Neighbourhood Attainment and Residential Segregation Among Toronto's Visible Minorities
Since the 1960s, the social complexion of Toronto's urban landscape has been irreversibly altered as new waves of migrants from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Central and South America have replaced traditional white European migrant flows. This product examines the very different residential settlement patterns of Toronto's three largest racial minorities - Blacks, Chinese and South Asians. Unlike previous studies based on aggregate level data and 'ecological' correlations, this product assesses the capacity of conventional spatial assimilation theory to account for these differences, using 'locational attainment' models estimated with micro-data from the 1996 Census of Canada. Conclusions show that the residential settlement patterns of South Asians and, strikingly, Blacks fit the expectations of the conventional spatial assimilation model rather well. Initial settlement is in disadvantaged immigrant enclaves from which longer-term, more successful migrants subsequently exit as they purchase homes in more affluent neighbourhoods. Although Toronto's 'Black neighbourhoods' are decidedly poorer than other minority neighbourhoods, most Blacks do not live in these neighbourhoods. In contrast, Chinese immigrants move quickly to purchase homes in somewhat more affluent and enduring ethnic communities. This product shows that, rather than being historically novel, however, the Chinese are replicating the settlement pattern of earlier southern European (particularly Italian) immigrants and for much the same reasons (i.e., relative advantage in the housing market and low levels of language assimilation).
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