Mapping Migration in Toronto

Team: Keith Cheng

Toronto is often heralded as being one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with the city's coat of arms boldly displaying the motto “Diversity, Our Strength." This, of course, is not a baseless claim - from the food scene to the local slang, the city's immigrant communities have played a significant role in shaping the city. These discourses of diversity have been particularly salient in the past year following the election of the city's current mayor Olivia Chow. From the renaming of Yonge-Dundas Square to Sankofa Square [1] to the Anti-East Asian Racism campaign plastered around our transit system [2], it may seem that the city is moving towards rapid progress, but, as scholars like Shana Almeida highlight, these discourses of diversity can both be superficial and perpetuate further harm on the communities it claims to represent [3]. Despite these initiatives, it is important to recognize that much of the immigrant community in Toronto is located at the margins of the city and continue to face difficulties lack of access to healthcare and social services [4], inaccessibility to culturally specific care [5], and transit inequity [6].

This project will use ArcGIS and web design to visualize these spatial inequities and explore the possibilities of leveraging web design for academic knowledge mobilization and advocating for policy change.

[1] City of Toronto. (December 13, 2023). Toronto City Council approves “Sankofa Square” as new name for Yonge-Dundas Square and initiates plans to rename other City assets that include the name Dundas [Press Release].
[2] City of Toronto (n.d.) Anti-East Asian Racism.
[3] Almeida, S. (2022). Toronto the Good: Negotiating Race in the Diverse City. University of Toronto Press.
[4] Mendly-Zambo, Z., Power, L., Khan, A., Byrant, T., & Raphael, D. (2021). Islands of isolation in a modern metropolis: Social structures and the geography of social exclusion in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Canadian Journal of Urban Research.
[5] Wang, L. & Roisman, D. (2011). Modeling Spatial Accessibility of Immigrants to Culturally Diverse Family Physicians. The Professional Geographer 63(1).
[6] Kaur, A.K. & Teelucksingh, C. (2015). Environmental Justice, Transit Equity and the Place for Immigrants in Toronto. Canadian Journal of Urban Research 24(2).
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