Like many newcomers to Canada, Raj Thavaratnasingham started his working life at the lower rungs of the ladder. In 1986, the Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka was mopping floors at a 7-11 convenience market. Today he is a successful financial advisor, recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for Volunteerism and an Urban Hero Award.
“Ever since I landed in Canada I’ve lived in Scarborough. It is such a vibrant, multicultural community. It’s where I’ve lived and worked and raised my family. I’ve made a good life in Scarborough and I am fortunate to be able to give back.”
A past president of the Canadian Tamil Congress, representing over 300,000 Tamil Canadians, his local volunteerism includes advisory support for Centennial College and Centenary Hospital. In 2015, he was part of the founding of Scarborough’s Tamil Fest, an annual celebration of food, dance and culture that has counted Justin Trudeau among its 200,000 attendees.
“We should all be contributing to the community is some way” he says. “When the community grows, we grow.”