Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Russell Muncaster

Advisor Role

Dissertation Co-Supervisor

Second Advisor

Alfred Hecht

Advisor Role

Dissertation Co-Supervisor


The major thrust or aim of this study, which focuses on the Ghanaian immigrant population living in Metropolitan Toronto (which has the largest proportion of Ghanaians in Canada), was to find out whether respondents living in the main area of Ghanaian concentration in Metropolitan Toronto have different socio-economic characteristics from those living away from the main Ghanaian concentration, as is suggested by the general urban ethnic literature. It had three specific research objectives. First, the study sought to ascertain the relationship between the residential location patterns of Ghanaian immigrants in Metropolitan Toronto and their socio-economic characteristics, as defined by their occupational distribution and issues related to it such as job search strategies, location of jobs, journey-to-work, household adaptive strategies (performance of extra work) and housing tenure. Secondly, it sought to find out the nature of the development of entrepreneurship among the Ghanaian community in Metropolitan Toronto, with a focus on the types of business created, their location, employment rates, customer base and any links they might have with businesses in Ghana. In order to understand and explain the general integration process of the Ghanaian immigrant group. it also sought to ascertain the motivations that the respondents had for emigrating to Canada, their migration patterns and the nature of their initial integration into the economy of the Metropolitan Toronto. To assist in the analysis, three zones of Ghanaian concentration in Metropolitan Toronto were identified for the study. The first zone is the main area of Ghanaian concentration, which was termed as the core concentration. Two other zones were identified based on distance and accessibility from the core concentration. The second zone, which is closer to the core concentration was termed as the semi-core concentration. The last zone, the area farthest away from the core concentration, was termed the periphery. In terms of initial settlement, it was found that the majority of the respondents settled initially in the core concentration when they first arrived in Metropolitan Toronto, however, recent immigrants (those arriving during the 1990s) show a higher tendency of settling initially in the outer zones. Generally, background preparation and the experience the respondents brought with them to Canada had no influence on whether the respondents settled initially in the core concentration. in the semi-core concentration or in the periphery. The initial settlement patterns of the respondents contradict the traditional model of immigrant settlement_ The study, therefore, proposes a new model for the study of initial settlement of recent immigrants. The respondents generally exhibit no significant spatial differences in their occupational and related socio-economic characteristics. The characteristics of people living in the main area of Ghanaian residence in Metropolitan Toronto, the core concentration, are not significantly different from that of those who live outside the main Ghanaian concentration (the semi-core concentration and the periphery). Movement is, therefore, not taking place according to the lines outlined by the theory of spatial assimilation which would have residents in the outer zones having much stronger socio-economic status than those living in the core concentration. The study, however, provides some findings which suggest that, in terms of socio-economic status, the periphery is in the process of developing into the strongest zone of Ghanaian concentration in Metropolitan Toronto. The development of private enterprise among the Ghanaian community in Metropolitan Toronto is at a very early stage. Ghanaian owned businesses are small, young and in the process of growing. They are not as developed and as diversified as that for groups such as the Chinese. Though very beneficial to the Ghanaian community in Metropolitan Toronto, at their present stage of development, they cannot be relied upon to provide a meaningful economic support and advancement opportunities to the Ghanaian community.

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