International Migration Research Centre

Document Type

Research Publications

Publication Date



Department of Geography and Environmental Studies


Canada has experienced the development of suburban ethnic enclaves by established immigrant diaspora groups surrounding major metropolitan centres. However, less is known regarding the housing and location preferences of their maturing offspring population, known as the second-generation. This paper seeks to explain the housing preferences and location choices of second-generation South Asians residing in Brampton's ethnic enclaves, a suburban city on the periphery of Toronto. This research draws on the home leaving process and integrates the theoretical perspectives of ethnic enclaves and the life cycle. A telephone survey conducted in Brampton's ethnic enclaves suggests a dominant preference of low-density, detached-style dwellings in suburban areas. The life cycle perspective has proven to be a powerful explanatory tool during the household-formation phase, but does not appear to be valuable during the independent-living stage, since ethnic enclave residency seems to persist. The importance of familial ties in the South-Asian culture, the growth of ethnic enclaves, traditional ideas of socioeconomic success and life cycle values during family-formation shape preferences for second-generation South-Asian-Canadians.


This article was originally published in South Asian Diaspora 5(1):57-76. © 2012 by Virpal Kataure and Margaret Walton-Roberts. Reproduced with permission.