All families in this study are housed. This study sets out to define and measure inadequate housing, hidden homelessness, and the risk of absolute homelessness in a low-income, housed population. This includes families on a continuum of housing vulnerability and homelessness, from inadequate and precarious housing, to hidden homelessness, to visible homelessness and shelter use, to re-housing after a period in a shelter. Families often move back and forth along this continuum.
Urban Studies 46(10) 2103–2122, September 2009. Little attention has been paid to date to the role of a changing neighbourhood as a factor influencing the residential choice process. Processes of neighbourhood change are often beyond residents’ sphere of influence and if a changing neighbourhood
causes residential stress, the only way to improve one’s neighbourhood is to move to a better one. This study aims to get more insight into the effect of neighbourhood change on residential stress by studying residents’ wish to leave their neighbourhood. Using data from The Netherlands, we show that there is no effect of a change in the socioeconomic status of the neighbourhood on moving wishes. A high level
of population turnover and an increase in the proportion of non-Western ethnic minorities in the neighbourhood increase the probability that residents want to leave their neighbourhood. The latter effect disappears when controlled for residents’ subjective opinion about neighbourhood change.
Matt Galloway spoke with Deborah Cowen about her new report and the forum at which it would be launched. The report, “Toronto’s inner suburbs: Investing in social infrastructure in Scarborough,” by Deborah Cowen and Vanessa Parlette, was launched June 16, 2011, at Scarborough Civic Centre Council Chambers. Toronto is a divided city. Social polarization and spatial segregation are clearly visible in the landscape, and our inner suburbs are home to more and more concentrated and racialized poverty. Investment in these suburbs is a key part of the solution, and yet its future is in question. How can we enhance investment in Scarborough when budgets everywhere are being cut? How do we unite across different issues and diverse communities? This forum provides an opportunity for community members to come together to learn from research about the big picture of urban change, and to take action for the future of Scarborough’s communities. The forum was hosted by the Scarborough Civic Action Network, Social Planning Toronto, and Cities Centre, University of Toronto.
A one-day invitational symposium with the SSHRC Partnership Grant proposal team, June 23, 2011, Neighbourhood Change Research Group, University of Toronto. Much has occurred in the broader socio-economic context that requires new ways of thinking about how and why urban neighbourhoods change, and how we should study neighbourhood change. Little consideration has been given to how traditional ideas about neighborhood change affect analyses of urban areas. We need to move forward to new ways of thinking, researching, and offering policy advice about the often dramatic changes that are taking place in urban socio-spatial patterns.
The presentations of six of the speakers are posted here.
1. How should we study neighbourhood change today?
2. Socio-spatial Inequality: What to Focus Research on and Why?
3. Population Groups: Defining Priorities for Cross-Disciplinary Thematic Neighbourhood Research
4. From the Field: Emerging Issues & Research Needs
- Mike Buda, Director, Policy & Research, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
- Harvey Low, Social Policy Analysis & Research, City of Toronto
- Social Planning Toronto, Community development planners who work in Toronto’s “City #3”
Cities Centre, University of Toronto, June 2011. Toronto’s inner suburbs are home to many poor households, including members of many racialized groups. At the same time, social services in the inner suburbs are few and far between. This study looks at one neighbourhood (Kingston-Galloway/Orton Park) in Scarborough, and its social infrastructure. Social infrastructure is not just the social services or programs available to residents of a neighbourhood, but the area’s resources and relationships, such as spaces for gathering, opportunities for learning, as well as partnerships and networks within and beyond the community level. Social infrastructure exists at the local scale, but relies on public policy, capital investment, and social networks that are not necessarily local. This report draws on the insights of residents, community workers, non-profit agencies and public sector staff who are committed to improving everyday life for people in Toronto’s low income communities.
Despite extensive literature on the nature and impact of gentri?cation, there has been little consideration of the effects of gentri?cation on ethnic neighbourhoods. This study evaluates the negative and positive effects of gentri?cation on the Portuguese in west central Toronto. Details concerning the settlement patterns of the Portuguese, the characteristics of Portuguese residents and patterns of gentri?cation in inner-city Toronto were obtained from census data. Evaluations of neighbourhood change and attitudes of the residents towards gentri?cation were obtained from key informant and focus group interviews. The results suggest considerable ambivalence among the respondents, but most agreed that the long-term viability of Little Portugal as an immigrant reception area with a good supply of low-cost housing is in doubt.
Research Bulletin 42, March 2008, 12 pages. Immigrants to Canada are increasingly concentrated in Canada’s three biggest metropolitan areas. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver accommodate 70% of those who arrived between 2001 and 2006. The three biggest gateway cities, however, exhibit important differences in the ethnic groups they attract, and the patterns of settlement. Toronto and Vancouver have some similarities (more Asians, more immigrants settling in the suburbs), while Montreal has a larger proportion of European and African immigrants, who still tend to cluster in the central city. The suburbanization of immigration in Toronto and Vancouver poses challenges for service provision and planning and raises questions about the pros and cons of suburban ethnic enclaves in enhancing immigrant integration.
Research Paper 203, April 2005, vi, 26 pp. Urban theory has historically viewed ethnic commercial strips as a more-or-less organic extension of nearby ethnic residential enclaves. This paper argues that some of these areas function as a branding mechanism (intended or not) to produce nearby residential gentrification. Certain forms of ethnic identity attract affluent professionals looking for an alternative to suburban life. Some neighbourhood institutions have recognized this attraction and begun to manufacture a saleable form of ethnicity to tourists and prospective residents alike. This paper explores the influence of ethnic packaging on the process of gentrification in Toronto, using the examples of four ethnically defined business improvement areas (BIAs) – Little Italy, Greektown on the Danforth, Corso Italia, and the Gerrard India Bazaar.
Research Paper 211, May 2008, viii, 109 pp. This report presents a method for determining the timing, patterning, and forms of gentrification and residential neighbourhood upgrading between the 1960s and 2001 in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, using census data. The resulting maps show a clear geography of gentrification in each city, whereby the process starts in a few core areas and moves outwards into adjacent neighbourhoods, as well as a “gentrification frontier” in each city, where gentrification is likely to occur in future. The authors also identify the main forms of gentrification (deconversion of older housing stock, new construction, and the conversion of non-residential buildings to housing) and the way in which these forms combine to produce gentrified neighbourhoods in each city. They note that although new construction presents an opportunity to mitigate the problems caused by gentrification, this opportunity has not been seized. If present trends continue, the inner cities of Canada’s three largest cities will become the preserve of elites, while low-income households are forced to occupy less accessible fringe locations, a situation that contributes to social exclusion
Research Paper 204, May 2005, viii, 68 pp. The authors of this paper administered and analyzed a household survey to provide St. Christopher House (SCH) with a better understanding of the issues facing the residents they serve. This research was designed to address three main questions: How do the residents perceive the changes occurring within the neighbourhood? How are these changes affecting their way of life in terms of housing, commercial activity, new residents, and safety? And what can be done to respond to these perceived changes? This research allowed residents to voice their concerns and views about neighbourhood changes. These concerns and views will be translated into policy and planning recommendations for the city, as well as for SCH, the main social service provider in Toronto’s West End.
Research Bulletin 35, March 2007, 8 pages.
Little Portugal is located in the downtown west end of Toronto. Over the years, Portuguese immigrants have created an institutionally complete community that is also one of the most visible ethnic neighbourhoods in Toronto. Little Portugal is, however, changing because of the movement of many Portuguese from Toronto’s downtown to the suburbs; the arrival of urban professionals, who seek to buy older houses close to the downtown core; and the arrival of immigrants and refugees from the Portuguese diaspora (including Brazil and Portugal’s former African colonies). This research bulletin, based on interviews with residents of the area, describes how these changes are altering the characteristics of the neighbourhood, for better or for worse.