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Welcoming neighbourhood: A Case Study


WELCOMING NEIGHBOURHOOD: A CASE STUDY Sandeep Agrawal, PhD, MCIP, AICP Ryerson University What is a welcoming neighbourhood? Ability for a community to include and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Welcoming neighbourhood: A Case Study

Welcoming neighbourhood A Case Study
  • Sandeep Agrawal, PhD, MCIP, AICP

Ryerson University
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.

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.
  • 1/5th of the population is recent immigrants
  • Ethnic make-up of the neighbourhood has been
    constantly changing.

Thorncliffe Location
Some statistics
  • Total census population about 18,000
  • Visible minority 75 South Asian, Filipino and
  • 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.

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
  • Multiple family households 3
  • Lone female parent families13.3
  • Household income average 48,011 (Toronto Avg
    80,343 median 39,580 (Toronto median
  • Incidence of household low income very high

Thorncliffe Park
Greek/Macedonian Church
To Flemingdon Park
Industrial/Institutional Area
Darus Salam Masjid
East York Town Centre
Greek Church
Iqbal Foods
Greek Church
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
  • Everything is in walking distance
  • 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

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.

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

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)

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
  • 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
  • But positives outweigh negatives.
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