Permod Goyal
Niagara Falls

Permod Goyal was born in India and Immigrated to Toronto in 1975. When he speaks of his time in Toronto you can see the affection he has for Canada; he is proud and incredibly thankful of the fact that he got a job in Toronto working at the jail within only a few weeks of his arrival into Canada. Moreover, he was able to find housing and opportunities here that he would not have been able to in many other countries.

After living in Toronto for a year he moved to the Niagara region in 1976 where he opened a business selling t-shirts and other souvenirs in 1978. His ability to speak multiple languages (English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Hindi, and Punjabi)helped him speak to visitors from foreign countries who were appreciative of his interest in their native tongue. In a very Canadian-way Mr. Goyal was successful here because of his multiculturalism.

Many French speaking tourists came and because he is a fluent Francophone he turned his souvenir shop into a central hub of the French-vacation experience. When he first opened his store he was only getting a couple of tour busses a year to stop in; after a few years he was up to nearly 40 000 busses a year! This, of course, helped him become a successful business owner through perseverance and his incredibly warm personality.

Recently Mr. Goyal has taken positions on the Board of Director at the Chamber of Commerce of Niagara Falls and the One Foundation of Niagara Hospital Board. He also ran for City Council in 2009, as he truly believes in trying to invest himself in making the city a better place. He spoke glowingly not just of Canada but of Niagara Falls specifically and you can hear when he talks a genuine desire to help his fellow residents of the city. Mr. Goyal is a truly exemplary Canadian.

Where is one place in Canada you have not seen that you would like to?

I am hoping to eventually see all of Canada from coast-to-coast (by driving, NOT flying!) I have been fortunate enough to go out east and see the Maritimes, and all the way west to see B.C., so my next stop is Alberta. I would really like to see that province more.

Favourite aspect of being Canadian?

I like to travel, and have been lucky enough to get to travel a lot for business. One of the best parts about being Canadian is that a) we are incredibly respected from people all around the world who appreciate our humanitarian ideals, and b) because we are such a friendly, well-respected nation, we do not have to worry about obtaining Visas just to be allowed to travel.