Toronto, I Love You

Translated from French by Elaine Kennedy.

Raymond Dossougbé flees the misery of his hometown in Benin and arrives in Toronto, which as soon as he arrives charms him. He sees the city as a place of freedom and light, a sanctuary where he, like so many others, can begin anew. He is thrilled by its fast, organized pace, and by its vastness and diversity of peoples. Without prejudices or preconceptions, he allows himself to be fraternized by both the white and the black segments of society. He sees deep poverty, extreme wealth, and racism, and also the different aspects of the global black experience. Eventually he finds his bearings in this new world and comes to a better understanding of himself and the colourful characters around him.

Toronto, je t’aime won the Prix Trillium when it first came out in 2000.


“[Leclair] helps us see the city with fresh eyes[.]”
–Deborah Dundas, The Toronto Star

“[T]he quality of the prose itself provides much of the book’s pleasure, translated with sensitivity by Elaine Kennedy. The descriptions of the city in particular ascend from the page.”
–Bronwyn Averett, Montreal Review of Books

“Over and above its literary qualities, it’s a significant book because it shows that Toronto’s ethnic vitality is spreading across language lines.”
–Ray Conlogue, The Globe and Mail.


Publication Date: May 2022

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-77415-066-5
Page size: 5.75″ x 8.75″
144 pages

eBook ISBN: 978-1-77415-067-2

Photo of Didier Leclair

Didier Leclair is a three-time finalist for the Prix Trillium and the recipient of both the Trillium and the Christine Dumitriu van Saanen book prizes. His second novel, Ce pays qui est le mien, was shortlisted for the 2004 Governor General’s Award for French-language fiction. Its English translation, This Country of Mine (2018) was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards. Didier Leclair was born in Montreal to Rwandan parents. He grew up in different African countries—Gabon, Benin, Togo, The Republic of Congo—and returned to Canada in the late 1980s. Since that time, he has been living and writing in Toronto.