Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Alfred Hecht

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Canadian urban and regional patent and trademark data was analysed between 1881 and 1986 in an attempt to distinguish spatial inventive patterns in Canada over time. Inventive activity, as a pre—condition for economic development, is a viable indicator for predicting future economic growth in an inventive spatial economy. As such, it will be possible to extend the description of spatial inventive patterns in Canada after 1986. The percentage and relative level of inventive activity in urban centers and regions in Canada will help distinguish spatial inventive patterns in Canada over time. This information was based on a 25 percent systematic sample of registered Canadian patents and trademarks between 1881 and 1986. Inventive activity was also compared to population growth and unemployment levels in an attempt to discern the relationship between inventive activity and urban growth. This analysis compared the number of inventions per 10,000 population in 1981 to the percentage of population growth between 1981 and 1986 and unemployment levels in 1986 for twenty-four major Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada. It was found that the Canadian inventive spatial economy is very dynamic. However, an overall pattern of concentration was detected. For example, inventive impulses in the Maritime region was lacking after 1911. In the west, impulses of varying intensity were evident over time and space. Most of Canada's healthy inventive activity was found in Central Canada. Further, the core region lost some of its inventive importance during the post-war years, however, between 1981 and 1986, this region experienced traditionally high levels of inventive activity. Also, there was a noticeable pattern of inventive concentration towards higher ordered places in the Canadian urban hierarchy, and a rationalization of Canada's core region from a Quebec City to Windsor axis to a Toronto to Kitchener—waterloo axis with a trunk line towards Hamilton and two island impulses in Montreal and Ottawa. Lastly, there was a positive and significant relationship between inventive activity and urban growth, lending support to the notion that recent inventive concentration in the core region of Canada can be expected to continue well into the next decade.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season