Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Alfred Hecht

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Despite the existence of different levels of manufacturing in the various regions of Ontario, most previous studies of this phenomenon have concentrated on explanation of its locational pattern in southern Ontario only. In contrast, though, this thesis analyzes regional variation in the growth rate of manufacturing employment in a total provincial framework. Also, its approach differs in that it examines variation in the factors which account for manufacturing employment growth and whether or not these variations are consistent over space (between regions) and through time.

The province is divided into three general regions; norther, southern and eastern, and from each region, ten cities are selected to form the basis of the study.

A general linear model is then developed to explain the growth rate of manufacturing employment. The model includes variables which represent three general concepts; market potential, industrial specialization characteristics, and community attitudes towards growth. Using multiple linear regression, estimated linear equations are generated for each of the three regions in each of six two year periods beginning in 1960.

The analysis of these equation follows two basic paths. First, inter-regional variation of the equations is examined from both total equation structure and individual variable structure. Second, equations of each region are examined separately to determine whether or not the equation structures differ through time. This analysis also involves examination of both equation structure and individual variable structure.

Results of this analysis produce several general conclusions. Inter-regional variation is found to be the greatest between the northern and southern equations, largely because of the different degree of importance of market potential changes in the two regions. Also, the community attitude variables play an important part in several northern equations whereas they have little significance in the south. Intra-regional variation is found to be the greatest in the southern equations. Easter equations exhibit a high degree of stability.

With respect to the formulation of regional planning policy in Ontario, the thesis contributes two general points. Inter-regional variation emphasizes the need for different policies in different regions. Intra-regional variation through time suggests that policies should be flexible in order to adapt to changing conditions.

Convocation Year