Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Alfred Hecht

Advisor Role

Dissertation Supervisor


Responding to contemporary urban changes and increasing social complexities, this research endeavours to determine whether recently arrived immigrants still follow residential configurations as prescribed by traditional urban ecological models or whether ethnic groups are displaying a new dispersed (i.e. ‘shot gun’) domiciliary pattern characterized by enclave scattering. A new conceptual model describing various spatial outcomes relative to primary destinations of initial immigrant settlement and subsequent relocation is developed according to propositions discussed in the literature review. Subsequent statistical analyses focus upon the hypothesized post-1980 areal placement of six ethnic groups (Greek, Jewish, Multiethnic, Aboriginal, Chinese, and Jamaican) using the British as the reference population within the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area. Three dimensions of residential differentiation (evenness, centralization, and concentration) are measured and selected thematic crosstabulations generated primarily from 1981 to 1991 Census data to ascertain whether anticipated distributional trends have materialized or traditional ones persist. Most ethnic communities maintain intermediate and relatively stable levels of residential similarity, concentration, and centralization with recent immigrants exhibiting a somewhat higher degree of residential integration. An incremental yet definite decentralization trend is noted among most ethnic groups. Centralization and concentration levels according to immigration period, mobility status (external migrants) and ethnic origin by admission interval diminish with increased time since entering Canada. The latest entrants, however, are marginally more centralized than previous arrivals. Cartographic representations of concentration patterns reveal ethnic variation with sectoral (Jews), nodal (Greek and Chinese), scattered (Aboriginal and Jamaican), and even aterritorial (Multiethnic) arrangements being the most prevalent ones by different communities. Recent arrivals consistently register high concentration values in census tracts that are increasingly more dispersed between 1981 and 1991. Entering the metropolitan area via secondary ethnic enclaves or new outer suburban and multicultural ports of entry, the latest intakes display less predictable localization configurations which are collectively characterized by clutter dispersion. The analysis of selected mobility, tenure, and socio-economic variables indicates that non-movers prevail amid nearly all ethnic units as well as the latest immigrant arrivals. Dwelling ownership is prevalent among ethnic collectivities while rental housing more typical of visible minorities and new admissions irrespective of ethnicity. Suburban residency is partially an outcome of chain migration but more so of educational achievement and household income level. The dynamic nature of urban form is proposed as an alternative contextual environment in which to explain ethnic and immigrant residential distribution. Since newcomers mainly rent during the immediate post-arrival phase, the shifting location and dispersion of affordable housing, especially apartment clusters, was examined and found to correspond with and influence points of initial settlement. Immigration policy development was also examined to relate its impact upon the sources and types of newcomers entering urban areas. Revisions were then made to the conceptual model such that it reflects the increasing complexity of ethnic habitation configurations within and immigrant entry into metropolitan areas. In conclusion, it can be affirmed that ethnic and immigrant areal apportionments are increasingly complex, less predictable, and geographically dispersed. The ‘shot gun’ pattern, although overall quite representative, is less evident among ethnic groups when native- and foreign-born constituents are collectively considered. It is most obvious when immigrants are assessed by arrival period. Overall, measurements of the aforementioned dimensions confirm the emergence of a fragmented multicultural spatial mosaic.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season