Residential Segregation of Visible Minorities in Canada's Gateway Cities

Article excerpt

Bien que l'afflux d'immigrants appartenant a des minorites visibles ait cree un climat de diversite et de multiculturalisme dans trois des principales portes d'entree au Canada, a savoir Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, il n'en reste pas moins que cet afflux a aussi produit des paysages metropolitains de fragmentation et separation ethniques. L'objectif de cette etude est de comparer les modeles residentiels des populations minoritaires visibles de Montreal, Toronto et Vancouver; pour ce, nous avons utilise une methodologie rigoureuse qui examine la nature de cette segregation, du point de vue temporel et spatial ainsi que ses liens avec les caracteristiques des habitats locaux. L'article fait une recension des ecrits portant sur les modeles de separation urbaine, ainsi que sur la segregation des minorites ethniques et visibles. II developpe quatre propositions concernant les modules residentiels et les concentrations de minorites visibles anticipes. L'article verifie ces propositions a partir de l'analyse des donnees du recensement des annees 1986, 1991 et 1996, dans lesquelles les modeles residentiels etaient etudies et mis en rapport avec la distribution des differents types d'habitat. Nos conclusions confirment les resultats de recherches anterieures sur la fragmentation et la dispersion, mais devoilent en meme temps des differences cruciales entre les villes.

Mots-cles: minorites visible, segregation ethniques, portes d'entree, habitats


Canadian residents of non-European origin, or `visible minorities', may soon constitute a majority in Toronto and Vancouver (Samuel 1988; Chard and Renaud 1999; Hiebert 1999; Ley 1999). The influx of visible minority immigrants has created an atmosphere of diversity and multiculturalism in Canada's three major gateway cities, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver; but immigration has also produced metropolitan landscapes of fragmentation and ethnic separation (Bourne et al. 1986; Bourne 1989; Doucet 1999; Hiebert 1999). The objective of this study is to compare the residential patterns of visible minority populations in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Thus this paper complements recent studies on the spatial separation and distribution of visible minority immigrants in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver (Ray 1998, 1999; Archambault et al. 1999; Chard and Renaud 1999; Doucet 1999; Driedger 1999; Hiebert 1999). What needs to be added to these previous studies, however, is a comparison between all three cities using a rigorous and consistent method that examines the temporal and spatial nature of segregation and its links to local housing characteristics.

In the first part of the paper we review the literature on models of urban separation, and ethnic and visible minority segregation in Canadian cities. Based on this literature we develop four propositions regarding expected residential patterns and concentrations of visible minorities in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. In the second part, we test these propositions using an analysis of 1986, 1991 and 1996 Census data, in which we examine residential patterns in the three cities, and relate these patterns to the distribution of different types of housing. Our findings confirm previous research results of fragmentation and dispersal (Balakrishnan 1982; Sharpe 1985; Bourne et al. 1986; Mercer 1988; Bourne 1989; Doucet 1999), but we uncover decisive differences between cities.

Visible Minorities and Ethnic Residential Separation

Visible Minorities and Gateway Cities

The Canadian Employment Equity Act of 1986 defines "members of visible minorities" as "persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour" (Department of Justice Canada 2000). In 1987, Balakrishnan and Kralt (1987, 138-139) reported that the "... Secretary of State for Multiculturalism has tentatively defined ten groups as visible minorities, including Blacks, Indo-Pakistanis, Chinese, Indo-Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Ethnic Filipinos, Pacific Islanders, Lebanese, and Arabic. …


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