Alexandra D.

North Bay, Ontario

North Bay Regional Fair

Pier 21

My project is on Pier 21, the immigration station and it's contribution to the development of Canada. Close to 1 million immigrants came through it's doors, including my family.




What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The most interesting things I learned came from talking to my family about their experiences travelling from Italy to my home town of North Bay, Ontario. Stories about my uncle bringing his accordion from Italy, his reaction to all the snow, and even the way he said the bread in Canada tasted, helped me understand what they went through. Landing at Pier 21 must have been a big change from their home country.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

I read a lot about Pier 21 but I never really understood it until I heard my family's story of landing their in 1966. When I was shooting my video at the edge of the Halifax Harbour, it was hard to believe that I was standing on the same floor where they took their first steps in Canada. Learning about my family's journey through Pier 21 made me realize how difficult immigrating to a new country was. Pier 21 is now a wonderful museum where you can learn and explore the history of immigration. I learned about my family's journey there, you can as well.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Until I did this project, I did not understand what it would be like to leave home and go to a new country. When my family immigrated to Canada they had to leave their country, culture, language and loved ones all behind and then adjust to a whole new life after they landed at Pier 21. Thanks to them, I live in Canada, and I don't have to face the challenges they did.