Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Alfred Hecht

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Traditionally, the residential areas of Toronto’s core have housed low-income, working class families and represented a reception area for immigrant groups. Much of this attraction centered around manufacturing and the associated availability of unskilled jobs. The economic base of the city has undergone extensive change in the past two decades. Growth has occurred in the service/commercial sector. In addition, a number of demographic trends have affected housing. Land use activities within Toronto’s core, including residential, have experienced a tremendous amount of change. Due to the city’s prominence, it is important to analyze: 1) changes in the demand for housing; 2) associated shifts in dwelling types; and, 3) factors which ahve influenced these trends.

A number of variables were selected from the census to capture population and housing changes in the core. A percentage change formula was applied to the data and results were mapped. A correlation test was run to determine significant relationships between the variables analyzed and summarize major trends.

Recent changes in the core show an increase in the proportion of middle- and upper-income households. It is due to a rise inthe number of professionals, university educated individuals and younger couples or singles who have chosen to live in close proximity to the downtown amenities and employment opportunities. Overall population has fallen slightly and average household size dropped substantially. These demographic changes have been accompanied by a rise in luxury condominiums and apartments, especially in the central and waterfront regions of the core. Gentrification has preserved pockets of older single detached housing around the edge of the core. These developments have negatively impacted lower-income groups causing displacement and loss of affordable housing.

There is a need to carefully plan this continued growth and preserve some of the population diversity within Toronto’s core.

Convocation Year