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Chinese Commercial Activities in the Toronto CMA: New Development Patterns and Impacts. Introduction and the Conceptual Framework (1) Why ethnic commercial.

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Presentation on theme: "Chinese Commercial Activities in the Toronto CMA: New Development Patterns and Impacts. Introduction and the Conceptual Framework (1) Why ethnic commercial."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chinese Commercial Activities in the Toronto CMA: New Development Patterns and Impacts. Introduction and the Conceptual Framework (1) Why ethnic commercial activity occur? Demand for ethnic commercial activities results from the propensity of ethnic group members to purchase familiar brands and cultural products Several labour market theories explain the engagement of ethnic minorities in business activities, such as blocked mobility cultural division of labour.

2 Introduction and the Conceptual Framework (2) Blocked Mobility Thesis: due to existence of racial discrimination in the mainstream society and language barriers, ethnic minorities often have limited employment opportunities; the absence of competition from the dominant group in ethnic retailing and consumer services channels them into such entrepreneurship as a means of economic survival. (Bonacich and Modell 1980; Waldinger 1986; Li 1992).

3 Introduction and the Conceptual Framework (3) cultural division of labour: some cultures value business enterprises highly, and the transplanted cultural endowments may include ready-to-use skills that give them comparative advantages for engaging in commercial activities (Light 1984; Razin 1988; Barrett et al. 1996; Razin and Langolis 1996). cultural resources (motivation, value, institutional completeness) ethnic resources (kinship networks; co-ethnic workers and consumers;),

4 Introduction and the Conceptual Framework (4) Institutional completeness: while an ethnic community achieves higher levels of institutional completeness, the need of its members for integration is reduced the forces of attraction of the mainstream society weakens. As a result, the initial one-way absorption will gradually become a two-way acculturation, meaning that the mainstream society will at least have to learn to adapt to, if not adopt, the unconventional business practices of ethnic minorities.

5 Ethnic group Mainstream Society Ethnic group Mainstream Society One-way absorption (assimilation) two-way acculturation

6 Introduction and the Conceptual Framework (5 Difficulties of studying ethnic commercial activity: –No standard definition –Lack of data

7 Patterns prior to mid 1980s Patterns after mid 1980s – structural changes – geographical changes – changes in physical form – changes in development strategies – changes in occupancy system Impacts of the New Developments

8 Old Chinatown Central Chinatown East Chinatwon First settlement



11 Structural Changes Restaurants and food stores declined Commercial services increased Now concentrate in seven categories: –other retailing –restaurant –household furniture/service –medical service –business service –personal service –food store

12 Table 1 Structural Changes of Chinese Commercial Activity in Toronto CMA, 1971-1994 (numbers in brackets are percentages) Type of business 1971*1981*1994**Change in percentage 1981-1994 Auto dealer/service 0 (0.0) 172 (4.7)4.7 Business service 1 (1.4) 4 (1.5) 382 (10.3)8.8 Clothing/shoes 1 (1.4)2 (0.8) 92 (2.5)1.7 Financial service 0 (0.0) 20 (7.5) 66 (1.8)-5.7 Food store21 (30.4) 45 (17.0) 343 (9.3)-7.7 General merchandise 4 (5.8) 31 (11.7) 1 (<0.1)-11.7 Hotel/motel 0 (0.0) 7 (0.2)0.2 Household furniture/service 0 (0.0) 18 (6.8) 434 (11.7)4.9 Medical service 1 (1.4) 7 (2.6) 425 (11.5)8.9 Miscellaneous14 (20.3) 11 (4.2) 94 (2.5)-1.7 Other retailing 5 (7.2) 42 (15.8) 620 (16.7)0.9 Personal service 2 (2.9) 7 (2.6)362 (9.8)7.2 Real estate 2 (2.9) 6 (2.2) 153 (4.1)1.9 Recreation/ entertainment 0 (0.0) 2 (0.8) 35 (0.9)0.1 Restaurant18 (26.0) 70 (26.4) 512 (13.8)-12.6 Total69 (100.0)265 (100.0)3698 (100.0) SOURCES: * Wong 1987; ** Chinese Consumer Directory of Toronto-1994

13 Table 2 Geographical Distribution of Chinese Businesses in the Toronto CMA, 1994 CMA divisionMunicipalityCountPercentage Central city126434.2 Toronto126434.2 Inner suburb165144.6 East York381.0 Etobicoke1072.9 North York39610.7 Scarborough107629.1 York340.9 Outer suburb78321.1 Markham2757.4 Mississauga2216.0 Richmond Hill1413.8 Vaughan721.9 Others742.0 CMA total3698100.0 SOURCE: Chinese Consumer Directory of Toronto-1994


15 Geographical Changes The former City of Toronto still has the most, but there are now more in the inner suburbs as a whole, and a significant proportion have been established in the outer suburbs. Within the former City of Toronto, the majority concentrate in the three Chinatowns. In the inner suburbs, there are many more in Scarborough and North York than in the other three municipalities; In the outer suburbs, they concentrate in four municipalities that surround the former Metro Toronto: Markham, Mississauga, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.

16 Changes in Physical Form, Development Strategies, and Occupancy System planned shopping centers, instead of retail strips Catalytic; instead of consequent and simultaneous Shopping center district name the new shopping malls after well-known commercial districts or buildings in Hong Kong Condominium ownership

17 Characteristics of Shopping Centers (source: Urban Land Institute, 1983) Center typeAnchor tenant Typical GLA (ft 2 ) GLA range (ft 2 ) Minimum site area (acres) Population support required neighborhood Supermarket50,000 30,000- 100,000 3-103,000-40,000 community Junior dept. store/large variety store 150,000 100,000- 300,000 10-30 40,000- 150,000 regional One or more full-line dept. store(s) 400,000 300,000- 900,000 10-60 150,000 or more super regional 3 or more full- line dept. stores 800,000 500,000 - 1.5 million or more 15-100 or more 300,000 or more

18 Table 4 Geographical Distribution of Existing Chinese Shopping Centres and Chinese People in the Toronto CMA, 1996 (numbers in brackets are percentages) Municipality No. of shopping centres No. of store units Square footageAverage size of shopping centre (in sq. ft.) Chinese people Central city2145 (6.6)157000 (5.4)7850052710 (18.4) Toronto2145 (6.6)157000 (5.4)7850052710 (18.4) Inner suburb30859 (39.4)1024000 (35.0)34133139535 (48.7) North York375 (3.4)173000 (5.9)5766744470 (15.5) Scarborough27784 (36.0)851000 (29.1)3151880665 (28.2) Others0---14400 (5.0) Outer suburb20174 (53.9)1744000 (59.6)8720094215 (32.9) Markham4377 (17.3)596000 (20.4)14900037630 (13.1) Mississauga5279 (12.8)435000 (14.9)8700024095 (8.4) Richmond Hill11518 (23.7)713000 (24.4)6481817990 (6.2) Others0---14500 (5.1) CMA total522178 (100.0)2925000 (100.0)56250286460 (100.0)





23 Impacts of the New Developments Challenges to existing planning systems and legislation Social impacts on mainstream society Unconventional business practices transplanted from Hong Kong

24 The Concept of a 3-Level Hierarchy

25 Consultants’ Recommendations (John Winter Associate Ltd. 1994; Hemson Consulting Ltd.1995). provincial condominium legislation be reformed to include regulations on retailing, and developers be required to provide financial guarantee for investors; site plan applications be accompanied by floor plans showing the number and size of stores; additional advice from accredited retail/architectural consultants be taken into account in the process of site plan review and approval; retail units in condominium malls should not be too small, and GLA-GFA ratio not too high; inclusion of anchor stores [i.e., department stores] in large condominium malls be made mandatory, and restaurant spaces not exceed 25 per cent of the total GLA in condominium malls; parking standards for commercial condominium development be raised, and the ratio of underground parking in total parking spaces should be restricted.

26 Two conflicting questions:  must ethnic minorities adapt to the business conventions of the mainstream society?  should the mainstream society show flexibility to accommodate innovative business practices transplanted from other cultures?

27 Warden Center

28 Silver Star Center

29 Milliken Crossing Plaza





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