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Presentation on theme: "WELCOMING NEIGHBOURHOOD: A CASE STUDY Sandeep Agrawal, PhD, MCIP, AICP Ryerson University."— Presentation transcript:


2 What is a welcoming neighbourhood? Ability for a community to include and integrate immigrants, refugees and minorities. Housing, employment opportunities, schooling and social services. Measure the physical, social, economic, cultural and political dimensions.

3 Thorncliffe Park – a case study The neighbourhood has continued to be attractive to new immigrants. It forms the backdrop of Giller Prize winner M.G. Vassanjis novel No New Land. The place is well known outside of Canada among prospective immigrants. 1/5 th of the population is recent immigrants (2001- 06). Ethnic make-up of the neighbourhood has been constantly changing.

4 Thorncliffe …Location

5 Some statistics Total census population: about 18,000 Visible minority: 75%: South Asian, Filipino and Arab Immigrants: 68%; Recent Immigrants: 31% Top home languages spoken: Urdu, Gujarati, Farsi, Filipino and Greek Top Ethnic Groups: East Indian, Pakistani, Filipino, Afghan. By region: South Asian, European.

6 Some more statistics 91% renter 95% are apartment buildings, five or more storeys 73% of the buildings are regularly maintained Majority constructed between 1960 and 1980. Avg. family size: 3.28; 4 or more person family: 38.4% Multiple family households: 3% Lone female parent families:13.3% Household income: average: $48,011 (Toronto Avg: $80,343; median: $39,580 (Toronto median: $52,833) Incidence of household low income: very high (46.7%)

7 Thorncliffe Park School East York Town Centre Iqbal Foods Greek Church Greek/Macedonian Church Darus Salam Masjid Greek Church Industrial/Institutional Area To Flemingdon Park

8 Physical layout Was a racetrack, hence the U-shaped main street and the names of the side streets. The school, the library and the park are physically located in the middle of neighbourhood. Everything is in walking distance; pedestrian-friendly Presence of ethnic shopping, places of worship, banks, social and settlement services. Neighbourhood is well served by transit Public space is conducive for social interaction

9 Social dimension Perceived as a safe and welcoming place Well-known for its large apartments and affordable rents. High social capital Pockets of isolated people: not necessarily socially isolated, but because of religious idealogy and in some instances, special needs. School as the centre of the community Changing demographics..and friction between new and old immigrants.

10 Economic dimension Leaside industrial/institutional area abuts the neighbourhood. Many residents find employment in the nearby industries like the Coca Cola headquarter. Over 50% of families earn less than $40K. Over 1/4 th are employed in low paying the sales and service sector; 21% are employed in the business and finance sector.

11 Political dimension Highest voter turn out in the city. High-profile political race – John Tory vs. Kathleen Wynne Helped advance civic engagement, urban citizenship and social inclusion. Led to major improvements in the neighbourhood (millions to the School; new library)

12 Is Thorncliffe Park a welcoming neighbourhood? The neighbourhood seems to be a welcoming place for immigrants. The neighbourhood is institutionally complete. Physical layout is conducive for social interaction. Several positives: availability of appropriate housing, school, social and settlements services, public spaces, civic participation A few negatives: limited employment opportunities, few segments of the population are isolated. But positives outweigh negatives.

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