Centre for Urban and Community Studies Greater Toronto Urban Observatory: Neighbourhood Trends University of Toronto
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Centre for Urban and
Community Studies
University of Toronto
455 Spadina Ave.
Suite 400
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5S 2G8

(416) 978-2072
(416) 978-7162


Map of Greater Toronto Area and Census Metropolitan Area
Boundaries of the Greater Toronto Area & the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area

Growth Management and Affordable Housing in Greater Toronto: A Macro View of Toronto Social Mix and Polarization
by Greg Suttor, 2007
Report, click here

Greater Toronto
Urban Observatory

Observatory: a place set apart for making observations; a position affording an extensive view.

Observe: to attend to with the mind; to perceive; to pay attention to; to take notice of scientifically; to learn by scientific inspection. - Oxford English Dictionary

The Greater Toronto Urban Observatory (GTUO) monitors and evaluates regional urban conditions and trends. It seeks to disseminate an improved policy-relevant knowledge base about the Toronto urban region by providing reliable, accurate, and timely information to policy-makers, businesses, researchers and citizen groups.

Researchers at the University of Toronto's Centre for Urban and Community Studies have initiated the GTUO. In the near future, a broad based governance structure will be developed and the GTUO will be managed by this eventual region-wide partnership.

Mapping Neighbourhood Change in Toronto

Researchers at the Cities Centre, in partnership with a number of community agencies and funders, are engaged in a detailed analysis of neighbourhood change in the City of Toronto and in the urbanized region around Toronto.

The maps and graphs provided here are produced by the Neighbourhood Change and Building Inclusive Communities from Within research initiative, a Community University Research Alliance (CURA) funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. All the maps include, for reference purposes, the boundaries of the City of Toronto's priority neighbourhoods (selected for focused investment to strengthen neighbourhood supports) and the boundary of the Neighbourhood Change CURA study area.

J. David Hulchanski, Associate Director for Research of the University of Toronto's Cities Centre (formerly the Centre for Urban and Community Studies), is the Principal Investigator. Maureen Fair and Rick Eagan are the project's coordinators from St. Christopher House. Richard Maaranen is the CUCS data analyst who produced the maps and graphs. Professors Larry Bourne, Bob Murdie and Alan Walks contributed to the analysis leading to these maps.

The Three Cities Within Toronto: Income Polarization Among Toronto's Neighbourhoods, 1970-2005. By J. David Hulchanski, University of Toronto.
For the December 2010 report, click here
For the media release, click here

Toronto Divided?
Polarizing Trends that Could Split the City Apart, 1970 to 2005

January 2010
Download pdf

Diversity and Concentration in Canadian Immigration: Trends in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, 1971 - 2006
by Robert Murdie, CUCS Research Bulletin 42, March 2008.
View the PDF

The Timing, Patterning, & Forms
of Gentrification & Neighbourhood Upgrading
in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, 1961 to 2001

by by R.A. Walks, R. Maaranen, May 2008.
View the PDF of the full report, Research Paper #211 (110 pages)
View the PDF of the summary, Research Bulletin #43 (9 pages)

Neighbourhood Change in Toronto:
The top 10 maps & graphs of trends

  1. The Three Torontos: Change in average neighbourhood income, 1970 compared to 2000 (map)
  2. Neighbourhoods with a persistent increase or decrease in average income since 1980 (map and graphs)
  3. Change in average neighbourhood income in the City of Toronto, decade-by-decade,1970 to 2000 (4 maps on one & 2 graphs)
  4. The polarization by income of Toronto's neighbourhoods: Thirty-year trend in neighbourhood income distribution in the City and the outer suburbs (graphs)
  5. What happened to the City of Toronto's formerly middle income neighbourhoods? Which ones increased or decreased in average income since 1970? (map)
  6. Gentrification of Toronto's neighbourhoods, 1960 to 2000 (map)
  7. Where do immigrants live? Toronto area neighbourhoods with immigrants who arrived between 1981 and 2001 (map)
  8. Neighbourhood increase or decrease in the foreign born population, City of Toronto, 1971 to 2001 (map)
  9. Toronto neighbourhoods with concentrations (80%, 90%, 95%) of white or non-white populations, 2001 (3 maps)
  10. Change in the Percentage of Rental Housing In Toronto's Neighbourhoods, 1971 to 2001 (map)

Where Poverty Lives: 2006 Census Tract LICOs, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver

Neighbourhood (census tract) level maps of the percentage of households below Statistics Canada's Low Income Cut Off (LICO), in the City of Toronto, Toronto CMA, Toronto-Oshawa-Hamilton CMAs, Montreal CMA, and Vancouver CMA, from the 2006 Census.
Download .pdf's

Canada's Urban Ethnocultural Mosaic, 2006 Census, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver CMAs

Neighbourhood (census tract) level maps of each of the three largest CMAs; mapping the white and visible minority concentrations, and the black, Chinese, South Asian, Italian, Portuguese and Polish Population.
Download .pdf's

Neighbourhood Income Polarization
in Toronto Since 1970

a comparative analysis of the demographic characteristics of the group of neighbourhoods (census tracts) that have had a persistent increase or a persistent decrease in average income since 1970 or 1980

Introduction & map of census tracts with a persistent income trend since 1970

Download .pdf's         View slideshow

A more detailed look at the demographic characteristics of the census tracts with the persistent income trend compared to the City and CMA:

  1. Income, employment and education
    Download .pdf's         View slideshow
  2. Immigrants and visible minorities
    Download .pdf's         View slideshow
  3. Household size and family status
    Download .pdf's         View slideshow
  4. Renters and rented dwellings
    Download .pdf's         View slideshow
  5. Dwelling type, value and age
    Download .pdf's         View slideshow

Employment Income, 1960 to 2000

change in average employment income relative to the Toronto area average in each census tract since 1960
Download .pdf's         View slideshow

Growing Concentration of High and Low Income Groups & Decline of the Middle Income Group, 1970 to 2000

maps and graphs showing Toronto neighbourhoods (census tracts) that have a majority of households in one of three income categories, 1970 to 2000
Download .pdf's         View slideshow

Settlement Patterns of Recent Immigrants,
1961 to 2001

change in the settlement pattern of recent immigrants, mapped as a percentage of recent immigrants in each census tract from 1961 to 2001
Download .pdf's         View slideshow

Education Trends, 1961 to 2001

change in the proportion of the adult population over 20 years old who have completed a university degree, including 2001 maps of adults without a high school diploma
Download .pdf's         View slideshow

Research Bulletin & Neighbourhood Maps
The Three Cities Within Toronto:
Income polarization, 1970 - 2000

by J.D. Hulchanski
Download Research Bulletin #41
NEW Download 2006 Census Update of Research Bulletin #41 maps & data table
Toronto's City #3: A Profile of Four Groups of Neighbourhoods
Download news coverage & media release
Download maps, figures updated to 2005
Download additional "3 cities" analysis
CBC interview with D. Hulchanski, 4-Mar-08, 7 min.
CBC feature: Poverty & divided city, 7-Mar-08, 3 min.
Download detailed characteristics of City #3
Download article "Violent Schools in Divided City"

The maps and graphs presented on this webpage may be reprinted or distributed, including on the Internet, without permission, provided they are not offered for sale, are not printed in a publication that is offered for sale, the content is not altered, and the source and webpage is properly credited (i.e., Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto, www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca). Any commercial or other use requires the express prior written authorization of the Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto.

© 2008 Cities Centre, University of Toronto
Cities Centre, University of Toronto


U.N. Habitat: United Nations Human Settlements
U.N. Global Urban Observatory

The UN GUO addresses the urgent need to improve the world-wide base of urban knowledge by helping to develop and apply policy-oriented urban indicators, statistics and other urban information.

Toronto Neighbourhoods Research Network

Neighbourhood Change and Building Inclusive Communities in Toronto
St. Christopher House and the Centre for Urban & Community Studies are lead partners in a five-year Community University Research Alliance (CURA) funded by SSHRC

United Way of Greater Toronto
Losing Ground
Losing Ground: The Persistent Growth of Family Poverty in Canada's Largest City, 2007
Losing Ground documents how Toronto families with children are faring financially compared to families in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, in the province, and across Canada.

Poverty by Postal Code
The number of poor Toronto neighbourhoods is rising at a rapid rate. In the past two decades, the income gap is widening and neighbourhood poverty has intensified. In Poverty by Postal Code the United Way explores the changing geography of neighbourhood poverty.
Report, click here
Maps, click here

City of Toronto
City of Toronto Neighbourhood Profiles & Social Atlas

Detailed demographic information about each neighbourhood, and maps on key socio-demographic variables, by the City's Social Development, Finance & Administration Division.

Toronto Health Profiles
Toronto Community Health Profiles

Detailed health-related information about each neighbourhood, a project of the Toronto Community Health Profiles Partnership.

Toronto Community Foundation
Vital Signs 2007
Vital Signs 2006
an annual check-up on the health of Toronto that measures and monitors key issue area

Rental Market Toronto CMA

2005 Report  2006 Report

Wellesley Institute: Advancing Urban Health
Health Disparities & Neighbourhoods

Access Alliance: Multicultural Community Health Centre
Neighbourhood Profiles & Research

Toronto City
Summit Alliance

Toronto City Summit Alliance

A multi-sector coalition working to meet the Toronto region's Challenges

Community Safety Secretariat, City of Toronto
Community Safety Secretariat, City of Toronto

Canadian Council on Social Development
Canadian Council on Social Development

Urban Poverty Project 2007

Toronto Life: Neighbourhoods
100+ neighbourhood descriptions, searchable by map or name

Virtual City
A street level photo tour of Toronto's streetscapes

Regional Vancouver Urban Observatory
Vancouver's Urban Observatory, "a long term monitoring facility"