Population Research and Policy Review 19: 155–177, 2000.
© 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Neighborhood change within the Canadian ethnic mosaic,
ERIC FONG & MILENA GULIA
University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Abstract. This paper examines the neighborhood patterns in three major Canadian metro-
politan areas between 1986 and 1991. Data are obtained from 1986 and 1991 proﬁle census
ﬁles and two Special Tabulations of 1986 and 1991 Canadian census. The data indicate that the
ﬁrst pathway of neighborhood change is the diversiﬁcation that takes place among charter-only
neighborhoods with the introduction of a sizable European presence, followed by Asians and
then blacks. The second pathway featuring racial uniformity primarily takes place in multi-
ethnic neighborhoods containing one or more visible minority groups. Multivariate analysis
suggests that the increase in racial and ethnic diversity in neighborhoods is related to the efforts
of visible minorities, especially Asians, seeking out neighborhoods with Europeans.
Keywords: Community, Ethnicity, Neighborhood, Race
Canadian immigration since the 1970s has substantially changed the ethnic
and racial composition of the country (Badets & Chui 1994; McVey & Kal-
bach 1995). In the last three decades, the majority of immigrants to Canada no
longer came solely from European countries. In fact, the majority are ‘visible
minorities’ from Asian countries and the Caribbean region (Badets & Chui
1994). Two thirds of these recent immigrants have chosen to reside in the
three largest Canadian metropolitan areas, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver
(Fong & Gulia 1996).
Since visible minority groups did not appear prominently in the ethnic-
racial proﬁle of metropolitan areas until the last three decades, Canadian
studies on residential patterns have tended to focus on the settlement pat-
terns of immigrants from European countries (e.g., Dawson 1936; Darroch
& Marston 1971), differences in the residential patterns of Anglophone and
Francophone Canadians (Lieberson 1970), or residential segregation patterns
among ethnic European groups (Balakrishnan & Kralt 1987; Balakrishnan &
Selvanathan 1990). In addition, most of these studies focused on regional
or city comparisons using group measures at the city level (Balakrishnan
1976, 1982), or detailed case studies of single metropolitan areas (Dawson