Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Alfred Hecht

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Over the last 20 years, Canadian retail financial services have undergone a dramatic transformation due to a number of driving forces: technology, globalization, changing lifestyles and demographics, competition, and deregulation. Because retail financial services have been impacted, the way Canadians perform banking transactions has also been impacted, resulting in a shift from a spatially-oriented banking approach to a non-spatial approach. Transactions are being performed using alternative delivery channels including the automated banking machine, telephone banking, internet banking, point of sale purchasing, and new format branches, rather than in the traditional branch network. This research examines changes in the branch network of one bank, Bank X, between 1986 and 2000, in a portion of the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada. The first objective of this research was to identify where branches were located. The second objective was to investigate demographic characteristics of the population in areas where branches existed. and the third objective was to investigate demographic characteristics of populations utilizing various delivery channels. The objectives of this research were fulfilled using a combination of mapping and statistical techniques. The branch network of Bank X was found to be decreasing, with an increased amount of changes occurring between 1996 and 2000. It was found that branch closures are occurring in many different types of areas, where populations are comprised of a diverse range of demographic characteristics. In addition, it was found that demographic characteristics alone do not determine delivery channel usage, as many different types of people are utilizing both traditional branch channels, as well as the alternative delivery channels that have been developed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season