly Quebecois, who live there and have nothing to do there. It is a very community. Everyone knows everyone and everyone is everyone’s friend. But, no more than that. For me, it was another reality check. And, in the end, I ended up not graduating in mineralogy. I found out there, psychology. I’ve been working as a therapist for a few years now.

Christian: Crazy thing, right? If you think …

Roberto: Yeah, crazy! I ended up studying a little bit of psychology and philosophy today, which is adding more value to my work. I understand things a lot. So, I was paying attention to everything. I realized, in the two years that I was in Montreal, that everyone who arrived did not give up Montreal. It had to be Montreal. I just wanted to stay there. I arrived in Montreal speaking three languages. And then, I realized that people who spoke three, four, five, six languages ​​were working and earning a minimum wage. And competing for jobs to earn minimum wages. And these people had the potential to work in much better jobs (in wages and conditions), as long as it wasn’t in Montreal. I thought: you know what … when I was taking a pre-university course in Brazil, I had a geography teacher, who always said: “it doesn’t matter where you are going to live, as long as you are working in you want and making money. Where you live is what matters least: because you take a plane and go for a walk. Because you have money for what is called: quality of life ”. And that entered my heart. Today I live, precisely, within this philosophy. I live in Timmins and Timmins has absolutely nothing to do! But, when I want to, I take a plane and I go to Toronto, I go to São Paulo, I go to Florianópolis … I go where I want, because today I do what I want and live where I want to live.

Christian: I think it has a lot to do. It is not about where you live, but how you live….

Roberto: Because hell and paradise accompany us wherever we go. We have to resolve them within us, so that, afterwards, they reflect outside.

Christian: Did you feel any prejudice in Montreal or Rouyn-Noranda?

Roberto: In Montreal, no. I never felt any prejudice. Nor in Rouyn-Noranda. But Rouyn-Noranda is such a place … as everyone knows everyone, you feel analyzed all the time. In fact, once I was going to college, early in the morning (it was -60 ⁰C), and a car stopped and [a woman] said: “Roberto, come here! “I’m going to take you to college.” I looked and I didn’t know the woman. And the woman knew my name! So, you realize that everyone knows everything. She knew that I was Brazilian. She knew that I had arrived from So, I was even a little afraid, because … how can someone I don’t even know who he is, I don’t know the woman’s name, and she knew everything about my life? very small community. Community, even the business, you know? But in Timmins …

Christian: Because Timmins, geographically, is very similar, at first [with Rouyn-Noranda ], the distance and both live in mining, basically, right. But, by the way, they are quite different.

Roberto: The philosophy of Timmins and Rouyn-Noranda is the same: mining and agribusiness. That’s what works up here. The difference is that when we say that Quebec is practically another country, believe me! It is, practically, another country: in addition to looking much more like Europe, people’s behavior is much more humanized, so to speak. Because Quebecois has this thing of wanting to make people feel welcome. Even if they don’t like your political party, even if they don’t … because it has that geographical thing. There is a geographic culture here (which we know exists) between Quebecers and the rest of Canada. However, here, when we move to Ontario (there is that thing that we know in Brazil as the North American culture of individualism), it is not that they are individualists (to the point that they do not bother with your life and you not welcome). Is not it. It’s just that they are so individualistic in their lives. It gives us the impression that they don’t want you in their life, but that’s not how it works. However, we are not talking about Ontario. We are talking about a city located in Ontario, which is Timmins. And here in the city of Timmins, there is a huge prejudice against anyone who is not born here. There are some other prejudices that are linked to this as well. So, if you are Canadian and you are not born here, you will also suffer prejudice. However, if you are an immigrant, the prejudice is much greater and is blatant. They are not ashamed to speak. So, sometimes, you suffer prejudice in the middle of the street in Timmins.

Christian: Have you been through this?

Roberto: We go through situations sometimes. You know that aggression that is not verbal, but is there? It exists and here it is very common. Today, I’m used to it. But just to give you an idea, two years ago, I invited my mother to come and visit me, to spend two months with me. She doesn’t speak a word in English and we went to the mall. She realized that people were talking about her and I said: no, mom, imagine. It is not!. I knew it was, but … (Mom, forgive me, but it was for your good! Lol). There is prejudice, yes. However, we cannot just stone the city. Because if it was just bad, I wouldn’t be here, right? The city is very beautiful! In terms of access to nature, this is an incredible place. We have the northern lights here, many times a year. It is a cool place to see the northern lights. And it’s not that far north! It’s to the north, but it’s not that far north, so it’s acceptable! So, it is a very good place to stroll, to do tourism and to earn money. In fact, there are many immigrants who come here, just because of work. If you want to do your nest egg in Canada, come here. You, for sure, will be well received. Because people are missing here. And it will help you to make money. Because we see it here. Even in pharmacies, there is a very large turnover of pharmacists. Because they don’t have it here in the city and it has to come from outside. And the people who come from abroad, come from Toronto! Precisely, because it pays to come here. Not to move here: they still live in Toronto and come and go all the time (so great is the possibility, here, to profit from work). Mines are expanding all the time. Two more mines have just been opened. They officially opened, so they will start hiring in the coming months. Work is something that never stops. So for those who want to come to make a nest, they are very welcome. But come with the certainty that it has its positive side and its negative side. We know that we will face some problems before we get there.

Christian: You have one more factor in this story. Because, like me, you are also gay. So, this is one more story, right? So, how is it? He’s Brazilian, he’s gay, it’s everything. How do you do?

Roberto: The only part I am not is black, right? Here in Timmins it goes like this: if you are black, you are frowned upon; if you are indigenous, you are frowned upon; if you are an immigrant, you are frowned upon; if you speak with an accent, you are frowned upon. So, there are a lot of problems here. Whoever comes here to make money, makes money. But, you have to know that you will face these problems. For me, in particular, it is a little worse, due to this factor, which is homosexuality. I have my partner. So, for me it didn’t make much difference, because I don’t need to go after a social life within the gay scene. But if I needed to, I would suffer, for sure. Because here, you realize that people are traditional. The values ​​here are different, let’s say: you can’t dress a little better, because people will look at you; if you speak differently, they will look; if you have different hair, they will look (which is my case, I have long hair). The staff looks a lot … it’s not that easy. But, it is not impossible to survive. In addition to the national culture, there is the local culture. I know other cities in Ontario and I know that they are not all like that. So, we cannot locate the problem as if it were a province problem. Because it is not. Here in the city there are 44 thousand inhabitants and more than 50% are First Nation….

Christian: Just to explain, First Nations (or First Nations) is a term used in North America, mainly here in Canada, to refer to the ethnicity of the indigenous peoples located in the current territory of the country, as well as their descendants.

Roberto: The other half of the population is here, it is only due to work. Because it has many mines. I have no social life here. So, what did I do? I went down at work. I developed my business and ended up sinking into work. I work all the time, so it didn’t affect me that much.

Christian: How would you look if you weren’t your partner? Would it be much more difficult, or would you not even be there by now, if it weren’t for that?

Roberto: I wouldn’t be here. When I came here [Timmins], I was almost graduating from a mineralogy course. He wanted me to come here, so I told him: I will only go if I get a job, within my area. And then he got a job, even before I graduated. So, that’s why I moved here. And it was a very good job, because here in this city, you earn a lot of money. So, if you want to make money, like I said, just come here. So, I came running for the money. But I ended up not enjoying the job. Because for those who work in the field of mineralogy, people know, it is not a very heavy job for those who study. But it is very dangerous to health. Because you are in contact, all the time, with chemicals and I am a very healthy person. So, when I started to work, I saw that it was not quite what I imagined. No money in the world would make me stay there and I ended up giving up. And it was giving up work that made me go back to my own business. However, if it weren’t for my partner, I certainly wouldn’t be here anymore. Because the city itself, as I have no social life (this is very important to me and I had it in Montreal and I had it in Rouyn-Noranda ), I would definitely go back to Quebec.

Christian: Does Rouyn-Noranda have a social life? Even a small town?

Roberto: Ah yes! In Rouyn-Noranda , I arrived and in 15 days I was already being invited to have coffee at the staff’s house. They are very friendly!

Christian: Then you had to recycle … again!

Roberto: When I arrived (that I gave up that job), I started to rethink the possibilities. Because I wanted to make my relationship work, but I didn’t want to be unemployed. So, I started going to everything that was a government department here, to see courses, jobs…. and right in the first week I received an email saying: there will be an Organizational and Business Development course here. If you want to participate to open a company, scholarships will be offered and you can qualify. I went and liked it. I didn’t qualify because everything they wanted to offer was geared towards mineralogy, agribusiness and things that I’m not interested in. But, they helped me to develop the idea of ​​my business, which is what I do today. And then I said: you know what? I am going to try!. I tried and, thank God, it worked!

Christian: Starting life in another country is complicated. Even more, on the job side….

Roberto: When I arrived I was in Montreal for 2 years and I had no job. None. So, then, if I were to choose a job, I would definitely be unemployed all the time. So, what did I do? The only thing I knew how to do was massage. And there is no shortage of Brazilian in Montreal! So, I started to advertise: a Brazilian beautician arriving in Montreal works at home. I bought a stretcher, I bought a lot of products. When I arrived here in Timmins, the job was good, the salary was good. I was earning, at the time, 7 years ago, in my first job, Can $ 35 an hour. It was an excellent job! And after 8 hours of work, the amount doubled, because the work was inside the mine. So, the values ​​here are really very good. Wow, I loved working overtime (lol), but it wasn’t what I wanted. I was ending my health. And that’s when I started to rethink everything: there is something inside of us, as human beings, that is called “necessity is the mother of all things”. I had the need to raise “a son”, at that moment, which was what was going to bring me sustenance. I am the type of person, that I have to work within that which brings me satisfaction and pleasure. Otherwise, I can’t work. So much so that I gave up that job (wonderful because of the salary), because I was not satisfied there. Then, a process of recognition enters: you have to recognize yourself, know yourself as a person, make an analysis of yourself to understand what you want to do, what you like, until you get there. But I guarantee to anyone who is arriving here, any immigrant who is arriving, that we will not arrive by winning a gold mine. That does not exist! We have to understand one thing: when we arrive in Canada, it is as if you have to take 10 steps backwards and then take 15 steps forward. You can’t get there by taking steps forward. I have a friend (from Montreal), who is a great director of a large company, in Brazil. And she left it to come to C. When she arrived here, she was unable (obviously) to put herself back on the market (there in Brazil she had a great position). She went to work as an attendant at the supermarket, supermarket checkout. He stayed for three months, asked for the bills and returned to Brazil. Today, she has returned to being a director at another large company in Brazil. But, why am I telling you this? For people to understand that there is a possibility of growth. However, we cannot be trapped in what we are. We need to be deconstructed to rebuild ourselves, all the time! If we are not able to do that, we never can. Today, two years and five months ago, I officially opened the doors of my business. And we managed (with all this effort that I’m talking about deconstructing and rebuilding) to reach customers from all over the world. We are in 24 countries, including celebrities from Brazil. Something I never imagined doing in my life! So, today, I see it like this: every effort is worth it. But, we need to understand that the effort is there and we have to go through it. As immigrants, we have to understand this, otherwise we will never be able to move forward!

Christian: How important is English, especially in the region? Do you think getting there without speaking English, does it work?

Roberto: No, it doesn’t work! English, where I live, is extremely important! Just to give you an idea, when, as immigrants, we arrive in Canada … we know that Canada has a structure to offer immigrants English courses, wherever he wants to settle in Canada, right? Here at Timmins there is no such thing. I have been here for 7 years and since I arrived, I have been waiting to be invited to participate in a course. Because I don’t want to lose what I know. At home I speak more French, because my partner is bilingual. But, we met in French and ended up just being French. Now, two weeks ago, I received the first invitation. They will start a project (it’s not even the course yet!) To see if it will work. Because there are not enough people to start speaking English. So, they are trying, wanting to implement here. People who arrive here usually already speak English. So, if you come here without English, you will suffer. You can’t do anything without English here! Especially because, if you don’t speak English, they won’t hire you because of prejudice. Because the prejudice here, unfortunately … here in the city where I live, a lot of money is earned, but the prejudice is very structured. They don’t even notice! I even say this from time to time to my partner, because he didn’t realize that he was also [prejudiced]. He realized it because of me. Because he is now living with an immigrant who is trying to put himself in the job market. So, we realize that we, as immigrants, have a strength. We don’t even know where that strength is, but we have it! I know this because I had to get her out of somewhere. So, we realize. They don’t even think they are prejudiced. But prejudice exists. So, without English, you won’t even get jobs for cleaning, for sure!

Christian: Apparently there is no Brazilian there. Just you?

Roberto: There is only me as a Brazilian. There is a Portuguese and I a Brazilian. Immigrants who come to stay and live are few. Most come to study, to do those COOP studies: they study and work. But then they leave, they don’t stay here. So, there are few immigrants. The immigrants who are here today (who are the whites who live here) are the immigrants who arrived many years ago (grandparents), where the children stayed, the grandchildren stayed and ended up forming the city. They don’t even think of themselves as immigrants anymore. They think they are Canadian.

Christian: What about the cost of living? You said you can earn well there. But how is that? Are apartments, houses, rent expensive?

Roberto: For you immigrant who is looking to move to Timmins, the cost of living here is expensive too. So, you win very well but you spend a lot too! A rental of a simple house, of those very simple ones, is at least Can $ 1,000.00. You will not pay less than that. So, if you want to share, (with electricity, water and internet) you will pay around Can $ 1,300.00 to Can $ 1,400.00 per month. So, when people come here (most people who come here to study and work), they rent with other people, which makes it a little easier. The cost of the supermarket is a little more expensive than there in the south. So, I realize that when I go to Montreal or Toronto, I feel even rich! Because, Our Lady, the price changes! Including gasoline. Because, sometimes, gasoline is there at Can $ 0.90 and here it is at $ 1.30 or Can $ 1.40. So, it is much more expensive! But, at the end of the day, when you put everything on paper, at the tip of the pencil, you earn a lot by living here for a while: to make your nest egg. Rouyn-Noranda , already goes into the ordinary price of things. The salary is low, the rent is also cheaper, the cost of living there is cheaper. But also, it doesn’t have the same amount of mines as it does here. There is a mining town for study. Here where I live is study and work! There are many mines here and there are not.

Christian: And the transport there, how is it?

Roberto: About 90% of the population has a car here in the city. But, there are buses. I even have buses outside my house. It works well, but the city is not that big, either. Thus, 44 thousand inhabitants is little. It looks like a lot, but it is not. And the city, in geographic terms, it is very large because there is a part where no one lives, which is the green part, which is very, very large. Even if I’m not mistaken, it is Canada’s largest geographic city. We pay the highest taxes in Canada, here at Timmins. But the city, itself, the center of the city where things happen, is very small and there is not much going on, no. So, nightlife doesn’t exist. Social life does not exist. Bars and cafes do not exist. In short, there is nothing to do in Timmins, in terms of social life. If you are a person like me, who likes nightlife … if you intend to live here to have nightlife, it is not worth it, do not come! But, remember that I said that we have a structured prejudice here? Remember that I said that out of 44 thousand inhabitants, more than half of the population are aboriginal, indigenous? Because of having a structured prejudice against the indigenous people, another social problem was created involving drugs and beverages. So Timmins is a city for those who want to make money. Make a nest egg and go. It is not a place for you to come and raise a family, to have children. I would not have children here, for example. No way. Because the problem with drugs is very big. Precisely because you earn a lot of money and have nothing to do in the city. So, the only thing they have to do is drink and use drugs. There are some night bars that, for them …, they consider as if they were nightclubs. But, in fact, it is a place that if you want to go to have fun, you can not even. You arrive, stay 5 minutes and leave. Because you realize that it is a place where people go, precisely, to drink and use drugs. So the social problems that the city has, along with economic growth, are proportional.

Christian: Since we are talking about social structures and aspects, how is security there, for you that you went through three robberies in São Paulo? How do you see security in Timmins?

Roberto: Look, I thought we were not going to talk about that point, but … Timmins cannot be considered a reference in the Province of Ontario. Because it is the most dangerous city in Ontario. If I am not mistaken it is the third most dangerous in Canada and it is the most dangerous in Ontario. So, when you come here, as an immigrant, you have to keep in mind that you are not coming here to have a social life. You are coming here to make money, to make your nest egg. Only that. Because, as I said, we have a structured prejudice and this structured prejudice created social problems in the city. And the city does not have an administrative structure that will work to solve the problems. They try to solve it, for example, like this: indigenous people who live on the street, they go there and help to find a shelter (a shelter). But they don’t do more than that. There is no social work to help these people get back into the job market. Even because of the structured prejudice, they are unable to get a job. Then it became a vicious cycle, which keeps the city the way it is. There are many security problems. Unfortunately, whoever lives here has to have a car, just to not have this problem. Just to give you an idea, three weeks ago, an 80-year-old lady was robbed at the supermarket door and the person who robbed her, beat her (80 years old, think about it!) To take the purse. So it’s absolutely not safe for anyone! Not for an 80-year-old, who often doesn’t even have money in his wallet. She was beaten up, hurt herself (poor thing, I was pitying!) Because of this structured prejudice. So, it is not that there is a problem, there is a problem. Realize? It is a widespread problem. Security here is something that worries me.

Christian: Do you have that same feeling of insecurity that you had in Brazil?

Roberto: No … there is no comparison! Although we are living in the most dangerous city in Ontario, we know that any problem, you call the police and they will come right away. There is a whole patrol … the job is done! It is that it is done within what is possible. There’s no comparison, of course! For example, this lady I just spoke to, who was mugged, the person who hit her was drunk. It was also a woman, who beat her to steal her, because she thought she had money. But, here in Canada and here in the city of Timmins (I will speak here in the city), they will think three to four times before they hit you, before they do anything to you, because they know that the chain exists and what will happen is that they go to jail. Different from São Paulo, where I was robbed: they rob, they beat and if you call the police, they come back and beat you again. One of the things that marked me in the robbery there [in São Paulo] was that the robber said to me: “if you call the police I will be arrested, when I go out I will come back and I know who you are”. It marked me a lot because it was the first time I heard that. I do recommend that people come here to meet, to stroll, to study. There is a good school here for those who want to study agro or mineralogy. Including nursing as well. Schools are good. Jobs are good, wages are good. But, do not come with the intention of wanting to establish a family here, to live here, thinking that it will be a safe place. Because when we think of Canada, we think of one of the safest places in the world. But Timmins is not a benchmark for security. It is a reference for making a nest egg, earning your money. We, as immigrants, have come to Canada to seek quality of life. So, let’s stay focused. So, now, like the sock, don’t be greedy, don’t want to be King Midas. Take your socks and go to a quieter, calmer city, where you can have the quality of life you are looking for. Do not forget that this is the ultimate goal, otherwise you will die searching.

Christian: There is another important topic to talk about, which is winter. How it is? Too heavy, overall?

Roberto: Timmins is considered the coldest city in the world. Because there is a city in Russia that is cold for longer. But this is where it reaches the lowest temperatures. It is – 65 ⁰C between January and February (which is when I travel to Brazil).

Christian: Here in Toronto, when you speak – 20⁰C, it already scares half the people. Temperature of -60⁰C, for us, here, is scary.

Roberto: Last year, I decided to come back from Brazil, ahead of time (usually, I stay until February, March). I decided to return in the month of January. I said: oh, the worst is over !. Then I came. I arrived the day I was doing -67⁰C! I had never felt a headache like I did that day! Because I got off the plane and (right away!) It was like I froze. It was the first time in my life that I felt that! Then I said: guys, is it really that cold ?! Then, when I looked, I saw that it was -67⁰C. I got scared, because I never got that temperature. But, it’s normal here, for a day or two only. But it does! Beat record.

Christian: And is there a lot of snow there, in general?

Roberto: A lot of snow. It has been snowing for three weeks and usually the snow ends here in June.

Christian: It’s beautiful on the one hand, but in a way it’s depressing…. three months, four months later…. perhaps, by the end of April, it will be impossible to wear shorts on the street or a T-shirt. It will be a coat by then! This, here [in Toronto]. So, imagine it [in Timmins]!

Roberto: I think it’s beautiful and I like it too! For example, now it’s -13⁰C and, for me, it’s delicious. But, he started doing – 15⁰C, – 18⁰C, – 20⁰C…. I already start to get scared a little (which is when I start packing my bags to go to Brazil).

Christian: You commented that you could eventually move to Montreal. And in Ontario, would you go to any city? Which would be?

Roberto: Actually, we are considering Toronto and Montreal. I’ll tell you why we decided on Montreal, until now: because Montreal has a culture of “not busy”. The people there (in Quebec in general) are not stuck on their cell phones, on their computers. They are on the street talking, having a wine, inviting people to talk, to go to their house. Something in the province of Ontario, that does not exist much. So, even when I’m in Ottawa [which is in the province of Ontario] and I’m going to Gatineau (which is on the side! Crossed the bridge there, 100 m and you’re already in the province of Quebec), you see the cultural difference. So, because I’m looking for, quality of life associated with social life (receiving friends and going to friends’ houses), Quebec, for me, would be better. Because of this option. Toronto is the place where I wanted to go in order to be close to the world connection: you can go anywhere in the world. If you want to go to France tomorrow, to Paris, you can go. Flights are more affordable and faster for you to reach your final destination. But, I prefer Montreal for the more Brazilian culture, you know? It is more European, something we are more used to in Brazil.

Christian: If Roberto 2010, who is arriving in Montreal, asked you “what advice would you give me?”, What would you say to this Roberto back there?

Roberto: I would say to Roberto the same thing that I would say to any immigrant: do not get attached to a geographical place. This lesson that my geography teacher gave me (and I will never forget it) served me like this in such a way … it opened so many doors in my life that today, this advice I give to everyone: don’t get stuck to a geographical place. Find within yourself what makes you happy, what you love and what makes your heart flutter. Work on it, with a lot of love, because your customers, your boss, whoever you are going to provide service or work with, people will notice the love there. And they will appreciate what you are doing. That will become a reference and you will end up finding results within what you did not think you would find. This happens when we stop pleasing others, when we stop wanting to please our own ego. Because, many times, we get stuck “in what I want, what I want, that’s what I’m going to do”. And then you don’t see the other options, because your ego doesn’t allow you to see. So, when you lower yourself into your ego and you grow up to be, to see all the options that Canada has to offer, you realize that being in Montreal or being in Toronto or being anywhere else is a matter of choice that makes you see your potential, within yourself. Because from the moment you see it, the rest is just the rest!

Christian: Now we know why Roberto went to live in Timmins and on behalf of the Wave team, I thank Roberto for the interview. It is worth clarifying that they are opinions and experiences reported by our guests. This does not mean that it will be the same for someone else. The important thing about these episodes is that people know a little about what it is like to live and live in these places. If you made it this far, thank you for the audience and until the next episode.

Podcast: Ontario Beyond Toronto


  • Direction and interviews: Christian Pedersen
  • Production: Christian Pedersen e Ana Carolina Botelho
  • Vignettes: Robson DJ Estudio – Participações de Robson DJ and Eric Major
  • Coordenação: Teresa Botelho
  • Website & Digital Marketing: Creative Team Canada
  • Project Management: Teresa Botelho e Regina Filippov

A realization of BRZ Group Inc., Canada

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Wave Podcast Series: Ontario Beyond Toronto
Made possible with the support of Ontario Creates

The views expressed in this podcast are the views of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.