These are the Jamaicans you don’t hear enough about — a high-achieving, prosperous community too often eclipsed by Toronto’s preoccupation with gang violence and street punks. Chances are they’re your boss, doctor, banker, caregiver, teacher, lawyer, plumber, university chancellor or the judge you’ll face in court tomorrow. But you could easily forget they, too, are Jamaican, so low is their profile.
“Incognegroes, I call them,” says one enterprising Jamaican who himself is a high-stakes Toronto real estate developer, making millions but flying under the radar, out of the spotlight.
Over 24 hours on Sept. 19, seven Star journalists tracked 50 GTA residents of Jamaican descent to record their impact on the Toronto region. Designed to mark Jamaica’s 50th year as an independent island nation, the project uncovered a vibrant, productive collective that’s virtually indispensable to the GTA. Taken together, Jamaicans are not a problem for Toronto; they are a boon.