Study: Demographic Split among Immigrants to GTA

By Ben Bull
Published March 20, 2009

The Star published some interesting stats on immigration settlement in the GTA today.

According to a new study by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Central Toronto has suffered a net loss of 22 percent of new immigrants moving to the suburbs.

The report shows immigrants to the Greater Toronto Area are increasingly choosing the 905 regions as their destination over Toronto. Even those initially settling in the city are then moving on to the suburbs.

The study, conducted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, compared how newcomers who have been in the country for five years or more and living in the suburbs fared against their counterparts in the city.

It found those living outside big cities were less likely to be living off social assistance, less likely to be unemployed, twice as likely to have a university degree and more likely to own homes.

So the best and the brightest are moving away, while the strugglers are left to scrounge for whatever assistance they can get in the already overburdened downtown. Complications abound:

The suburbanization trends, partially a result of Ottawa's push to spread immigrants evenly across the country, have led to a lose-lose situation for large and small communities alike: While big cities are finding it harder to meet their labour needs with the exodus of well-educated and highly skilled immigrants, their smaller counterparts struggle to accommodate the influx.

There'll always be migratory trends. The question is, why is this happening, and what does it all mean?

Ben Bull lives in downtown Toronto. He's been working on a book of short stories for about 10 years now and hopes to be finished tomorrow. He also has a movie blog.


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By JonC (registered) | Posted March 20, 2009 at 15:42:22

I'd guess the same reason that those born in Canada stream out to the suburbs, but amplified by not necessarily having a family 'root' in the city. Is that 22% percentage significantly greater than non-immigrants? Chart 5 from the report shows the areas around Toronto (Halton, York & Durham) having growth of the foreign born population about double that of the non-immigrant population.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted March 20, 2009 at 16:38:40

There was also an article in the Spec on the same report...

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