Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Alfred Hecht

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This study is concerned with the countryside facet of the non-resident ownership phenomenon. The utilization of spatio-temporal analysis in the research answered some of the questions that have arisen concerning the extent and trends associated with the non-resident ownership process.

Rather than employ one of the many diverse governmental definitions based on political ethnocentrism, this study made use of a three-part non-resident ownership definition based more on distance and the characteristics of the Burce County agricultural subsystem. Consequently, foreigners and Canadians were equally viewed as potential non-resident owners. Such a breakdown revealed that Canadian, rather than foreign non-resident ownership, has exhibited the more significant spatio-temporal trends.

An historical examination of the spatial trends derived from the 1900 to 1974 Assessment Roles in twelve townships in Bruce County revealed a non-resident diffusion process essentially parallel to a settlement diffusion. This “resettlement” has been controlled by specific spatial determinants. Specifically, there has been a high preference for shoreline, stream and low agricultural capability land and, conversely, a negative preference for swamp land and high capability agricultural land. This latter hypothesis was examined in terms of the spatial impact of non-resident ownership upon the prime land of oneof the County’s townships.

The above set of explanatory hypotheses was examined vis-à-vis an ‘a priori’ construct which envisaged the non-resident diffusion process in Bruce County operating as two prime diffusion continuums. The continuums were defined in a North-South and West-East direction by means of a consistent “2375” non-resident acreage wave.

The non-resident ownership process in Lindsay Township (Bruce County’s non-resident ownership diffusion “hearth”) was explained by means of the same set of hypotheses which were employed in ‘a priori’ fashion to explain the diffusion along both continuums. An ‘a posteriori’ deterministic model, based on the same set of hypotheses, contributed “micro” justification to the diffusion’s explanatory variables.

Convocation Year