PUTTING DOWN ROOTS HERE
In 2002, after a few years in Paris, Rachel Bishop and her husband, Bika Bokenda, were ready for a change. “We were looking for a city with more opportunities and a better quality of life,” she said.
Ten days in Québec’s largest city in 2001 convinced the couple that they had found their El Dorado. Bishop and Bokenda bought one-way tickets from Paris to Montréal and boarded with three suitcases and two cats. “We were ready for an adventure,” she said.
As soon as they arrived, Bishop and Bokenda settled in the Plateau, a neighbourhood full of European and North American accents, with plenty of neighbourhood businesses. They’ve stayed loyal to the Plateau each time they moved.
“We can walk or take public transportation. We like to walk around and picnic at the Parc La Fontaine, visit cafés… We just don’t see ourselves living in the suburbs,” said Bishop.
A city for fun
Bishop, a card dealer, quickly found a job at the Montréal Casino, where her schedule allows her to spend lots of time with their 9-year-old daughter, Sacha. “In France, people come home late from work, and they’re always running around,” she said. “Here, you can enjoy life.”
Bokenda has launched his own digital marketing company. He enjoys the North American work culture.
“Here, people make decisions quickly,” he said, “and I like working with people from different backgrounds.”
Bishop found the open-minded fellow citizens here that she was looking for.
“Our daughter is growing up without labels. We don’t feel like people are pointing a finger at us because we’re a culturally mixed couple with a mixedrace child.”
And for the first time in her life, she doesn’t want to leave…
DID YOU KNOW?
“Montréal, A New Beginning” is a digital solution that was launched in June to respond to the information needs of 280 immigrants who are moving to the city… every day!